Whether you subscribe to the current obsession with goal tallies measured by the calendar or consider it the sort of meaningless affectation which is typifies the warped priorities of modern football, one thing cannot be disputed.
The year of 2017 has been an astonishing year in the life of Harry Kane. It has been the year in which he established his place in the highest echelon of the world’s footballers.
The three goals which set Tottenham on the way to a comfortable victory against Southampton set more records.
Tottenham star Harry Kane gets ahead of Southampton captain Maya Yoshida before chipping over Fraser Forster
With Forster helpless and Yoshida on the ground, Kane looks on as his effort heads towards the back of the Saints’ net
The record-breaking striker wheels away in delight after netting his hat-trick goal with the wonderful left-footed chip
Kane is mobbed by his delighted Tottenham team-mates after doubling his side’s lead with his second goal on Boxing Day
The Spurs forward had the easy task of tapping home with his left foot after Son Heung-min did superbly to square the ball
A buoyant Kane makes his way back to his half with Danny Rose following his second first-half goal against Southampton
Kane was left unmarked inside Southampton’s penalty box to comfortably head home the opening goal for Tottenham
The 24-year-old star knee-slides on the Wembley pitch in celebration after opening the scoring with his 54th goal in 2017
The Tottenham players soon joined in on celebrations and mob the striker following his 22nd-minute opener on Boxing Day
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS, TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1): Lloris 5.5; Aurier 6, Sanchez 6, Vertonghen 6, Rose 7; Dier 6.5, Dembele 6 (Sissoko 54, 6); Eriksen 7, Alli 7.5 (Winks 84), Son 7 (Lamela 76); Kane 9
Goals: Kane 22, 39, 67; Alli 49; Son, 51
Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Davies, Llorente
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino 6
SOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1): Forster 5; Stephens 5, Yoshida 5, Hoedt 5, Targett 5 (McQueen 84); Romeu 5, Lemina 5.5 (Gabbiadini 64, 5); Redmond 5 (Tadic 64, 6), Hojbjerg 5, Boufal 5; Long 5.
Goals: Boufal 64; Tadic 81
Booked: Hojbjerg, Long
Subs not used: McCarthy, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Pied
Manager: Mauricio Pellegrino 5
Referee: Graham Scott 6
- Premier League
- Premier League
- League One
- League Two
- Scottish Premiership
- Scottish Div 1
- Scottish Div 2
- Scottish Div 3
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
Tottenham took deserved lead when Harry Kane got on end of Eriksen cross to head home opener
His first, a close-range header from a free-kick delivered by Christian Eriksen, took him clear of Alan Shearer to set a new record of 37 Premier League goals scored in one year.
The second, a tap-in from a fabulous passage of slick Spurs passing, took Kane clear of Lionel Messi as the leading goalscorer in the top European leagues in 2017.
His third, a confident dink over the falling frame of Fraser Forster, completed his eighth hat-trick of the year, the calendar year that is.
For those who prefer their goal statistics served the old-fashioned way, this takes his record to 24 Spurs goals for the season, with 18 of them in the Premier League.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino greets fellow Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham boss, before kick-off
Kane had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring at Wembley but the in-form striker’s effort hit the side netting
The England forward looks on with disappointment after seeing his sixth-minute chance surprisingly miss the target
Dele Alli, who was criticised for his post-Christmas performance against Burnley, runs at Southampton’s defence on Tuesday
With Tottenham playing in front of their home fans, Mousa Dembele and Co were looking to put the away side under pressure
All this without scoring in August. Against a flimsy Southampton, Kane took another match-ball home and might easily have scored more.
There was a sharp chance buried into the side-netting in the opening minutes of the game, a chip which sailed over just before the interval and an ambitious volley which grazed a post.
Such is Kane’s prolific strike rate that any missed opportunity catches the eye. Tottenham supporters urged him to take aim whenever he got the ball on a day when the atmosphere was flat.
He was slammed a free-kick into a wall and was yards off target as he lined one up from distance. But his attitude never changes. Regardless of where the last effort ended up, Kane will take the most direct route to goal when the ball comes his way again.
