'Special' Kane bags late winner to lift Spurs

·3-min read
Tottenham striker Harry Kane celebrates
Tottenham striker Harry Kane celebrates

Jose Mourinho labelled Harry Kane as "special" after the Tottenham striker's 150th Premier League goal sealed a 1-0 win against struggling West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

Mourinho's side badly needed Kane's landmark goal after labouring to break down stubborn Albion at the Hawthorns.

Having scored his 200th Tottenham goal in all competitions against Ludogorets on Thursday, Kane now has 13 goals this season.

"I prefer not to speak because he speaks by himself. Because some other players can have an incredible goal record but after that, what they did?" Mourinho said.

"This guy does much more than scoring goals. For example, last five minutes he was playing as a number six and winning balls in front of the defence. Special."

Kane's latest heroics briefly took Tottenham to the top of the Premier League, but they were knocked off just hours later by Leicester's 1-0 win against Wolves.

"In the past three games you saw in last 15 minutes we dug deep. We know we have a lot of big games to come after the international break," Kane said.

"We can start to think about who will win league in March or April."

Mourinho started with Kane, Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min in his front three for the first time, and while the latter two were quiet, Kane was on hand to clinch Tottenham's third successive league victory.

Tottenham are now unbeaten in their last seven league games but were below their best for long periods against a West Brom team still without a league win this term.

Mourinho has had a recent habit of making social media posts that take a swipe at his players when they under-perform, so it would have been no surprise if the Tottenham boss was thinking of another acerbic message until Kane came to the rescue.

Instead, Mourinho leapt to his feet on the touchline to celebrate a win that emphasised Tottenham's determined attitude.

"This match was very difficult. West Brom showed how much they are with Slaven Bilic because the way they fought to try and get the positive result says everything," Mourinho said.

"We defended well, we were compact but they were very good tactically. Three very important points for us."

West Brom had suffered a pre-match blow when Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira were ruled out after both tested positive for the coronavirus.

- Dramatic finale -

Karlan Grant wasted a good chance to give West Brom a shock lead when his close-range effort from Darnell Furlong's cross drifted wide.

Amid reports that Charlton boss Lee Bowyer is being lined up as a replacement for Bilic, the Albion manager couldn't complain about his side's commitment.

They made it hard for Tottenham's vaunted front three to thrive and had enough invention to threaten occasionally themselves.

Kyle Bartley headed over from Filip Krovinovic's free-kick and Jake Livermore was just off-target with a rising drive.

It was only the second time this season Tottenham had managed just one shot in the first half of a Premier League game.

Mourinho's men nearly fell behind immediately after the interval when Dara O'Shea nodded wide from Krovinovic's corner.

There was nearly an hour gone when Tottenham had their first shot on target as Sergio Reguilon's long-range blast was pushed away by Albion keeper Sam Johnstone.

Son saw his strike held by Johnstone moments later, while Bartley made a last-ditch block to deny Reguilon.

Albion still carried a threat and Conor Gallagher smashed a 25-yard strike just wide before Lloris made a superb save to keep out Grant's header from Krovinovic's corner.

Mourinho sent on Carlos Vinicius in the closing stages and the striker's stinging shot drew a good save from Johnstone.

Kane broke Albion's resistance in the 88th minute when Matt Doherty's cross caused indecision from Johnstone and the England captain arrived to flick a header into the far corner.