Tottenham started Boxing Day off with a hectic 5-2 throttling of Southampton that saw Harry Kane become 2017's top goalscorer among Europe's top five leagues and the EPL's best goalscorer in a calendar year.
Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Southampton 5-2 in the Premier League, storming to an emphatic victory at Wembley Stadium.
Harry Kane gave Spurs the lead in the first half, heading home from close-range from a whipped free-kick. The England international doubled his lead before half-time—tapping into an open goal after Spurs' midfielders unlocked the Saints' defensive ruthless precision.
The home side scored their third early in the second half via a sweetly struck Dele Alli effort, before Heung-Min Son scored the fourth moments later with a precision finish. Sofiane Boufal pegged a goal back midway through the second half, with Hugo Lloris beaten too easily on his near-post. Kane then bagged his hat-trick, before Dušan Tadić pulled another goal back late on.
The visitors started brightly, taking the game to their opponents in the opening minutes of the game. However, it was Spurs who had the first chance of the game. In the 5th minute, Alli led the charge up the field for Spurs, before feeding Christian Eriksen on the right wing. The Dane fed the onrushing Kane in the area, who's bundled shot went wide of the near-post.
Saints stopper Fraser Forster was drawn into the action for the first time in the 7th minute, as Eric Dier's powerfully-struck effort from distance was parried away by the 6ft 7' giant. Seconds later, Eriksen saw a close-range effort ruled out for offside after straying beyond the visitor's defensive line.
Spurs sprang to life in the 22nd minute, as Danny Rose's surging run saw him brought down on the cusp of the area by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. Eriksen took the free-kick, and his sumptuous delivery was thundered into the back of the net by Kane - who's sharp header flew in from five yards out. Kane's 37th goal of 2017 broke Alan Shearer's previous record of the most Premier League goals scored in a single calendar year.
In the 23rd minute, Southampton nearly equalized. After a sharp move, Shane Long found Boufal on the left side of the penalty area. His powerful effort from 10 yards out was unconvincingly punched away by Spurs' keeper Hugo Lloris - before Danny Rose's cushioned header back to the Frenchman almost looped into the back of his own net.
In the 30th minute, Moussa Dembele played a clever ball to Eriksen - who span effortlessly on the ball and danced his way into the visitor's penalty area. However, the dribbling dynamo's shot was tame, and span wide of Forster's far-post.
Spurs doubled their lead in the 38th minute, with a stunning team goal. Eriksen fed Alli at the edge of the penalty area, who fed Son on the left side of the penalty area. Son clipped a perfect ball across the face of goal, leaving Kane unable to miss with an open goal from two yards out. Mauricio Pochettino's side cruised to a half-time lead, with the Saints looking shell-shocked.
In the first minute of the second half, Dier's wayward back-pass sent Long through on goal. Davinson Sánchez recovered well to match the Irishman stride-for-stride, causing the forward to slip at the vital moment and allow Lloris to make a comfortable low save. In the 47th minute the Saints were in again, with Mario Lemina rattling the bar from the edge of the area.
Spurs steadied in the ship, and scored their third goal in the 48th minute. Son and Alli slowed the play down on the edge of the area, before the young Englishman cut inside with raw pace and rolled a bending shot into the left corner of the net with deadly accuracy. In the 50th minute, Alli burst forward, weighting a perfect pass to Son who slammed home Spurs' fourth.
Oriol Romeu drew a routine save from Lloris in the 54th minute, after ranging across the edge of the Spurs area and slamming a low drive too close to the keeper. Kane should have had his hat-trick in the 56th minute, as Rose's long-range, cross-field ball was volleyed just wide by the striker, with Forster rooted to the spot.
In the 63rd minute, Lloris' sketchy display cost the hosts, and Boufal burst into the Spurs penalty area, unleashing a powerful, swerving short that the keeper palmed inside his own near-post to make it 4-1. Kane bagged his hat trick in the 66th minute though, as he burst onto Alli's through-ball and dinked the ball over Forster in emphatic style. The hat trick secured Kane the title of Europe's top goalscorer among the top five leagues, beating out names like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski and Edinson Cavani. He also became the top goalscorer in a calendar year for the EPL, breaking Alan Shearer's old record.
Jack Stephens drew a fine save from Lloris in the 68th minute, rasping a right-footed effort towards the far post that was tipped wide by the goalkeeper. In the 72nd minute, Manolo Gabbiadini swept down the left flank, fired a ball into the box only to see Long denied a simple tap-in by Jan Vertonghen's heroic goal-line defending.
Højbjerg drew a stunning save from Lloris in the 80th minute, before his punched clearance at the subsequent corner allowed Tadić to lift the ball over his head to make it 5-2 in the 81st minute. Spurs rode out the final ten minutes of the game with ease, having triumphed in a game bursting with potent attacking play.