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Soccer

Kane hit a hat-trick as Tottenham stormed up to second

Harry Kane hit a first-half hat-trick as Tottenham stormed up to second in the Premier League with a 4-0 home demolition of Stoke on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London.

Kane’s treble took his tally to 17 league goals this season, while his first of the day at White Hart Lane was his 100th club goal.

The England forward, 23, who also scored three against Fulham in the FA Cup a week ago, capped an outstanding all-round display by setting up Dele Alli for the fourth.

That helped Alli to draw a line under his dismissal performance against Gent that contributed to Spurs’ Europa League exit on Thursday.

Tottenham’s victory took them above Manchester City and closed the gap on runaway leaders Chelsea to 10 points.

The damaging failure to beat Gent marked the latest disappointment for Spurs in a frustrating month that also saw their title challenge fade significantly.

The challenge confronting Mauricio Pochettino’s side was to produce a performance and result that would help put the midweek embarrassment behind them.

It quickly became clear this game would provide the ideal platform for Spurs and Alli to redeem themselves after a testing 72 hours of soul-searching.

Within three minutes, Christian Eriksen had flashed a shot across the face of goal, provoking an angry reaction from Pochettino, who was infuriated at the Dane’s failure to pick out a better-placed teammate.

The manager need not have worried. Stoke could barely manage to rouse themselves and after Joe Allen hit the side netting for the visitors, Kane produced the 14th-minute opening goal that put the home side firmly in control.

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