Harry Kane hit all the right notes as the Tottenham striker’s double clinched a 3-0 win over Norwich that kept his side’s top four bid on track on Saturday.
Kane was inspired by some unorthodox pre-match motivation from Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who quoted Britney Spears and Will.I.Am’s song ‘Scream and Shout’ in an attempt to keep his players’ minds focused on their own performances.
Pochettino had been asked if Arsenal’s title challenge would overshadow Tottenham’s bid for a top-four finish.
“I think it’s like what Britney Spears and Will.I.Am sing: ‘Everybody in the club, all eyes on us, all eyes on us,'” the Argentine said.
That odd soundbite seemed to have the desired effect on Kane and his team-mates as they brushed aside the struggling Canaries thanks to a first-half brace from the England international and Tom Carroll’s late strike at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have now lost just one of their last 17 Premier League matches, keeping them in fourth place and firmly in the hunt for a Champions League berth next season.
Norwich, unable to build on their shock 2-1 win at Manchester United last weekend, are hovering just above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was celebrating his 29th birthday and the French international was in no mood to hand out any gifts to Norwich as he turned away Vadis Odjidja’s long-range strike in the early stages.
Norwich should have taken the lead when Cameron Jerome headed over from close-range.
But that narrow escape sparked Tottenham into life and Kane fired wide after Kyle Walker’s initial effort was blocked.
Kane was beginning to find space behind the Norwich rearguard with some astute runs and another well-timed break onto Dele Alli’s clever pass ended with Canaries goalkeeper Declan Rudd forced to race off his line to foul the striker.
It was a clear penalty and Kane stepped up to send Rudd the wrong way with the spot-kick.
Pochettino’s side almost doubled their lead when Toby Alderweireld’s header from a corner forced Rudd to save and Alli followed up with a header of his own that the keeper tipped over.
Tottenham were rampant now and Kane struck again three minutes before half-time.
Erik Lamela launched a rapid break as he fed Alli, who picked out Kane on the right-hand side of the area.
Kane took one touch and smashed it low and hard into the far corner past Rudd for his 13th club goal of the season.
Rudd kept Norwich from going further behind after Tottenham carved through the visitors’ defence.
When Alli’s shot was saved, Lamela pounced on the rebound, but Rudd kicked away the Argentine’s low shot.
Another Kane shot was repelled by Rudd, who then denied Lamela a spectacular ‘rabona’ strike as he wrapped his kicking leg around the back of the standing leg to try the cheeky effort.
With 10 minutes remaining, Carroll lashed his first Premier League goal for Tottenham low into the far corner.