KOBE, JAPAN – FEBRUARY 06: Shinji Okazaki of Japan is congratulated by Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa of Japan after scoring his second goal during the international friendly match between Japan and Latvia at Home’s Stadium Kobe on February 6, 2013 in Kobe, Japan. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
It should’ve been an equalizer, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s EFL Cup Final opening goal was brilliant nonetheless.
Minutes after Manolo Gabbiadini was incorrectly ruled offside on a would-be opener, Oriel Romeu gave away a free kick from a bit more than 25 yards away from goal.
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Southampton looks to put icing on its incredible rise to the Premier League with an EFL Cup Final win on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
Standing in their way? PL giants Manchester United, who could give Jose Mourinho his first full tournament title as Red Devils boss.
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Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Martial; Ibrahimovic. Subs: Romero, Blind, Young, Carrick, Fellaini, Rooney, Rashford.
Southampton: Forster, Cédric, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand, Romeu, Davis (c), Ward-Prowse, Tadić, Redmond, Gabbiadini. Subs: Hassen, Long, Rodriguez, Caceres, Boufal, Hojbjerg, McQueen
That’s especially true for Dele, who was sent off in Thursday’s 2-2 draw against Gent.
“I felt horrible after the game and at halftime I apologized to the boys,” Dele said. “I went to see the guy right after the game to see if he was alright.”
[ RECAP: Spurs 4-0 Stoke ]
Dele then scored Spurs’ fourth goal on Sunday, though he was a bit surprised to see hat trick hero Harry Kane slide the ball his way.
“We had a laugh at halftime,” Dele said. “I thought he was going to go for four.”
As for Kane, he was the clear cut star of the show in netting a hat trick before the break to help Spurs create a good feeling at White Hart Lane.
“It was important,” Kane said. “We wanted to come out and get back to winning ways. Thursday was very disappointing for us.”
As for the hat trick?
“Just trying to get my shots off,” he said. “Bit of luck with the third one but if you don’t shoot you don’t score.”
A bit of North London’s Wayne Gretzky in that quote.
- Kane tops 100 club goals
- Dele Alli also scores
- Cameron subs on for Stoke
Harry Kane and Tottenham Hotspur put on quite an advertisement for Sunday’s PL Download on NBCSN with an outright thumping of Stoke City at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Kane had a hat trick and an assist before halftime, as Spurs throttled Stoke 4-0.
The win moves Spurs back into second, 10 points back of leaders Chelsea and a point ahead of idle Manchester City. Stoke is 10th with 32 points.
USMNT back Geoff Cameron made his first appearance since Oct. 22, 2016, when he subbed into the game for the final nine minutes plus stoppage.
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Harry Kane’s deft dribble in the 10th minute could’ve provided a goal but didn’t even bring a shot as Spurs got a bit too cute with passing inside the 18.
Stoke found a rare early chance minutes later, though Spurs had their angles covered and Joe Allen‘s rip into the side netting was largely a cosmetic offer.
Kane opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Christian Eriksen bobbled Dele Alli’s pass into the 18, but Ryan Shawcross‘ barely hit his clearance and Kane took a touch before belting home for the advantage.
Jan Vertonghen and Kane each had chances before the half-hour mark, with the former belting one off the cross bar and the latter shaping an aesthetically-pleasing effort just wide of the frame.
Kane turned provider for Dele before halftime, racing past Bruno Martins Indi to send the youngster forward for a sliding goal. 4-0.
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The second half started with a rough moment for Spurs, as stalwart center back Toby Alderweireld walked off injured. This on the day Vertonghen returned to the fold, and also left after little more than an hour.
Kane briefly left the match with an injury as well.