Harry Kane broke the Premier League record for goals in a calendar year with a hat-trick in Tottenham’s 5-2 victory over Southampton.
The England striker hit the net 39 times in 36 top-flight matches in 2017, three goals more than Alan Shearer managed in 42 appearances for Blackburn in 1995.
Here, Press Association Sport assesses Kane’s performance at Wembley.
Kane took up his customary position as Spurs’ central striker, supported by the creativity of Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min. He regularly occupied the space between Saints’ central defensive pair of Maya Yoshida and Wesley Hoedt, while occasionally drifting out to the left-hand side, looking to pick up the ball and shoot at goal.
Kane spent a lot of time on the shoulder of Southampton’s defence, was constantly trying to sniff out an opportunity and came alive in the right areas at the right moments. Former England striker Shearer regularly talks about centre-forwards playing between the lines of the 18-yard box and Kane, despite a few forays to the wings, heeded the advice to devastating effect to ensure a convincing success for Spurs and a torrid Boxing Day for Yoshida and Hoedt.
After poking an early chance into the side-netting, Kane provided the moment the home fans were waiting by using his predatory instinct to nod in Eriksen’s driven free-kick from close range. He claimed another simple finish six minutes before the break, finding space in the box to tap home Son’s centre. Following a thunderous right-foot volley which flew narrowly wide of the left post, Kane completed his second hat-trick in as many games – and sixth in the league this year – with a clever dink over Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Despite losing his 22-year-old record, Match of the Day pundit Shearer was quick to congratulate Kane and wish him well for the future. “You’ve had a magnificent 2017 @HKane. You deserve to hold the record of most @premierleague goals in a calendar year. Well done and keep up the good work,” Shearer tweeted. Former Spurs and England striker Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) was also impressed. “Congratulations to @HKane on breaking the record for most Premier League goals scored in a calendar year. Thoughts are with @alanshearer at this difficult time”.
Kane admitted in an interview printed in the match day programme that he was “itching” to break Shearer’s record and pre-match opinion around Wembley was that he was almost guaranteed to do so. He took just 22 minutes to achieve his aim, burying his second opportunity of the game with a bullet header. Not one to rest on his laurels, the 24-year-old tapped in another soon after to light up a relatively subdued Wembley before rounding off a fine display and resounding Spurs success with a composed finish.