Kane scores twice as Tottenham beats Liverpool 4-1 in PL
LONDON (AP) — Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham dismantled a defensively deficient Liverpool to win 4-1 Sunday at Wembley Stadium in front of a record Premier League attendance of 80,827.
“We wanted to start fast and get the crowd on their feet and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Kane said after taking his tally for his club and England to 17 goals in 13 games.
With Son Heung-min and Dele Alli also scoring, Liverpool has now conceded 16 goals in nine league games — its worst start in 53 years — to put the brakes on Juergen Klopp’s title aspirations.
“The whole game was pretty much all our fault,” said Klopp, whose side has dropped to ninth this weekend. “We made it much too easy for them.”
Tottenham, though, is on the up after a sluggish start to the season. Mauricio Pochettino’s side is only behind second-place Manchester United on goal difference and within five points of leader Manchester City.
Tottenham is finally looking at ease at its temporary Wembley home, but few opponents will be as easy to pick apart as Liverpool. Few Premier League players will be as brittle in defense as Dejan Lovren, who was hauled off after half an hour.
By that stage, Tottenham was already 2-1 up after going in front after only four minutes.
Christian Eriksen and Son combined to set up Kieran Trippier, who chipped a pass to Kane. The Liverpool center backs then failed to close down Kane when he flicked the ball over goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and the England striker put the ball into an empty net for his first Tottenham goal at Wembley.
Tottenham is playing at English football’s national stadium while White Hart Lane is redeveloped, and the north London club attracted enough fans on Sunday to break the Premier League attendance record of 76,098 set by Manchester United against Blackburn in 2007.
Wembley only had to wait until the 12th minute to see Tottenham score again, and Kane played a supporting role this time. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris threw the ball out over Kane, who advanced unchallenged from the halfway line before feeding Son to finish past Mignolet.
Only the crossbar saved Liverpool and denied Son a second when its defense crumbled again. Liverpool hadn’t threatened when Mohamed Salah pulled one back in the 24th with a scuffed shot after latching onto Jordan Henderson’s diagonal pass.
It was good as it got for Liverpool. There was no recovery.
Lovren, who was struggling so badly, was taken off just after allowing Son to race past him again to produce a shot that Mignolet saved.
Even after Lovren was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, forcing a reshuffle in the team, the same vulnerabilities were still there. It was Joel Matip’s feeble header to clear a free kick that set Tottenham’s third in stoppage time, with Alli sweeping in his first league goal in almost two months.
“I really don’t want to blame players and Dejan was no worse, to be honest, than Joel,” Klopp said. “We have to prove we are better defenders than we are today.”
Diego Maradona appeared on the pitch at halftime, with the former Argentina great a guest while in London to attend the FIFA Best awards ceremony on Monday.
“I saw him before in the manager’s room,” said Pochettino, who played with Maradona at Newell’s Old Boys in the early 1990s. “It was so emotional and difficult to let him go because when you are in front of Maradona you want to speak with him, stay with him and share a moment with him.”
Liverpool perhaps couldn’t have done any worse with the 56-year-old Maradona in the team.
It was game over in the 56th minute when Kane scored his second. Eriksen’s free kick was pushed out weakly by Mignolet to Jan Vertonghen. Although Roberto Firmino produced a goal-line clearance, Kane was primed to send an angled shot into the net.
On a day when Tottenham’s attacking potency will take the plaudits, there was a moment to savor Lloris’ qualities as well. The Tottenham goalkeeper used his weaker left hand to push a shot from Salah destined for the top corner onto the crossbar.
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