On-fire Kane and Bale just too potent for Palace, as Spurs stay in range of top four
Tottenham Hotspur (1) 4 Bale 25, 49, Kane 52, 77
Crystal Palace (1) 1 Benteke 45
Gareth Bale made it six goals in six games – and 10 for the season – with a goal in each half, while Harry Kane netted a second half double, as Spurs stepped up their quest for a Champions League spot.
The irrepressible Kane also weighed in with two assists after another sublime performance to underline just how integral he is to Jose Mourinho’s hopes of finding glory at N17.
A Christian Benteke header levelled it up just before the break against the run of play, but two goals in three minutes early in the second half effectively settled the outcome.
Spurs are up to sixth, two points behind Chelsea and one behind fifth-placed Everton.
Tottenham’s early probings were thwarted but they grabbed the lead when Lucas Moura pinched the ball off a dithering Luka Milivojevic just outside the area.
His toe-poke to Kane was swiftly followed by a low cross for Bale to dispatch from no distance.
The Eagles skipper did not allow the disappointment to linger and he atoned for his error in first-half stoppage-time, with a perfect cross from the left for Benteke to put away from six yards.
That was only the striker’s fifth goal of the campaign but delighted Roy Hodgson on the sidelines, who punched the air in delight.
Wilfried Zaha came on for Eberechi Eze for the start of the second half, but any hopes the Eagles had of taking something from their visit to north London faded quickly after the restart.
First, Sergio Reguilon’s deep cross to the far post was superbly headed back across goal by Kane for Bale to power in with a decisive header, then Matt Doherty laid a pass back to the right edge of the area for Kane to sweep first-time into the far corner.
It was a strike we have seen many times from the England striker, whose clinical finishing – as well as plentiful assists - always offers expectation of something special.
And he helped himself to another goal towards the end after nodding in, unopposed, from a couple of yards. It came after Erik Lamela’s cross from the right had been beautifully volleyed back to Kane by Heung-Min Son, who for once was not on the scoresheet. It was Kane’s 24th goal of the season, in all competitions.
Bale is also starting to invoke that special feeling too. At last, he is finding form – pinging crossfield passes expertly, switching play and creating chances as well as scoring them.
Had a crowd been here, there would have been rich applause for him when he was subbed off.
Reguilon skewed a left volley wide after being found by the Real Madrid winger’s cross in the first half. Earlier, Bale had lifted another great pass in from the right for Son to get on the end of – the South Korean sending a tame header at Vicente Guaita.
Palace were never really in the hunt after the two-goal salvo at the start of the second half, though Zaha’s smart turn and shot on the edge of the area came back off a post. This was a difficult Sunday evening assignment for them and they were very much second best.
Spurs: Lloris – Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon – Winks (Sissoko 70), Hojbjerg – Bale (Lamela 70), Lucas Moura, Son – Kane (Vinicius 80). Subs not used: Hart, Dier, Alli, Bergwijn, Ndombele, Davies
Eagles: Guaita – Ward, Kouyate, Cahill, Van Aanholt – Townsend (Schlupp 65), Riedewald, Milivojevic, Eze (Zaha h/t) – Ayew, Benteke (Mateta 74). Subs not used: Butland, Dann, Wickham, Batshuayi, Kelly, Hannam