Eriksen thought he had given his side the lead inside 10 minutes but whistle had already gone for offside before he fired home
Danny Rose, who had his head bandaged due to a training-ground incident, looks to break free of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
A behind-the-goal view of Kane, who had a few yards on Oriol Romeu and he kept his cool to head home Spurs’ first goal
The Wembley scoreboard can be seen in the background as Kane is congratulated for scoring his first goal against the Saints
Former MK Dons midfielder looks to get hold of possession of the ball but is put under pressure from defender Maya Yoshida
His attitude is impeccable and his team-mates have learned to harness his gift. Eriksen’s dead-ball delivery for the opener was exquisite, even if the marking left much to be desired as Kane buried a header he could barely miss.
For his second, the brisk exchange of passes between Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-min Son sliced Southampton open and presented him with another simple finish.
In the second-half, the supporting cast got in on the act. Alli made it 3-0, cutting inside from the left onto right foot and shaping a low shot out of Forster’s reach and inside far post.
Son scored the fourth, a sweeping counter-attack orchestrated by Alli after a poor pass by Nathan Redmond.
Romeu, the former Chelsea midfielder who has become a key player for Southampton, gets to the ball ahead of Eriksen
With Tottenham dominating the first-half, they doubled lead before the break when Kane tapped home from six yards out
Serge Aurier was first to celebrate with Kane, who points to Son following the South Korean winger’s role in the second goal
Son soon joined in on the celebrations, giving Kane a hug as Tottenham stunned Southampton with two first-half goals
Southampton midfielder Hojbjerg and Tottenham playmaker Dembele react after the former believed he had been fouled
It was a seventh goal in 12 games for Son and perhaps the best example of the day of how soft Southampton have become. With only one win in 11, they seem to be such a pleasure to play against.
For Saints, there was no Virgil Van Dijk, not involved in the squad and expected to be sold probably to Manchester City when the transfer market opens next month.
There was no Charlie Austin, who was starting a three match ban for kicking out at Huddersfield ‘keeper Jonas Lossl.
Full-backs Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertrand were both injured and they were off the pace in the first-half, when the closest they came to a goal was a moment when Danny Rose almost scored in his own net.
Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina reacts with frustration after hitting the crossbar with an early second-half chance
Lemina’s chance was Southampton’s big moment to score and Alli made them pay by curling home a delightful third goal
Southampton’s helpless goalkeeper Fraser Forster looks behind to see the ball in the back of his net from Alli’s lovely strike
Alli impressed in the middle of the park for Tottenham and capped off a good performance with a well-taken Wembley goal
A general view of Tottenham’s third-goal celebrations as the scoreboard highlights how dominant the home side were
Hugo Lloris pushed a shot from Sofiane Boufal into the air and Rose made a misjudgement as he tried to nurse a header back to his goalkeeper.
Lloris reached it with his fingertips to take the pace off the ball and raced back to scoop it from the line and onto a post a post.
Saints started the second-half with more purpose. Shane Long latched onto a mistake by Eric Dier but could not beat Lloris and Mario Lemina shook the bar with a fierce drive from 20 yards.
Boufal reduced the scored to 4-1, beating Lloris for pace at the near post and substitute Dusan Tadic made it 5-2 when the Spurs goalkeeper failed to clear a corner.
None of which fooled the away fans, some of whom sang ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ towards their own manager Mauricio Pellegrino.
Alli turned provider by going on a surging burst forward before playing to Son, who smashed home Spurs’ fourth goal
Son, who played a key role in Kane’s second goal, was delighted to join in on act and was soon congratulated by team-mates
Kane and the Tottenham supporters look on in shock after the striker almost grabbed his hat-trick with a thunderbolt volley
Southampton finally grabbed a goal when Sofiane Boufal let fly with a left-footed strike and Hugo Lloris was unable to save
Manolo Gabbiadini, who came on in the second half, grabs the ball and heads back towards his half following the Saints’ goal
Kane, who enjoyed a superb first half of the season with Spurs, secured his hat-trick with this delightful chipped goal
Alli and Kane, two star players for Pochettino’s side, celebrates the latter’s wonderful goal in front of their home support
The Wembley scoreboard displays Kane’s hat-trick goal, which helped Spurs keep the pressure on top-four-chasing rivals
Saints substitute Dusan Tadic grabbed a late second for the away side, with his effort getting the better of Spurs’ No 1 Lloris