Lucas nets treble as Tottenham power to third spot

Lucas nets treble as Tottenham power to third spot

Lucas (left) celebrates his third goal on Saturday.

Tottenham proved they can cope without Harry Kane and retook the third place in the Premier League as Lucas Moura’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield in the Premier League on Saturday.

Despite the absence of injured stars Kane and Dele Alli, Mauricio Pochettino’s much-changed side made it three victories from their first three games at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino’s understudies filled in nicely as Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama rolled in the opener before Brazilian forward Lucas took centre-stage with an eye-catching treble.

Bidding to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish, Tottenham are one point clear of fourth-placed Chelsea, who face leaders Liverpool on Sunday. Bottom of the table Huddersfield have lost 19 of their last 21 league matches as their two-season stay in the top-flight grinds to a dispiriting conclusion.

For all the panic about Kane’s injury potentially ruining Tottenham’s hopes of a successful end to the season, they have won all five of their league games without the England striker this season.

Huddersfield were so limited in all areas, that Tottenham’s make-shift line-up were able to play their way into rhythm. Showing their strength in depth, Tottenham deservedly took the lead thanks to two of their understudies in the 24th minute.

Ben Davies passed towards Llorente and the Spaniard used his strength to hold off Jon Gorenc Stankovic, allowing the ball to run to Wanyama, Bursting into the space behind the Huddersfield defence, Wanyama cleverly rounded goalkeeper Ben Hamer before slotting into the empty net for his first goal since February 2018.

Three minutes later, Tottenham struck again. Moussa Sissoko dinked a pass into Lucas’s path and the Brazilian took a touch before drilling a fierce shot across Hamer into the far corner.

The often maligned Llorente has quietly had a hand in 15 goals in 18 starts for Tottenham, scoring 11 and setting up four. He almost got another with a volley that cannoned back off the crossbar. Lucas, a candidate to start against City, stole the show in the second half, controlling Eriksen’s pass to smash home the third goal in the 87th minute. Lucas wasn’t content with that as he ran through to drive another fine finish past Hamer.

Relegated Fulham dealt Everton’s hopes of Europa League action next season a heavy blow as they beat the visitors 2-0 with goals from captain Tom Cairney and Ryan Babel. Everton’s loss means they stay ninth on 46 points.

Other results:

Brighton & Hove Albion lost to Bournemouth 0-1; Burnley bt Cardiff City 2-0; Southampton bt Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1.