Kane lifts Spurs

football-tottenham-harry-kane_3434881LONDON. — Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur won 3-0 at home to Bournemouth yesterday to cut Premier League leaders Leicester City’s advantage back to five points.

But Manchester City’s title ambitions were dealt a likely fatal blow in a 1-0 home defeat by Manchester United in which Manuel Pellegrini’s side lost both Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling to injury.

The result, courtesy of 18-year-old striker Marcus Rashford’s 16th-minute strike, left City 15 points behind Leicester in fourth place and took Louis van Gaal’s United to within a point of the Champions League places.

Leicester had provisionally gone eight points clear with a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday, but it took Kane just 43 seconds to settle Spurs’ nerves against Bournemouth at White Hart Lane by sliding in to convert Kyle Walker’s cross.

It was the England striker’s 20th goal of the campaign and he made it 21 in the 16th minute by applying a polished finish to Dele Alli’s pass.

Kane was denied a hat-trick by Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc in the 52nd minute, but Christian Eriksen followed in to score and seal a win that lifted Spurs six points above third-place local rivals Arsenal.

City are four points further back in fourth place and while they, like Arsenal, retain a game in hand on the pace-setters, their title challenge now appears over.

Rashford was United’s match-winner at the Etihad Stadium, the youngster skinning the hapless Martin Demichelis and planting a shot past Hart in the 16th minute to become – at 18 years and 141 days – the youngest scorer in the fixture’s 171-game history. Sterling hobbled off with an apparent groin injury midway through the first half and Hart was stretchered off with a suspected calf problem early in the second half to complete a miserable day for manager Pellegrini, whose side are also under threat from West Ham United.

But it was a rare day to remember for under-fire United manager Van Gaal, whose team ended a four-game winless run to rekindle their hopes of Champions League qualification.

Earlier, Aleksandar Mitrovic scored an 83rd-minute equaliser as Newcastle United prevented northeast rivals Sunderland from escaping the relegation zone in a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park.

Seeking a seventh successive win over Newcastle, Sunderland took the lead in the 44th minute when Jermain Defoe volleyed home left-footed after Rob Elliot had parried a shot from Fabio Borini.

But with seven minutes remaining, Georginio Wijnaldum crossed for Serbian striker Mitrovic to score with a downward header, sparing Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez from defeat in his first home game and keeping both teams in the bottom three.

“The players fought till the end and the fans were behind us in a difficult situation,” said Benitez.

“We have to do this from the first minute to the last to get more points. I think we can stay up.”

Meanwhile, Aleksandar Mitrovic scored an 83rd-minute equaliser as Newcastle United prevented northeast rivals Sunderland from escaping the Premier League relegation zone in a 1-1 draw yesterday.

In the day’s other early game, Sadio Mane scored twice – and squandered a penalty – as Southampton checked Liverpool’s charge towards the top four by storming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at St Mary’s. — AFP.

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