Harry Kane was the stand-out performer despite not getting on the scoresheet, as Tottenham retained their unbeaten record against Manchester City at their new stadium with a 2-0 win.
Kane’s movement towards the ball opened the space for a wonderful Tanguy Ndombele pass into Heung-Min Son, who slotted through the legs of Ederson after just five minutes. He then collected the ball on the halfway line, turned and drove at the City defence before sliding a pass into substitute Giovani Lo Celso to make it 2-0 mid-way through the second half.
That assist was his ninth of the campaign so far and means no player has more goals or assists than Kane in the Premier League since Jose Mourinho took charge of Spurs just over a year ago.
The England captain has always been in the conversation of the best striker in the league, especially since his back-to-back golden boots from 2016 and 2017. But since Mourinho’s arrival, his role in the team has transformed.
He’s begun dropping slightly deeper, making amends for the physical lack of a yard of pace owing to all his injuries over the years. That has allowed for his excellent passing range to come more into play now, which has seen Son prosper greatly.
It’s also showed that Kane is a valuable veteran to have in the squad, with his football IQ on show for all to see.
Against Man City, Kane led the charts for most tackles made by anyone on the pitch in the first half according to Sky Sports’ Gary Neville via commentary. He was a constant threat off the ball with his movement and occupied both Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte, two of the better central defenders in the division.
While he didn’t score in the game, his influence was felt throughout the 90 minutes as he was awarded the man of the match award.
In his last 20 games for club and country across all competitions, Kane has scored 13 goals and assisted a further 12 while completing 90 minutes on 12 occasions. It’s a remarkable rate that will obviously be hard to continue going forward but it shows just how complete a footballer he is.
Mourinho’s willingness to adapt his tactics has helped, with the use of Son as the most advanced forward from a wide position quite innovative. He also switched from a 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3 to not only ensure that Kane’s zones don’t get clogged up but also to ensure he has support from his midfielders in keeping possession.
From being in the conversation about being the best striker in the league to being at the head of the table in the conversation for the best player in the league – full stop.