Tottenham hold on for victory against Everton

Tottenham hold on for victory against Everton
Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli scores his side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Harry Kane won his top-scorer tussle with Romelu Lukaku by bagging a brace as Tottenham held on for a 3-2 victory over Everton.

Kane and Lukaku began the day tied at the top of the Premier League goal-charts, and the pair took centre stage again as Kane's double put Spurs two up before Lukaku's late strike sparked hopes of a comeback.

Dele Alli restored the two-goal cushion in injury-time before substitute Enner Valencia added another goal seconds later to complete a dramatic finish at White Hart Lane.

Victory for Mauricio Pochettino's men means they reduce the gap behind league leaders Chelsea to seven points, with the Blues travelling to West Ham on Monday.

Tottenham have also now won their ninth consecutive match at home, a club record in the Premier League and the first time they have done so in the same season since 1987.

Despite the late drama, however, Kane was the star of the show again, the 23-year-old scoring his 13th and 14th goals in 12 appearances since the turn of the year.

He now has 19 goals for the campaign and is on course to retain the Golden Boot award he won last year, all the more remarkable given he sat out seven weeks with an ankle injury in September.

Lukaku was on the losing side but made a piece of history himself by taking his Everton tally to 61 goals and overtaking Duncan Ferguson as the club's record scorer in this division.

The Toffees predator tested Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen with two driving runs early on but his Belgian team-mates won the opening exchanges with two perfectly executed tackles.

Kyle Walker appealed for a penalty but Leighton Baines' challenge was a fair one, otherwise the opening quarter of an hour was largely a series of clattering collisions as both sides appeared keen to stamp their authority physically while forgetting their composure in possession.

Kane had largely been a spectator in truth, but in the 20th minute he sparked the game into life. Collecting the ball 25 yards out, he turned and unleashed a stinging shot past the right hand of Joel Robles and into the corner of the net.

It was a goal typical of the striker's explosive quality and he could have had a second moments later when, after a neat exchange with Christian Eriksen in the box, Kane glided past Gareth Barry, sold a dummy to the sliding Ashley Williams but was denied by Robles from seven yards.

Everton were on the ropes, as Eriksen was put through by Walker but dragged his finish wide before Victor Wanyama clipped the post with a bending shot from distance.

The visitors repeatedly lashed panicky passes out from the back, unable to navigate their way out past Tottenham's sprawling press and 10 minutes in the second half they were punished.

Robles rolled out to Morgan Schneiderlin but he was immediately being harangued by Alli, and when his loose touch spilled over to Kane on the edge of the box, the striker needed no second invitation to apply a clinical finish.

Everton showed little sign of a fightback until 10 minutes before the end when Lukaku finally had his say. He gathered the ball 30 yards out and when the backpedalling Vertonghen lost his footing, the striker was allowed to run clear and fire past Hugo Lloris into the far corner.

Kane could have put the result beyond doubt moments later when set free in the area but his attempted chip was saved by Robles and Everton piled forward in search of an equaliser.

Idrissa Gueye almost capitalised on a moment of hesitation at the back when Lloris failed to punch clear but Vertonghen was able to cover.

Alli looked to have sealed all three points when he converted Harry Winks' free-kick in injury-time, only for Valencia to do the same at the other end seconds later, his finish from close range proving no more than a consolation.

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