Tottenham Hotspur got the three points they desperately needed with a 2-1 victory over the Queens Park Rangers, thanks in large part to a no-call on a hand ball in the Spurs’ penalty box, at Loftus Park on Saturday afternoon. The victory keeps the Spurs within striking distance of fourth place in the Barclays English Premier League, which is currently held by Manchester United. The top-four in the EPL receive a berth in the prestigious Champions League next year.
Harry Kane provided all the scoring for Tottenham (15-5-8, 50 points), which moved into sixth place one point ahead of Southampton. Kane tallied goals in both halves, giving him 26 on the season, including 16 in 24 Premier League games. His 16 Premier League goals is the most among English strikers and one more than Aston Villa has tallied as a team.
While Tottenham was slightly underwhelming, according to ESPN FC’s Miguel Delaney, Kane was on top of his game from the opening kickoff. Kane almost got the Spurs on the board at the six-minute mark, but goalkeeper Robert Green pushed his header, off a cross from teammate Kyle Walker, just over the crossbar.
QPR actually had the best scoring chances in the first half, but those were routinely spoiled by Hugo Lloris, who came up with five saves. Lloris’ most spectacular save came midway through the first half, when he dove to swat a Charlie Austin’s flick after a bad turnover by Spur midfielder Andros Townsend.
Austin had another chance at giving QPR the lead at the 29th minute mark, when his shot ricocheted off the crossbar and down to the goal line, but there was no Ranger to knock it in the goal and the Spurs were able to clear it out of danger.
Kane finally put a goal on the board when rose above defender Nedum Onuoha and headed a free kick off Townsend’s leg pass Green at the 34th-minute mark.
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, just prior to halftime, had his curling rocket hit off the far post, or the Spurs would’ve gone into the break up 2-0.
Delany reported that QPR probably deserved more opportunities than they got as they appealed to the referee on three separate occasions for a penalty but were rebuffed each time.
The Rangers had their best opportunity to knot the game following halftime at the 58th-minute mark, but Lloris pushed Bobby Zamora’s strike passed the goal posts.
Kane gave the Spurs breathing room in the 68th minute, as he touched the ball around a diving Green before depositing the ball in the net with his left foot. Ryan Mason was credited with the assist.
Sandro gave the Rangers’ a bit of life with an 18-foot strike at the 75th minute of play.
QPR had other opportunities for an equalizer, but none better than late in the game. According to Nicholas Mendola of Pro Soccer Talk, Austin thought he won a penalty kick when his shot was blocked by the arm and then face of Nabil Bentaleb, but there wasn’t a call.
Kane talked about his goals and the game at the post-game conference.
“We’ve had a disappointing couple of weeks so we had to build momentum and get up the league. Which we have done with two good results. Andros put in a great ball in great area and that’s it, back of the net. The second one I was happy to round the keeper and put it in the back of the net.
It’s a massive win, we always seem to be winning 2-1. We looked in control, but we looked in control the other night and Hugo Lloris had to make a big save. So we have to improve in killing teams off.
“I’m loving my football, being out there with my team-mates and my mates. I feel good and confident, it’s important for a striker to have that. The second goal was a nice composed finish.
Tottenham still has some work to do if they want to move into the top-four, as there are still 10 games left in the season. The Spurs travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United on March 15.
[Photo by Jaime McDonald/ Getty Images]