Harry Kane's brace leads Tottenham past Norwich and into third place
The Tottenham juggernaut shows no sign of slowing as their fifth successive triumph took them up to third place in the Premier League table, above arch-rivals Arsenal. Spurs were heading for victory at Norwich's Carrow Road from the second minute onward as Dele Alli gave them the perfect start. The 19-year-old then won a penalty that was converted by the excellent Harry Kane, who struck again just before full-time after also hitting the post twice.
Norwich had previously suffered high-scoring home defeats against Manchester City (3-0) and Liverpool (5-4) in January, so Spurs are not the first side to go to Norfolk and expose their defensive frailties. But this was a commanding performance from the Londoners and their move up the table reveals that a fourth-place finish need not be the limit of their ambitions this season.
The club may not have signed a striker in the January transfer window but there are certainly no concerns about Kane's form and fitness at the moment, and at the other end of the pitch, Tottenham kept a clean sheet in spite of Jan Vertonghen's absence.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Hugo Lloris, 7 -- Saved from Steven Naismith at close range in the second half and helped his teammates to defend Norwich's high balls into the box with some useful punches and catches.
DF Kyle Walker, 7 -- Battled well and got forward up the touchline whenever possible, while not taking any unnecessary risks.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 7 -- Involved in the build-up to the first goal as his volley was blocked on the edge of the box, and organised the defence well.
DF Kevin Wimmer, 6 -- Looked lucky to escape a penalty after jumping into the back of Naismith in the first half but continues to look like an able deputy for Vertonghen, although tougher challenges lie ahead.
DF Danny Rose, 7 -- A full-blooded performance and he put in a good cross to Alli, who headed wide, in the first half.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Dependable as ever in protecting the rearguard, getting across quickly to cover his full-backs if Norwich tried to counter-attack when they were upfield.
MF Mousa Dembele, 7 -- Had plenty of space and ran the game in the centre of midfield, moving the ball around simply but effectively to keep Spurs on the front foot.
MF Heung-Min Son, 7 -- Lively and industrious on the right flank, flicking a cross from Kane against the outside of the post in the first half while working hard to close his opponents down and try to block shots around the edge of his box.
MF Christian Eriksen, 8 -- Combined quality with a tireless work rate and was involved in all three goals. The Dane's early low shot, which was saved, resulted in Alli's early opener and he fizzed a nice ball in to Alli's feet from the right-hand side just before Spurs won their penalty. Eriksen then chased Norwich's left-back Martin Olsson back toward his own net in the final minutes to set up Kane's second goal.
MF Dele Alli, 8 -- Broke the deadlock early on and was then involved twice when Tottenham won their penalty, flicking the ball to Kane and following up his teammate's ensuing shot before being bundled over in the eyes of referee Kevin Friend. The 19-year-old has now scored seven times for Tottenham this season, including two goals in his past two games. He left the fray at half-time, though, after feeling unwell.
FW Harry Kane, 9 -- Threatened throughout, in wide areas and down the middle. The 22-year-old created a first-half chance for Son after attacking down the left side, hit the post twice and scored twice, taking his tally to 17 goals in his past 20 matches. The man of the match.
MF Nacer Chadli, 6 -- Replaced Alli at half-time and showed some nice touches but also failed to make the most of a good attacking position, swinging a lazy ball over everyone and out for a goal kick, despite having plenty of time and Rose overlapping outside him.
MF Tom Carroll, 6 -- Came on in place of Son for the final 20 minutes and helped Spurs to keep the ball and see out the game.
MF Erik Lamela, N/A -- Replaced Eriksen shortly before the final whistle.
Ben covers Spurs for Ham & High, the local weekly newspaper for Hampstead and Highgate, and the Hackney Gazette. Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.