Apoel Nicosia 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3: Five talking points from Tottenham’s victory in Cyprus

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This morning’s headlines are all about one man and that man of course is “one of our own” Mr Harry Kane. Last night’s perfect hat-trick was his ninth for his club taking his tally to 11 goals in the last 25 days alone.

A laboured start by Mauricio Pochettino’s men could have been a lot worse was it not for the luck of a post and Hugo Lloris daft clearance which cannoned off his own defender in Davison Sanchez and trickled out passed the French goalkeeper’s left-hand post.

However just as the game started to develop into a long laboured night for Tottenham, the man of the moment Harry Kane latched onto a Toby Alderweireld pass not long before the break cooly slotting home his first real opportunity.

Spurs were two up on the hour when Kane rifled home a pass from the ever-improving Moussa Sissoko and the treble was complete when just five minutes later he headed home a pin-point cross from Kieran Trippier.

Five talking points from a good night’s work in Cyprus:

  1. Hugo Lloris Nil Point: Without doubt Hugo is one of the best. On his day he is as fine a shot-stopper as there is and his ability to play as a sort of ‘sweeper keeper’ suits our style. He clearly has the respect of his team mates and is a fine captain too. However, more often than not, lately we seem to be talking about errors slipping in to his game. Last night was no exception when he came racing off his line, his clearance cannoning off Davison Sanchez and out but it could have been so different. Errors have been creeping in to his game recently with that howler for France against Sweden back in June, and letting Marcos Alonso’s shot squirm underneath him against Chelsea earlier in the season and now this. However he has saved Spurs on several occasions and certainly remains one of the best out there.
  2. King Harry: Last night was the fourth Champions League game in a row in which he has scored. Only one other englishman has done that, Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, and he is certainly the talk of european football right now. Pochettino talked about being “in love” with his talisman and after last nights treble and we can all see why. Kane is maturing in to the perfect footballer, pace, strength and of course the ability to find the net regularly. He is doing it for the club he loves and that can only benefit Spurs and England.
  3. Strength and Depth: When Christian Eriksen did not join the team on the plane to Cyprus it meant he joined a list of seven first team players on the poorly list at Hotspur Way. Pochettino stuck to his guns initially with his favored 3-5-2 formation playing Ben Davies as part of his back three, with Kieran Trippier out in an unfamiliar left wing back position. Serge Aurier worked hard on the right but was substituted for Fernando Llorente on 57 minutes. It mean a switch to a more 4-4-2 formation with Tripp’s restored to right back and we looked far more dangerous. Before the transfer deadline closed our depth was fairly weak but last night showed we do have the ability to cope.
  4. The Perfect Six: Two wins out of two left us tied on six points with Real Madrid.
    Arguably more importantly it left us six points clear of Borussia Dortmund going in to our double header with the Champions beginning at the Bernabeu on November 1st. The lads should be full of confidence and will certainly give Ronaldo and Co. a run for their money.
  5. Serge’s Scattergun Approach: The Ivorian has had a bit of a stumble in the last couple of games. Sent off at the weekend in the 70th minute last night saw him hooked even earlier when Pochettino hauled off the full back in favour of Fernando Llorente. A move that seemed strange to some considering Aurier is suspended for this weekend Premier League fixture at Huddersfield. His manager would later describe the change as tactical and not a reflection of the defenders night. However up to then it was a mixed bag from the full back. He was caught out at the back which could’ve ended a lot worse had the upright not saved his blushes. He did make several runs up and down the right but we did look much more settled when Aurier left the field and Trippier reverted to his customary role.

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