Tottenham, who are guaranteed to finish second place this season, took on the team to whom they lost out on the Premier League title last year on Thursday night.
Perhaps the previous campaign’s failed chase of Leicester City provided added motivation for Spurs. They absolutely dismantled the defending champions on their home patch, winning 6-1.
Harry Kane bagged four goals to take pole position in the Premier League Golden Boot race – he began the night two behind Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and ended it two in front, on 26 – with Heung-min Son scoring the other two in a dominant performance.
Here, we focus on four-goal hero Harry Kane.
Goals – 4
Assists – 1
Shots – 10
Pass Accuracy – 70%
Passes – 16/23
Key Passes – 2
Touches – 50
Dribbles – 4
Dispossessed – 2
Until Kane’s two late goals, he arguably wasn’t even the standout player of the match – Son had a brilliant first half and added a second goal in the second half (from a Kane run and assist, it should be said).
But that is the essence of Harry Kane. The Englishman may at times get overshadowed by the more mercurial talents of Dele Alli, the genius of Christian Eriksen, and the all-around play of Son, but he is undoubtedly a brilliant player in his own right, and he comes up with decisive moments.
29th min: It had been an open game up for the first half an hour, but Kane made sure to grab the game’s first goal and put his side in command. Son got behind the Leicester defence and cut the ball back for Kane, who finished with aplomb.
63rd min: One of the easier goals Kane will score in his career. The striker’s poaching skills came to the fore as he converted a header from two yards out after Victor Wanyama pulled the ball across the face of goal.
89th min: Seal the hat-trick, take the lead in the Golden Boot race – the moment Kane had been searching for since he scored his second on the night. Leicester basically allowed Spurs to have shooting practice towards the end of the game, and Kane didn’t need further invitation, coolly finishing from just outside the box with a strike that left Foxes keeper Kasper Schmeichel wrong-footed.
92nd min: The icing on the cake. Again, Leicester stood off Kane at the edge of the box, and he punished them with a precise strike into Schmeichel’s bottom right-hand corner.
He took ten shots and only scored four times – a bad night for Harry Kane?
Jokes aside, the 23-year-old had the perfect outing, taking command of the Golden Boot race with a four-goal display. That race had seemed set for a thrilling final-day shootout between Kane, Lukaku, and Alexis Sanchez, and it could still happen, but Kane will face Hull City on Sunday while Lukaku and Sanchez face off against each other, so he’s in the driving seat.
The Spurs man has 26 goals on the season with one left to play – and that’s after having had two separate injury layoffs during the season. How many would he have gotten without those setbacks – and, the more tantalizing question, would the title race still be on if Kane hadn’t missed time through injury?
Harry Kane deserves the golden boot and hope he gets it! Gives 100% every game for a team he wants to play for— Lisa (@lisacadwallade1) May 18, 2017
Harry Kane is a one career wonder— I. (@IsmailPatel_) May 18, 2017
I know he's young but Harry Kane is the best striker in the world @WindyCOYS— Flav (@Flav_Bateman) May 18, 2017
Harry Kane in the Premier League:— TottenhamTalk (@tottenhamtalk1) May 18, 2017
14/15: 21 goals ⚽️
15/16: 25 goals ⚽️
16/17: 26 goals ⚽️
Greatest one season wonder of all time.
With Swansea City having capitalised on Hull City’s sudden collapse to secure Premier League survival last Saturday, there will be no final-day relegation drama this season.
But miraculous, final-day escapes from relegation have become a part of Premier League folklore.
Harry Redknapp may have become known as Harry Houdini for the way he once saved Portsmouth from relegation, but even he never had to endure the drama of not knowing his team’s fate until the final day of the season!
Here’s a look at five of the best final-day escape acts.
Pablo Zabaleta says it will be “tough” to face Manchester City with another club – but it is a prospect he is now considering.
The Argentine full-back is weighing up offers from English, Spanish and Italian clubs after deciding to end his nine-year association with the Etihad outfit.
Zabaleta made an emotional farewell in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over West Brom, but will not announce his next step until after Sunday’s final Premier League game at Watford.
West Ham are favourites to sign the 32-year-old on a two-year deal and he says there would be “no” problem facing City next season.
“No. I think everyone understands I have enjoyed some of my best football at this football club (City),” he added.
“I would not be the first player to leave a club after so many years and then come back in a different shirt for another club. Of course I am not getting younger now. I will try to play a couple more years.
“Wherever I go I will try to do it with the same commitment and passion that I have done during my whole career.
“Of course, if one day I come back to play against City it would be tough but you have to accept it. I have a few offers from teams in the Premier League, some offers from abroad.
“I have got offers from different countries. But as I say, I will try to take the best one thinking for myself and my family. It will be tough not to play for this shirt any more but I think it is the right thing to do. It is time to move on.
“I have been in England for so many years, I am happy and I enjoy playing in the Premier League. I cannot decide here because there are still a few more days to enjoy as a Manchester City player.
“There is still one more game to go at the end of the season. We have to get a result against Watford to try and secure that third position for the Champions League spot next season then we will see what is happening.”
West Ham are confident of signing Pablo Zabaleta and will offer him a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months. [ESPN FC] pic.twitter.com/bpcVj3WokP— City Watch (@City_Watch) May 18, 2017
Zabaleta had earlier thought he may finish his career in Argentina, but he said: “I am not not thinking of going back to Argentina as a player. I left Argentina when I was 20, I was very young.
“At that time I was thinking I would go back there and enjoy my last few years as a player there.
“But then everything changes in life. I met my wife. She is from Barcelona and is Spanish. That is why I spent three great years in that city with Espanyol], so I am thinking to play two more years in Europe and then go back to Barcelona.”
Even when he leaves, Zabaleta will still retain a fondness for City and is hoping they will lift the one trophy he could not help them win.
“The team, the players, the manager need to be in the Champions League, in the greatest competition in the world next season,” he said.
“I will enjoy watching Manchester City in the Champions League. Hopefully they can win it one day because that is the competition we are looking for and this club is trying to win.
“We have been very successful in domestic competitions over the last few years but Champions League is one of the biggest competitions for the club. I am sure the future is so bright and hopefully one day the club can achieve it.”
While Zabaleta’s future has been decided, there is still doubt about Yaya Toure, whose contract also ends next month and has yet to negotiate an extension.
Midfield team-mate Fernandinho has no doubt he still has much to offer at 34, highlighted by his fine goal against West Brom.
“He’s a top player. Of course I hope he stays,” said the Brazilian. “We want him in the side with us because he makes our life much easier. He’s shown his quality over the years he’s been here. He’s still a key player for us.
“It’s not his thing to let someone decide for him. Everyone has their own life, you have to decide by yourself. But, of course, if he asks me for advice I would tell him to stay – he’s a great player.”