Golden Boot-chasing Kane leads Tottenham to win over Wolves

Tottenham's Harry Kane, left, celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (Andrew Couldridge/AP, Pool)

LONDON — Harry Kane endured a frustrating match in his bid to win the Premier League’s Golden Boot for the third time despite scoring in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton on Sunday.

Kane’s 45th-minute goal moved him to a league-leading 22 for the season — one clear of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah — but the England captain also struck the post twice and had an effort cleared off the line.

Kane has two games left while Salah has three, starting with West Bromwich Albion later Sunday. Kane was the league’s top scorer in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who set up Kane for the opening goal with a piercing through-ball, added the second in the 64th minute by tapping in a rebound from close range after Gareth Bale’s shot was saved.

Tottenham moved into sixth place, above West Ham on goal difference, and still has a mathematical — if highly unlikely — chance of finishing in the top four in the race for Champions League qualification after winning three of its last four league games under interim manager Ryan Mason. The team is five points behind fourth-place Chelsea.

"We are not happy with where we are, we should be higher and we only have ourselves to blame," Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli said.

"We are showing now what we can do but it is a bit too late. We just have to keep working hard and take it into the next season as well."

Kane could easily have had a hat trick at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the striker curling a long-range shot from distance against the base of the post in the fifth minute and then beating goalkeeper Rui Patricio to a high ball only to see his header cleared off the line by backpedaling defender Conor Coady.

Off a sharp counterattack early in the second half, Alli slipped a ball through for Kane but his low shot was tipped onto the post by Patricio. Alli latched onto the rebound but struck the follow-up against the other post.

"Excellent," Mason said of Tottenham’s display. "We created lots of chances and the score line was probably a bit flattering to them. There were big moments, their keeper made a couple of good saves, we hit the post three times and dominated the game in the second half, so really pleased."

Mitchell’s first goal helps Crystal Palace recover win over Aston Villa

LONDON — Tyrick Mitchell’s first goal for Crystal Palace helped his team edge out Aston Villa 3-2 at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Sunday.

Roy Hodgson’s team trailed twice, through goals by John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi for Villa, but a spirited second-half rally saw the hosts recover.

Christian Benteke’s initial equalizer was followed up by goals after the break from Wilfried Zaha, via a deflection, and another academy graduate in left back Mitchell, who bundled in with six minutes left to earn Palace all three points.

Both sides made changes as they have little to play for this season, with Jack Butland handed a surprise start in goal by Palace for his first Premier League appearance in three years.

Jack Grealish started on the bench for Villa, who were missing Tyrone Mings and Matty Cash, and came on in the second half for his second substitute appearance since returning from three months out.

McGinn scored after a weak clearance from stand-in Palace captain Gary Cahill, which presented the Villa captain for the day with the ball and the Scotland international curled into the bottom corner with expert precision.

The Eagles responded well to going behind and recalled pair Jeffrey Schlupp and Andros Townsend tested Emi Martinez before Benteke came back to haunt his old club in the 32nd.

Mitchell produced a fine chipped cross into the area and Benteke needed no invitation to head back across goal and into the corner.

It was the Belgian’s ninth of the season and the third game in a row he had found the net, but parity would not last long.

Ollie Watkins’ flick header was perfect for El Ghazi to drill in from close range two minutes later after defender Joel Ward had been attracted to the ball.

A heavy touch from Martinez almost gave Palace a chance 30 seconds into the second half, but Benteke failed to profit from it.

The duo were involved again before the hour mark when the goalscorer was denied a second by a fingertip save from the Villa goalkeeper, with the crossbar also required.

Grealish was summoned by Smith with 26 minutes left and one of his first major contributions was to deflect a fierce effort from Eberechi Eze wide.

Palace was pressing for a second equalizer and while the arrival of center back James Tomkins on the field raised eyebrows, Hodgson also tweaked the formation following the substitution to a 4-4-2 and it paid dividends.

Zaha, who had been wide left, was now in the middle and drifted away from his marker to control a pass by Eze. After he worked some space, the Ivory Coast international saw a shot deflect off Ahmed Elmohamady and beat Martinez.

It was his 11th goal of the campaign — a personal best — and ensured he remain two clear of nearest challenger Benteke as the club’s top scorer.

With the game wide open now, Eze came within inches of the winner in the 82nd minute when he smashed an effort against the crossbar, but the third goal for Palace did arrive two minutes later and via an unlikely source.

After Zaha got to the byline and saw his cut-back only partially cleared, Eze’s shot into the ground was bundled in by the shoulder of Mitchell, who opened his account in professional football and earned the hosts a comeback victory.

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