A classy display from Tottenham Hotspur on Boxing Day earned them a 3-0 victory over Norwich City at White Hart Lane. Goals from academy products Harry Kane, who netted twice, and Tom Carroll secured a crucial three points for the hosts, moving them just six points off league leaders Leicester. Thanks to the clean sheet kept by birthday boy Hugo Lloris, Tottenham can now boast the best defensive record in the league, conceding both the least number of goals and joint best goal difference.
Spurs started the game slowly, as a hatful of chances fell the way of Norwich. In the opening 20 minutes Hugo Lloris was forced into making two tricky saves, first from Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe and then one from Robbie Brady. Despite the bright opening start made by the Canaries, Tottenham weathered the early storm to pull through, eventually proving too tricky for the visitors.
After having a penalty appeal for handball against Norwich’s Russell Martin turned down 5 minutes earlier, Tottenham were eventually rightly awarded the opportunity to take the lead as Harry Kane was axed inside the area by Declan Rudd after Dele Alli placed an inch-perfect pass to his fellow England colleague. Harry Kane then stepped up to convert the penalty, moving him onto double figures for the season. Just minutes later, Spurs could have been two up as Toby Alderweireld saw his header from point blank expertly kept out by Rudd and then the follow up from Dele Alli was also tipped over by the man who arguably should have been dismissed a few minutes earlier. Spurs’ second goal came from an expertly worked counter-attacking move which started from Erik Lamela; the Argentine fed the ball to the feet of Dele Alli who drove forward, he then once again picked out Kane in the area with a simple pass, and the clinical Harry Kane somehow found the back of the net from the top right hand corner of the penalty area. The goal was Harry Kane’s 27th of 2015, breaking Teddy Sheringham’s club record of most league goals scored in a calendar year.
The first real chance of the second half came from a wonderfully worked passage of passing from Tottenham, involving one touch passing from Mousa Dembele to Christian Eriksen who then laid it off to Dele Alli who surged forward at pace, then interchanged passes with Erik Lamela, played it back to Alli who was through on goal, but unable to find the back of the net. Then a moment of exhibition football began, Dele Alli chopped the ball into the path of Erik Lamela on the edge of the area, the Argentine then had the audacity to attempt a ‘rabona’ shot which forced a fine save out of Rudd.
A Carroll goal in the 80th minute was sweet Christmas music at the Lane, as the academy boy scored his first Premier League goal for the club. After coming on to replace Christian Eriksen, Tom Carroll received the ball from 30 yards out, then from just outside the area he unleashed a venomous shot which left Declan Rudd stranded, wrapping up a fine afternoon for Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs will now be gearing up for a tricky trip to Vicarage Road to face an in-form Watford side. Spurs’ excellent defensive record will be tested by the free scoring Odion Ighalo, who currently has 13 league goals to his name – that being just two off the unstoppable Jamie Vardy. With the timing of the game allowing for just one day of rest, fitness will be tested. Over the course of the season we have seen how Mauricio Pochettino has really pushed his players to improve their levels of fitness and results of this have been evident on the pitch. With this in mind, Tottenham will certainly be hoping to use this factor in their favour on Monday afternoon at 3pm.