Kane hits hat-trick as Spurs thrash NS Mura
England striker comes off the bench to score a 20-minute hat-trick in 5-1 victory
Friday, 1st October 2021 — By Dan Carrier
Europa Conference League Group Stages
SPURS 5 (Alli 4 pen, Lo Celso 8, Kane 68, 77, 88)
NS MURA 1 (Kous 52)
MUCH has been made of the fact that on this day three years ago, Tottenham were playing Barcelona in front of a sold out Wembley crowd.
Tonight (Thursday), they were playing a team who have only been in their current incarnation for nine years, have a stadium with a capacity of 3,500 and are not considered to be the top team in Slovenia.
After Sunday’s humbling 3-1 defeat by Arsenal, Spurs must have felt such lowly opposition as NS Mura a blessing.
Within the first eight minutes Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had struck twice and looked like they could rack up as many goals as they fancied on a cold night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Captain for the night Dele Alli started the scoring within the opening five minutes. He skipped into the box to chase a loose ball and was felled by Mura goalkeeper Matko Obradovic.
Alli, who alongside Sergio Reguilon was the only surviving member of the team who rolled over in the north London derby debacle, made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Four minutes later and any hope held by Mura’s willing but limited players of earning some kind of upset was firmly put to bed.
The excellent Giovani Lo Celso, playing in his more favoured attacking role, finished with accuracy after creating himself a modicum of space.
But despite a comforting start, this Spurs team can’t seem to make life easy for themselves. Minutes after the break, an absolutely splendid volley from right-winger Ziga Kous brought the Slovenians back into it.
Kous’s peach of an effort was an example of near perfect technique – a combination of body shape, balance and power as he lashed at a half cleared corner, leaving Spurs goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini flat-footed and open-mouthed as he watched the ball fly into the far corner.
Tottenham had by that point began to run out of ideas. They had all of the possession, but no one seemed willing to take control and use the dominance of the ball to break down their opponents.
All too often the ball was shoved backwards or sideways, and if a little adventure crept in to the game, it floundered quickly against a packed defence and poor decision-making.
On 65 minutes Nuno had seen enough. The under pressure manager summoned Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura from the bench – and Kane quickly set about putting the game beyond doubt.
The striker desperately needed goals, and he got them as he smashed in a 20 minute hat-trick to claw his overall tally a little closer to Jimmy Greaves all-time record.
It felt a little cruel to summon a player so far ahead of his opponents in class – and despite the final score, Nuno can’t have enjoyed the fact his second string needed a Kane boost to get them over the line.
Spurs: Gollini, Doherty, Romero, Rodon, Reguilon (Emerson, 81), Winks, Skipp (Hojbjerg, 69), Alli (Son, 60), Lo Celso, Scarlett (Kane, 59), Gil (Moura, 60)
Substitutes not used: Sanchez, Dier, Tanganga, Ndombele, Austin, White, Omole
NS Mura: Obradovic, Karnicnik, Marusko, Gorenc, Kous (Mandic, 75), Lorbek (Ouro, 75), Kozar, Sturm, Horvat (Lotric, 75), Mulahusejnovic (Skoflek, 63), Marosa (Cipot, 85)
Substitutes not used: Pucko, Erjavec, Karamarko, Cipot, Mahimic, Klepac, Zalokar