That’s how you respond to a crushing midweek European exit.
Stoke will not remember their final trip to White Hart Lane fondly, as they were thrashed 4-0 by Tottenham. Harry Kane had a hat trick in the first half, and Spurs ran riot from start to finish.
There were a couple worrying injuries late in the match, but otherwise it was a perfect day at The Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino opted to send out the same team that started the second Europa League leg with Gent. There was room in the starting lineup for Dele Alli, who was sent off in that midweek match. It was Jan Vertonghen’s first Premier League appearance since he got injured against West Brom in January.
Stoke’s lineup may have caused viewers to wonder whether they were still in 2017. The Potters lined up with Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch at the start. As you’d expect, Crouchy got a much nicer reception at White Hart Lane than Adam did.
Mark Hughes’ side came to North London with a clear plan, but it didn’t work at all. They sat back in defense from the start, trying to hit Spurs on the counter.
Tottenham pressed high and dominated possession, clearly determined to improve on their European failings. Spurs were on their game, and it didn’t take long for Harry Kane to open the scoring.
Ryan Shawcross bundled a ball in the box, and Kane was lurking to tuck the ball inside the far post. It was a classic Kane goal, well taken from a tough angle.
Glenn Whelan could’ve seen red a few minutes later. He dove in two-footed on Jan Vertonghen, but Jon Moss only gave a yellow card.
Hugo Lloris was mostly a spectator, but he was called upon to save an attempted tap-in from Crouch.
Vertonghen almost marked his Premier League return with a goal, but his shot cruelly hit the junction of post and crossbar. Still, the goals were coming.
Harry Kane got his second with a stunning finish on a corner kick. Stoke decided to leave Kane alone at the top of the box, so the 23-year-old star made them pay with his left foot. It was surely one of the nicest goals he’s scored all season.
Then the floodgates really opened.
A few minutes later Kane completed the hat trick, his 3rd in his last 9 matches. He took a free kick from distance and got a lucky deflection from Crouchy in the wall. The deflection sent Lee Grant the wrong way, and the rout was on.
Dele made it four on the stroke of halftime. Again, Kane played a massive part. He deftly tapped the ball past Bruno Martins Indi, and then set up Alli at the back post.
The second half had fewer goals, and more injuries. Toby Alderweireld was forced off in the 49th minute with what looked like a groin injury. Kane then had an injury scare, but he recovered and played on. And then Vertonghen limped off with an injury on 66 minutes.
After the game, both Pochettino and Christian Eriksen made it sound like Toby and Jan were okay.
Winks came in for Jan, and Spurs switched to a back four. They kept up the pressure, but some fine saves from Lee Grant prevented the scoreline from becoming anymore lopsided.
The win temporarily moves Spurs into second place in the Premier League. Pochettino’s side will now get a bit of a rest. They’re next in action a week from today against Everton at White Hart Lane.
For Stoke, it was their third consecutive 4-0 loss to Tottenham. They’re a team that has caused serious issues for Spurs in past years. But at the moment, Kane and company have their number.