The “Special One”, Jose Mourinho, proudly labelled Harry Kane as “Special” after the Tottenham striker’s 150th Premier League goal sealed a 1-0 win against struggling West Bromwich Albion on Sunday as West Brom had suffered a pre-match blow when Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira were ruled out after both tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mourinho’s side were badly in need of Kane’s landmark goal after labouring to break down an obdurate Albion side at the Hawthorns. Having scored his 200th Tottenham goal in all competitions against Ludogorets on Thursday, Kane now has 13 goals this season to his credit.
“I prefer not to speak because he speaks by himself. Because some other players can have an incredible goal record but after that, what they did?” Mourinho said.
“This guy does much more than scoring goals. For example, last five minutes he was playing as a number six and winning balls in front of the defence. Special.”
Kane’s latest heroics elevated Tottenham to the top of the Premier League briefly, but they were knocked off only hours later by Leicester’s 1-0 triumph against Wolves.
“In the past three games you saw in last 15 minutes we dug deep. We know we have a lot of big games to come after the international break,” Kane said.
“We can start to think about who will win league in March or April.”
Mourinho’s side started with Kane, Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min in his front three for the first time, and while the latter two were quiet, Kane was on hand to clinch Tottenham’s third successive league victory.
Tottenham are now impressively unbeaten in their last seven league games but were noticeably below their best for long periods against a West Brom team still struggling winless in the league this term.
It would have been no surprise if Mourinho – known for his recent habit of using social media posts to take swipes at his players when they are not performing to his lofty expectations – was then probably trying to rustle up another acerbic message in his zany mind for his players until Kane came miraculously again to the rescue.
Social media deadly sniper’s rifle set aside for the moment, Mourinho instead went for a celebratory leap to his feet on the touchline to celebrate a win that clearly emphasised Tottenham’s determination and fortitude. Anyone watching would have instantly felt the empathy for the Spurs’ boss.
“This match was very difficult. West Brom showed how much they are with Slaven Bilic because the way they fought to try and get the positive result says everything,” Mourinho said.
“We defended well, we were compact but they were very good tactically. Three very important points for us.”
It was only the second time this season Tottenham had managed just one shot in the first half of a Premier League game.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia