Kane scores twice as Spurs keep the pressure on Chelsea
Ninth consecutive home league win puts Tottenham seven points behind the leaders
Tottenham 3 Everton 2
Tottenham survived a late scare to see off Everton and close the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to seven points. In doing so Spurs posted a club record ninth consecutive home league win, and the north London side still believe they can reel in their rivals, who travel to West Ham United this evening.
"We played very well today and controlled the game and then all of a sudden it was a nervy end," said Harry Kane, whose two goals set Spurs on their way. "It's an important win, we should have won by more but it's another step closer to the top of the table."
Explaining that he feels "fitter than ever", the England striker said he won't be sitting on the fence this evening. "We want West Ham to win against Chelsea, we don't normally say that."
Kane can say what he likes as far as the Spurs faithful are concerned, after another scintillating display that began with a 30-yard screamer in the first half that nearly burst the visitors net. It was goal number 18 of the season for Kane and number 19 came ten minutes after the break, handed to him on a plate by slack Toffees defending. Morgan Schneiderlin was caught in possession by Mousa Dembele and the loose ball was duly dispatched by Kane past Joel Robles.
At 2-0 Tottenham appeared to be cruising towards three easy points but nine minutes from time Romelu Lukaku breathed life back into the game, seizing on a slip from Jan Vertonghen to score his 61st Premier League goal for the club, an Everton record.
Dele Alli restored Tottenham's two goal advantage in the second minutes of stoppage time by getting on the end of a free-kick from Harry Winks but 60 seconds later it was 3-2 as Enner Valencia profited from another set-piece.
That made for a nervy final two minutes for the home fans but Spurs clung on to close the gap on the Blues.
So too did Manchester City who won away at Sunderland on Sunday and are now a point behind Spurs.
"Overall Tottenham were the stronger team," conceded Everton manager Ronald Koeman, who said that they should serve as an example to his players. "Tottenham have two or three years in a row with the same players, it's all about time which is what we need to have. If we get the time to improve, that's the next step for the club."
The next step for Tottenham - after this weekend's FA Cup sixth round tie against Millwall - is another home league match, this time against Southampton. "The most important thing is to show that we believe and today we showed that more than talk or speak," said Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.
But he also recognised that self-belief alone won't be enough. "It's not up to us, of course, but it's up to us to be there if they [Chelsea] fail," said Pochettino. "The gap is seven points. I'd like to be closer than seven points but if you keep going in that way maybe we will achieve. It's up to us to keep our form and be a little bit lucky if Chelsea fail."