Sunday, April 21, 2024

EPL: Kane helps tame Wolves and boost Spurs’ European chances

Harry Kane (right) vies with Conor Coady in London, on May 16, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON, May 16: Tottenham Hotspur’s England striker Harry Kane scored his 22nd Premier League goal of the season to help his side to a 2-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday which boosted their bid to secure European football for next season.

After Kane’s late first-half strike, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg grabbed Tottenham’s second just past the hour to seal a victory which lifted Ryan Mason’s team to sixth in the standings.
Kane, the league’s leading scorer, struck on the stroke of halftime, shortly after seeing Conor Coady block his header on the goal-line with the England defender then also clearing a goalbound follow-up shot from Giovani Lo Celso.
Hojbjerg spotted Kane with space in behind and played in the England captain who took the ball into the area and showed composure to hold off Coady and deliver a cool finish past a diving Rui Patricio.
Spurs hit the post twice in a matter of seconds shortly after the break but finally doubled their lead when a low drive from Gareth Bale was parried into the path of Denmark midfielder Hojbjerg who ran into the six-yard box to tap the ball home.
Wolves rarely threatened and Spurs comfortably held on to move to 59 points, within five points of fourth-placed Chelsea with two matches to play. They are one point behind Liverpool, whoare fifth with a game in hand. Wolves remained 12th.
EPL: Crystal Palace strike late to sink Aston Villa 3-2 in thrilling clash

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha in action with Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa. — Reuters

Crystal Palace struck twice in the second half through forward Wilfried Zaha and left back Tyrick Mitchell to secure a 3-2 win over Aston Villa in an entertaining mid-table Premier League match at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
Defender Mitchell bundled home his first Palace goal in the 84th minute from Eberechi Eze’s mis-hit shot to make it 3-2 after Zaha charged towards the Villa box and blasted an effort which flew in off Ahmed El Mohamady with 15 minutes left.
Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi had made it 2-1 to the visitors in the first half after skipper John McGinn’s side-footed opener was cancelled out by Christian Benteke’s header – the Belgian’s third goal in as many league games.
The result denied Villa a first league double over Palace since the 1980-81 season, when the Birmingham-based side won the top-flight title.
“It’s a dream come true,” Mitchell told Sky Sports. “I was just gambling. I tried to go back post for the first cross and then when it went back out I thought I’d stay around. I just tried to be in the right place.
“I knew it hit my shoulder, for a second I was a bit scared (it would be disallowed). It’s been an amazing season… and I’m buzzing. I didn’t think I would feature this much and I’m just thankful to the manager.
“I’ve learnt a lot, how hard it is in the Premier League week in, week out but I feel I’ve got a lot more confident.”
McGinn said Villa needed to be more “street-wise” and defend better after allowing Palace to seal a come-from-behind win.
“We had control of the game and scored two good goals. We needed to build on that but the second half wasn’t the standards we have set this season so we need to look at it.”

Roy Hodgson’s Palace sit 13th with 44 points, two places behind Villa who have 49. Palace host Arsenal on Wednesday, while Villa travel to Tottenham Hotspur. (Reuters)