(Reuters) - Harry Kane’s superb scoring streak continued as Tottenham Hotspur survived some late nerves to beat Everton 3-2 at White Hart Lane on Sunday and cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
Kane went to the top of the Premier League scoring charts with a goal in each half to take his tally for the season to 19 -- one more than Everton’s Romelu Lukaku whose 80th-minute goal sparked a lively finale.
Second-placed Tottenham’s ninth consecutive home league victory took them to 56 points from 27 games. Chelsea, who face a tricky London derby at West Ham United on Monday, have 63.
Tottenham’s fans ironically sang: “He’s just a one-season wonder” as England striker Kane made it 14 goals since the turn of the year in all competitions, a burst that included two hat-tricks in his last three appearances.
“I wanted that third goal and I had chances which I should have scored. It would have been another matchball but delighted with the win,” Kane said.
“It was a nervy end. It’s an important win, we should have won by more but it’s another step closer to the top of the table. We want West Ham to win against Chelsea tomorrow; we don’t normally say that.”
Despite Kane’s marksmanship, it still needed a crafty stoppage-time goal from Dele Alli to make sure of the points, with Enner Valencia stabbing in an even later consolation for Everton whose nine-game unbeaten league run was ended.
“It was emotional until the last second. We started really well and made it tough for Tottenham to create space between the lines. But our mistakes were punished,” Everton manager Ronald Koeman said. “Their system is hard to play against.”
A sizeable chunk is missing from the corner of the ground where Tottenham’s new 61,000-seat stadium is rising, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side have made White Hart Lane a fortress.
With 35 points from a possible 39 at home before kickoff there was a confidence about Tottenham’s play but they were kept quiet for 20 minutes by a tenacious Everton.
Then, Kane took matters into his own hands. There looked to be no real danger when he received the ball midway inside Everton’s half but he advanced into space before unleashing a ferocious 25-metre drive that flashed past the diving Joel Robles.
Kane almost struck again a minute later when he danced inside Leighton Baines but saw his shot stopped by Robles with Christian Eriksen blazing the rebound over.
Eriksen fired another effort wide and Victor Wanyama’s shot struck a post as Tottenham marauded forward.
There was a calm authority about Tottenham’s play and they doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Everton’s Morgan Schneiderlin was harried into losing the ball and Alli’s pass released Kane to shoot under Robles.
Kane looked poised to score a hat-trick for the third successive Sunday when Kyle Walker nodded into his path but Robles blocked his shot with the offside flag up anyway.
Tottenham were cruising until Lukaku showed there were two lethal strikers on the pitch, to put Everton back in the game.
Taking advantage of a stumble by the otherwise impressive Jan Vertonghen, the Belgian burst forward and beat Hugo Lloris with a low shot for his 18th league goal of the season.
Tottenham’s nerves were eased when Alli touched in a clever free kick by Harry Winks before a lapse by Eric Dier allowed Valencia to touch in from close range.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon and Pritha Sarkar