Harry Kane equalled Alan Shearer’s record of 36 Premier League goals in a calendar year by hitting a hat-trick to fire Tottenham Hotspur to a 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor this evening.
Burnley had only conceded three home goals all season before today, but Kane’s seventh treble of the year saw Spurs climb above the Clarets and North London rivals Arsenal into fifth place in the Premier League table.
Spurs will now spend Christmas just a point adrift of the Champions League places, having seen Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all drop points earlier in the weekend, whereas high-flying Burnley fall to seventh and remain three points off the top four.
The first flash point of the game arrived inside four minutes when Dele Alli – who was fortunate to escape a red card during the defeat to Manchester City last weekend – lunged into another reckless challenge in the opening exchanges which Michael Oliver deemed worthy of only a yellow card.
The Turf Moor crown were baying for an early red card, and their sense of injustice was exacerbated moments later when Alli went down under the challenge of Kevin Long inside the penalty area.
It was Kane’s 34th league goal of 2017, and he almost improved that record even further when he was quickest to react to a loose ball inside the area, taking it past Pope but then only finding the side-netting from a tight angle with his subsequent effort.
The visitors should have doubled their advantage midway through the half when Christian Eriksen and Alli combined to send Moussa Sissoko clean through on goal, but Pope pulled off a crucial double save to deny the winger twice when he had only the keeper to beat.
Pope was almost at fault for a second Tottenham goal five minutes later, though, when his throw gifted possession straight to Eriksen, who in turn cushioned a pass to Kane. The striker had teammates in support, but opted to go for goal himself and fired his effort comfortably over the crossbar.
Burnley finally began to settle into the match in the final 15 minutes of the half and, while they failed to have a single shot on goal in the first half, Sean Dyche would have been content to only be a goal behind at the interval.
However, Spurs made a quick start to the second half too, with Kane almost getting on the end of a dangerous Eriksen cross before the Dane came close himself inside the opening five minutes of the half.
Burnley finally registered their first shot when Ben Mee fired well off target from a corner shortly afterwards, but Spurs were soon back on the front foot and continued to look the most likely to add to the scoreline.
Indeed, Mauricio Pochettino’s side should have doubled their advantage moments later when Serge Aurier unselfishly squared the ball to Son Heung-min, who blazed his finish over the crossbar with only the keeper to beat.
Kane was the next to waste a clear opportunity when his overhit pass sent Eriksen too far wide in a two-on-one situation, but the goalscorer was soon threatening again when his deflected strike went a yard past the post for a corner.
The England international did have his second goal of the evening with a little over 20 minutes remaining, though, as he was played through by Sissoko before stroking his finish past Pope.
Two quickly became three for Spurs and Kane 10 minutes later as the striker completed his seventh hat-trick of 2017, collecting Alli’s pass in his path before drilling a clinical left-footed strike across goal and into the bottom corner.
It was Kane’s 21st goal of the season and his 53rd of the calendar year, a record-equalling 36 of which have now come in the Premier League with one game remaining in 2017.
The hat-trick goal ended any lingering hope of a Burnley fightback, but the Clarets refused to go down with a whimper and Sam Vokes saw a goal disallowed just one minute later before Ashley Barnes needed to be denied by Hugo Lloris.
The hosts could not salvage a consolation, though, as Spurs held out for an impressive victory which sees them leapfrog their opponents in the table.
The victory is Tottenham’s first away from home in the Premier League since September, ending a five-match winless streak which had seen Spurs pick up only one point from the last 15 on offer.
Spurs will next face Southampton on Boxing Day, while Burnley are also back in action on Tuesday when they visit Manchester United.