First of all Harry kane relieved many spirits by saying that he remained at Tottenham Hotspur, then, the Spurs talisman led the team to Paços 3-0 in the Conference League.
Tottenham Hotspur were expected to win on Thursday and secure their place in the Europa League first group stage. Likewise, Harry Kane needed to show Spurs loyalists that he is 100% committed to the cause with the club. Within 15 seconds of the kick-off, the two had almost made that statement while Kane was in it but missed his effort. Such was the push from Kane and Spurs to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium that they just weren’t going to be turned down.
Tottenham were on top from the start
With Harry Kane in the starting XI, we knew Tottenham Hotspur were taking this game and their deficit against Paços de Ferreira seriously. How serious was evident from the kick-off. Only five assists in the game, new Spurs boy Cristian Romero approached the midfield and sent a long ball diagonally across the box towards Kane.
Seeing Spur number 4 playing a ball like this isn’t new, it was just before Toby Alderweireld and with that ball, it looked like Romero didn’t miss a beat from his predecessor. Kane picked up the ball in stride as he passed just over the center-most defender.
Harry’s touch was absolutely perfect and he knew exactly what he was going to do with the ball like André Ferreira was rushing. Like Kane, Ferreira and Marco Baixinho all gathered, the defender of Paços took the worst part but Kane’s shot missed.
Home crowd let Harry know all is well
A few feet from a fairytale start as Kane came running back, the crowd began to sing a chorus of “this is one of us”. Harry applauded the crowd and the game continued. Despite the looming proposal to start all over next summer, everyone in the building knows that a trophy or two this season changes everything.
The reality is that one of the trophies Tottenham can realistically get would be this Europa Conference Conference. However, to qualify for the group stage Kane and Spurs needed to do more than come close, they had to overcome a 0-1 deficit and make a statement. Minutes later, Tottenham would do this with another new boy working to find Harry Kane.
Bryan Gil and Kane wear Tottenham
Harry Kane wasn’t the only story for Tottenham Hotspur that night as they headed for a 3-0 win on the evening and a 3-1 win on aggregate. Bryan Gil, who most assumed to come to Tottenham to be a winger, spent much of his evening playing in the No.10 hole and Gil used that role to prepare Harry Kane, as we predicted in our draft XI.
After his missed tackle led to last week’s goal-conceding counterattack against Paços, we had to see Harry winks make amends. Winks did this in a big way to help Tottenham score their first Thursday.
The movement began with a center of Matt doherty, on which Bryan faked but Kane was not ready for this disappointment and Paços started to counter. As Ryan sessegnon was running shoulder to shoulder with Jorge Silva to retrieve the ball, Winks came screaming. Winks timed his slide perfectly and intercepted the ball as Silva fell.
Winks then jumped up, took a dribble, and sent a small ball forward towards a flashing Bryan. The young Spaniard recovered the ball and turned to look into the box. Bryan passed a ball through Kane’s feet who managed to hold the ball perfectly and take the 1-0 lead overnight. Winks’ effort was what we needed from him and Bryan’s ball was what he was signed for. And Kane, well, he did what he does and is done.
Tottenham kept pushing and probably should have scored three or four goals in the first half. Sessegnon had a few chances to score but was twice unable to reach a cross, despite his best efforts.
Predictably, it was Kane again who scored to make it 2-0 on the night for Tottenham and reverse the overall tie in their favor.
Giovani Lo Celso was working to make his mark too
Bryan fed Kane again who took up his space and shot on goal. His shot was saved by Ferreira but there was a rebound to be taken. Giovani Lo Celso appeared to be the first on the rebound but ended up getting tangled as he tried to shoot. Showing that he still has that poacher mentality, Kane was hiding just high above the box while waiting and was ready when Lo Celso’s shot was blocked.
A quick touch to settle and an easy lunge – for Harry Kane – just inside the left post and Spurs had the lead overall. It was a lead Tottenham never looked to give up although it took some time for the knockout.
At around 70 minutes, Tottenham got a free kick near the edge of the box near the corner flag. Lo Celso was trying to play a short ball to a flashing Harry Kane, but defenders skipped the run. Lo Celso took two steps back, then ran and wrapped the ball in front of everyone in the net. With a 3-0 lead overnight and a 3-1 lead on aggregate, Tottenham sealed the victory.
Yes, more goals would have been good but Pierluigi gollini was rarely if at all tested in the evening and the results were never in doubt after the opening streak. It was a solid professional win that Tottenham needed and puts them in the group stage, which will be drawn on Friday.