Harry Kane scored two goals to break Teddy Sheringham’s club record as Norwich City were brushed aside by Spurs on Boxing Day.
Kane has now scored 27 goals in 2015, two more than Sheringham managed in a calendar year to establish a new scoring record for his club.
Alex Neil made two changes to the side that beat Manchester United with Youssouf Mulumbu and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe replacing O’Neil and Hoolahan, with the City boss surely having one eye on Aston Villa on Monday.
Norwich looked the equal of Spurs early on with some decent passing moves including one that saw Odjidja’s shot pushed behind by Lloris at full stretch.
Although Spurs controlled possession, City looked a real threat on the counter in the first half hour of the match. Vertonghen had to deny Jerome with a terrific sliding block after Odjidja had sent the City striker away.
After that, Brady’s dangerous cross was punched over his bar by Lloris and then Jerome headed tamely wide from eight yards. Make no mistake, Norwich had their chances but failed to take them.
The impressive Dele Alli forced Rudd into action after 20 minutes with Kane fluffing the follow up before the same two players combined to better effect in the 26th minute.
Alli’s excellent cushioned pass saw Kane through on goal before the ex-City loan striker was sent tumbling under a challenge from Rudd.
Referee, Mr Jones pointed to the spot and Kane dispatched the penalty, straight down the middle – Rudd escaped even a booking.
That was the turning point with the home side suddenly becoming rampant. Rudd failed to deal with a corner shortly afterwards but Kane and Vertonghen got in each other’s way. Rudd then showed why he’s keeping John Rudddy out of the side as he saved brilliantly from Alderweireld at point blank range and then tipped Alli’s follow up over the bar.
On 43 minutes, City mounted a brief counter but when it broke down they were caught by a speedy counter from Spurs. Alli played the ball to Kane, who backed Bassong up one on one, shifted the ball and fired low past Rudd from a tight angle.
The second half saw City very much on the back foot and unable to make much of an impact on the home side.
In a repeat pattern of the first half, Dele Alli was at the heart of it all and Rudd had to deny the youngster with his feet on 56 minutes.
Alli was then involved again when he found Lamela who tried a ‘Rabona’ kick from 18 yards. Rudd saved, avoiding embarrassment and headlines on Sunday morning. It was a measure of how much in control Spurs now were.
The last quarter of the game saw Howson and Dorrans replace Mulumbu and Odjidja, who were both tiring. Alli also went off to a standing ovation as Mbokani then replaced Brady.
Tom Carroll came on and wrapped up the game from 20 yards with a low strike after being given way too much time and space.
There was still time though for Spurs to miss a four on one with Ryan Bennett somehow keeping Kane and co out on his own.
With 85 minutes on the clock, City almost had a consolation as Mbokani’s close range effort was parried by Lloris on the line and he then saved before Jerome could follow up, although Jerome was offside in any case.
This was a tough afternoon for Norwich, as soon as they conceded the first goal. Spurs are a well drilled, confident outfit who have enough quality players to trouble anyone in this league, let alone a side like Norwich.
A gulf in class was underlined here although the hosts hardly broke sweat in the second half. It’s a shame that that brace from Kane late in the first half finished us off as we looked lively up till that point.
No doubt, Alex has one eye on Villa in what is a definite ‘must win’ game.
If you heard a loud ‘crash’ at around 4.50pm on Boxing Day, don’t be concerned. It was just Norwich City coming back down to earth.