FOR all Antonio Conte’s bleating about his squad, it is easy to forget that he still has the league’s most complete striker at his disposal.

Erling Haaland’s numbers since arriving at Manchester City are otherworldly, no doubt.

Harry Kane's double fired Tottenham to a huge victory at Crystal Palace

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Harry Kane’s double fired Tottenham to a huge victory at Crystal PalaceCredit: Getty
The striker fired Spurs ahead for the first time in ten matches

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The striker fired Spurs ahead for the first time in ten matchesCredit: Getty

But Harry Kane’s are pretty darn impressive too – and his ability to bring others into play makes him unmatched.

Kane grabbed his 14th and 15th league goals of the season in just 18 games to get Spurs back on track here with a second-half blitz.

He was involved in Matt Doherty’s strike to make it 3-0 too and had an assist to his name when teeing up old mucker Son Heung-min a few minutes later.

It was a breathtaking performance at a tricky ground on what was his 300th Premier League appearance.

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And it reminded you of what quality Conte does possess in his squad, even if he himself thinks it may only be capable of fifth at “best” this season.

The Italian has been playing down his team’s chances of repeating last season’s self-professed “miracle” of qualifying for the Champions League of late.

That has been brought on in part due to injuries to key forwards Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski, the deeper pockets of rivals but mainly a poor run of four defeats in seven league games which has threatened to derail his side altogether.

And with Arsenal and Manchester City (twice) up next in the league, as well as a trip to in-form Fulham, Spurs badly needed their talisman to shine here.

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The key was not going into the break a goal down.

It sounds painfully simple, but Tottenham had been behind at the interval behind in their last six games, constantly giving themselves a mountain to climb.

Conte has admitted to being baffled by such a run – which had also seen them concede first for the last TEN matches in all competitions.

Particularly for a manager famed for his defensive solidity.

There were some hairy moments in the first 45 here though.

Palace have some effortless manipulators of the football in their ranks such as Ebere Eze, Michael Olise and, of course, Wilf Zaha.

They took charge midway through the first period with a number of close encounters with the Spurs goal.

Hugo Lloris, whose fumble had gifted Villa their opener on New Year’s Day, was the man to the rescue for the visitors this time on 27 minutes.

Zaha danced past Oliver Skipp – in for the suspended Yves Bissouma and injured Rodrigo Bentancur – and laid the ball off to Jordan Ayew.

The Ghanaian rolled Clement Lenglet with ease but his powerful shot was brilliantly beaten away by Lloris’ strong hand.

Matt Doherty grabbed a third for Spurs as they began to run riot

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Matt Doherty grabbed a third for Spurs as they began to run riotCredit: AFP
Son Heung-min celebrates after scoring their fourth goal

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Son Heung-min celebrates after scoring their fourth goalCredit: Reuters

Palace centre-back Joachim Andersen then showed his own technical ability as he let fly from 25 yards with his weaker left foot, firing so close that many of the Palace fans thought it was in.

In Spurs went for the half-time refreshments, re-energised by the score being level.

Kane had hardly had a sniff in the first half but he reentered the pitch a new man.

He could have had an assist two minutes into the second period when he played in Doherty, but the Irishman blazed high and wide.

A minute later though, Kane gave his team-mate a lesson in predatory finishing.

The impressive Bryan Gil gave the ball out wide to Ivan Perisic who stood the ball up to the back post, where Kane rose above Joel Ward and nodded home.

Self-deprecating Spurs made the most of their reversal of fortune with chants of “How s*** must you be, we’ve gone 1-0 up”.

That was followed with another short rendition calling for chairman Daniel Levy to leave the club, as had been the case against Villa on Sunday.

They will want Levy to stay forever though if he can convince Kane to sign a new contract with only 18 months left on his current terms.

The 29-year-old had a devastating second five minutes after his first, as Gil laid it into him on the right side of the box.

Kane took one touch and then, bang, with his second lasered it into the far corner.

Son should have made it 3-0 on 67 minutes when played clean through by Kane, but the out-of-sorts forward could not beat Vicente Guaita.

The South Korean did have the presence of mind to tee up Doherty a minute later to fire in number three though.

And Son finally had what was only his sixth goal of the season – in only the third half of football this term – when he converted a chance set up by, who else, but Kane.

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Conte may well have a valid point about how difficult it is to compete given the resources of Tottenham’s competitors.

But only one team has Harry Kane playing for them, and that is one hell of an advantage.



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