Newcastle (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho branded Harry Kane’s commitment to Tottenham “incredible” after the England captain put his body on the line to score his 200th club goal in a 3-1 win at Newcastle on Wednesday.
Kane took a heavy blow that also saw Fabian Schar suffer a dislocated shoulder for his second and Spurs’ third in the final minute as Tottenham moved up to seventh to keep their chances of Europa League football next season alive.
Mourinho hailed Kane’s contribution after playing almost every minute of Spurs’ last four games in the past 13 days.
“Harry Kane knows how important he is, he is incredible,” said Mourinho. “After such a difficult recovery he is playing every minute of every game, this is the fourth game with two days in between, we are the only team to have this, and Harry gave everything.”
All but 16 of Kane’s now 201 club goals have come for Tottenham after loan spells at Leyton Orient, Millwall and Leicester early in his career.
“201 in 350 league games — that’s not bad!” Kane said. “It’s nice to get to that milestone but the points are the most important thing. Hopefully I’ll get a couple of more before the season ends.”
Serge Aurier started for Spurs just two days after the Ivorian’s brother was shot dead in the French city of Toulouse and Mourinho also reserved praise for the Ivorian.
“Serge Aurier is a very strong character, every person is different and in his case he wanted to play,” added Mourinho.
After beating Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday, Mourinho insisted he is desperate for a place in the Europa League next season even if it does add extra fixture congestion to an already condensed campaign due to a late start.
A first ever win at St James’ Park for Mourinho takes his side much closer to that goal, as they leapfrog Sheffield United into seventh, which should be good enough for a place in the Europa League as long as Arsenal do not win the FA Cup.
Kane and Son Heung-min were the deadly duo again despite another underwhelming performance from Mourinho’s men.
The South Korean struck his 18th goal of the season as he squeezed a shot in at Martin Dubravka’s near post from Kane’s pass on 27 minutes.
Newcastle are meandering towards the end of the campaign meekly with just two wins in eight games since the restart as uncertainty surrounds the club over a proposed Saudi-led takeover.
Dwight Gayle has made his case to be Steve Bruce’s first-choice striker next season if there is no major investment over the summer and he came very close to his fourth goal since the restart with a deft header that came back off the inside of the post.
When Newcastle did level 11 minutes into the second half it was in spectacular fashion when Ritchie pounced on a poor clearance from Aurier to smash high past Hugo Lloris.
Just four minutes later, Tottenham were back in front as Kane was picked out perfectly by Steven Bergwijn’s cross.
Kane then made the game safe in stoppage time as he got his head to the rebound after Dubravka parried Erik Lamela’s shot and crashed into Schar in his follow-through.