LIVERPOOL – Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Tottenham forward Harry Kane after he reached 100 goals for his club in an impressive 3-0 victory against Everton.
Kane scored twice at Goodison Park on Saturday, bringing to an end an unproductive start to the domestic season in which Kane continued his remarkable record of never having scored a Premier League goal in August.
The England international got back on the scoresheet with two goals for his country in Malta on September 1 and, with his confidence restored, he quickly displayed the form that has seen him win the Premier League’s golden boot award in the last two seasons.
On this occasion, however, Kane also enjoyed a large slice of luck for his first goal as his intended cross drifted over the head of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the first half.
“It’s not important,” laughed Pochettino. “Cross or shot, it was a goal.
“I’m happy because he has scored his 100th goal for Tottenham, and he deserves a lot of prizes and congratulations for that. It’s an unbelievable mark for him.”
Kane himself admitted that he did not intend to shoot for that all-important opening goal, but – at the start of an important period which sees Spurs start their Champions League campaign against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday – he was pleased with the momentum gained from the win.
“No, I didn’t (mean it),” said Kane. “I got a lucky one, but sometimes you need that. It is fantastic. It has been a crazy few years, and to get the 100th goal was amazing. Hopefully I can get a few more.
“That was a very good performance today. It is not an easy place to come, but we played very well all through the pitch. Our attacking play was fantastic.
“We wanted to come here and get a good result. We just need to take this momentum into the Champions League next week.”
Everton manager Ronald Koeman was impressed with the manner of Tottenham’s performance, and Kane’s display in particular. “When I speak about Tottenham I mentioned that they have, maybe with Manchester City, the best football side in the Premier League,” said Koeman.
“We had real problems with their diamond in midfield. They usually found the free player in midfield, and that makes it really tough.
“Maybe after (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez, and maybe one or two more, he is one of the best.
“In his football, he is really clever and he’s using his body at the right time. His movement, his finishing, he’s a top striker.”
Pochettino agreed with Kane’s assessment of the Tottenham display and its importance during a period in which Spurs appear to be struggling to cope with their enforced move to Wembley for home games this season.
“It was a very solid performance,” said Pochettino. “I’m very pleased and happy because it’s important. We have a very busy period ahead, and this was a very important victory for us.
“I’m very pleased but now we move on, try to recover as soon as possible, and try to be fit for Wednesday and our first Champions League game (against Borussia Dortmund.”
Pochettino also praised midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who impressed on a rare start – just his fourth of the calendar year.
“I think he was good today,” said Pochettino of a player ranked a disappointment since his signing from Newcastle last year.
“His position depends on the tactics, the dynamics of how we want to play, and when you win 3-0 and play well, it’s easy to say a different thing.
“But I’m happy with him. He’s part of my plans, and today he was very good.”