By Simon Evans
HUDDERSFIELD, England (Reuters) – Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur moved into fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at bottom club Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
But Spurs, who face Barcelona on Wednesday in the Champions League, have more injury concerns, with defender Jan Vertonghen and midfielder Mousa Dembele both replaced at half-time.
Attacking midfielder Dele Alli missed the trip to Yorkshire, also suffering from a hamstring injury, and while Tottenham never looked in real danger at Huddersfield, the injuries will be a blow to manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Kane, who scored twice in the corresponding fixture last season, opened the scoring in the 25th minute, rising well to angle home a header from the familiar source of a pinpoint Kieran Trippier corner.
Nine minutes later the England international doubled the lead, this time from the penalty spot after Danny Rose went down under a challenge from Florent Hadergjonaj after a clever exchange with Son Heung-min.
It was a decision which riled the home crowd but while there was little contact on Rose, Hadergjonaj paid the price for tugging the shirt of the Spurs wing back.
Huddersfield striker Laurent Depoitre rattled the woodwork with a volley just before the break and Terriers’ substitute Isaac Mbenza brought a fine save out of Paulo Gazzaniga, which sparked some late pressure from the home side.
The Yorkshire crowd roared their side on until the end but for all their immense effort, their predictable long balls caused little trouble for Tottenham’s defence.
“A very good win, very pleased. The attitude was fantastic,” said Pochettino.
“It was a tough game against a team desperate to win. They were helped by their unbelievable fans, among the best I have found in England. Which is why we are so pleased to have three more points in the table today,” he said.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner, whose team have just two points, said the response of the fans showed that his team were not far away from getting positive results.
“I think everyone who saw this game obviously saw that my team performed on a very good level,” said the German.
“If you have such an incredible atmosphere in the stadium after a defeat … the players left everything on the grass — without any reward that’s true – but if you perform consistently … the reward will come.”
(Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Clare Fallon, Neville Dalton)