FA Cup: Harry Kane hattrick helps Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 win against Fulham
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FA Cup: Harry Kane hattrick helps Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 win against Fulham

Tottenham Hotspur hit back after two defeats as Harry Kane took his tally for the season to 19 goals with hattrick in potentially tricky FA Cup fifth-round tie.

football Updated: Feb 19, 2017 23:59 IST
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.‬‬,Fulham,F.A. Cup
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane celebrates scoring their third goal and completing his hattrick on Sunday. (REUTERS)

Harry Kane’s hattrick turned Tottenham Hotspur’s potentially tricky FA Cup fifth-round tie at Championship side Fulham into a Sunday stroll by the River Thames as they sauntered to a 3-0 victory at Craven Cottage.

England striker Kane struck early on and twice after the interval to take his tally for the season to 19 as the eight-times FA Cup winners eased into the quarter-finals.

It was Kane’s second hat-trick in his last seven games and he has now bagged 20 goals in his last 22 London derbies.

Stung by consecutive defeats against Liverpool in the Premier League and Gent in the Europa League and wary of becoming another weekend Cup shock, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino fielded a strong line-up and was rewarded.

“After the two defeats, many players wanted to play today, it was a great opportunity to show we are alive,” Pochettino told reporters. “This was a big boost in confidence today.

“We had meetings after Gent and the reaction was very good.”

With central defender Jan Vertonghen back from an ankle injury after missing five games and Kane having shaken off a knock sustained in the 1-0 defeat in Belgium on Thursday, Tottenham pinned Fulham back into their own area.

Spurs took the lead in the 16th minute with a move of simplicity. Right back Kieran Trippier, in for the rested Kyle Walker, released Christian Eriksen with a long throw and the Dane crossed low for Kane to volley home at full stretch.

He doubled Tottenham’s lead in the 51st minute, again glancing in from a pinpoint Eriksen assist, and finished off Fulham in the 73rd minute when he ran unopposed on to Dele Alli’s clever pass and tucked a right-foot shot low past Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.

Fulham, still with an outside chance of making the Championship playoffs, had their moments.

Floyd Ayite come agonisingly close to getting a touch to Scott Malone’s low cross just before halftime while substitute Scott Parker, a former Tottenham player, headed straight at Michel Vorm late on as Fulham sought some consolation.

Pochettino is yet to win any silverware with Tottenham and clearly is eyeing the FA Cup as well as the Europa League.

“Maybe 3-0 looks easy but that was because we showed full respect to Fulham and we played how we need to play in every game,” the Argentine said. “Happy to be in the next round.

“Now we have a massive game (against Gent) on Thursday. We need to put all our energy into that.”

First Published: Feb 19, 2017 23:07 IST