Harry Kane came off the bench to score a 20-minute hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Slovenian champions NS Mura in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
The north Londoners were already ahead before the England international’s arrival but he certainly put the game to bed late in the second half.
It gives Nuno Santo and his side some much-needed confidence after last weekend’s derby defeat to Arsenal made it three straight heavy losses in a row in the Premier League.
The Portuguese made as many as nine changes and it paid off just four minutes into the match. Dele Alli, skipper for the night, earned and scored a penalty after he marauded into the box and was fouled by the visiting goalkeeper.
Just six minutes later, arguable ‘Man of the Match’ Giovani Lo Celso fired a second into the roof of the net before Kane’s arrival on the hour mark swung the pendulum firmly in Spurs’ favour.
It was the first time this season that the 28-year-old looked genuinely devastating and lethal in attack, so Nuno and co will be hoping that his form continues into this weekend when they face Aston Villa.
His chances of doing so could be aided if Lo Celso is granted another start as he looked the part throughout the 90 minutes that he was on the pitch. Not only did he score himself but he also provided an audacious nutmeg assist for Kane’s first goal.
“[Lo Celso] struggled to make an impact until he switched to the number 10 role and he became far more instrumental, including a nutmeg assist for Kane’s third goal and he was involved in plenty of Tottenham’s best work in the second half,” claimed football.london’s Alasdair Gold.
As per SofaScore, he registered a total of two key passes from his 60 accurate passes, as well as two shots and one successful dribble. But his hard work wasn’t only in the final third as he also notched two tackles, won three free-kicks and came out on top in six of his eight duels (75%).
Nuno has long been looking for that missing piece who can link the midfield to the attack and the numbers above suggest that Lo Celso did the job to great effect. He was not only a creative presence in attacking midfield but he was also industrious in his work rate.
Forget Kane and his hat-trick, it’s the 25-year-old who ran the show for the Lilywhites on Thursday night.