Tottenham vs Arsenal match report: Harry Kane's double sees Spurs complete brilliant fightback in thrilling north London derby

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Arsenal 1: England call beckons after double sparks Spurs comeback victory

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The Independent Football

Citizen Kane, eponymous star of football’s feelgood movie, is pure box office. The script continues to write itself, and the merchandising rights will be beyond the wildest dreams of the opportunists who hawk laudatory T-shirts on the approaches to White Hart Lane.

Harry Kane’s Hollywood season accelerated when his two goals gave Spurs a long awaited, raucously celebrated and richly deserved win over Arsenal. Inevitably pursued by TV cameras, he became detached from triumphant team-mates and conducted an individual lap of honour.

It was unsurprising that he should look up at the seething mass of humanity in the stands, and linger longest. “That,” he announced, in a self-deprecating manner which will become increasingly familiar, “is a feeling I won’t forget for the rest of my career.”

Football is rife with petty jealousies, and he sprinted towards the dressing room when he realised he was isolated, but no one would deny him his joy. Tottenham fans proclaim him as one of their own, but he embodies an Everyman’s dream.

He has scored 22 goals in all competitions and Roy Hodgson, a timely witness, will be ridiculed if he does not include him in the England squad for next month’s friendly in Italy. The comparisons are becoming more extravagant by the day.

There are flashes of the native intelligence which allowed Teddy Sheringham to negate a slight lack of pace, and an increasing body of evidence that Kane possesses the all-round game to justify a mention in the same breath as Alan Shearer.

Emmanuel Adebayor, who reverted to type as a conscientious objector and did not feature in the match-day squad, is already yesterday’s man. A superannuated liability, he has been utterly eclipsed by a young player whose life has been redefined in a matter of months.

Pochettino emphasised yesterday’s game needed to be played “with the heart and the brain”. It also required a prodigious lung capacity, since Spurs pressed assiduously, earned the majority of possession, and had the patience and resilience to overcome the concession of an early Mesut Özil goal.

Tottenham’s collective ambitions are symbolised by the building site, hidden behind glossy hoardings which feature images of happy fans wearing dated replica shirts paying homage to half-forgotten legends like Luka Modric.  A new stadium will rise from the mud, but what type of club will it enshrine?

Spurs see themselves as natural partners in the European elite, a profitable investment opportunity underpinned by a commitment to hungry, home grown players. Victory moved them above Arsenal in the Premier League before a midweek trip to Anfield, and their challenge to Chelsea in the League Cup final on March 1 promises to be profound.

This was only the seventh time in 45 derbies that Arsène Wenger had tasted defeat and his tart summary – “we were not very good and the referee was at our level” – reflected his unhappiness at some slack defending.

He was generous in his praise of Kane, but was entitled to ask why he was left unmarked at the far post, 11 minutes into the second half, when Mousa Dembélé flicked on a right wing corner. That equalised Özil’s 11th minute volley, which completed a move which featured Danny Welbeck’s decision making, at speed, and a cross-cum-shot by Olivier Giroud’s.

The 86th minute winner, in which Kane was obliged to arch backwards to meet Nabil Bentaleb’s deep cross, befitted the occasion. His header was a fusion of power and accuracy, athleticism and technique.

Tottenham’s tipping point came when Pochettino bought into a youth system, where, as the academy director John McDermott says, coaches are challenged to be “igniters, inspirational people”.

Ryan Mason was outstanding in midfield alongside another youth product, Bentaleb, but it is Kane, ironically rejected by Arsenal as a boy, who justifies a system which demands young outfield players have the attributes of a midfield player, whatever position they occupy.

Though Kane’s goals are a traditional gauge of his impact, his development has broader lessons. He readily acknowledges the importance of a loan spell at Millwall, where his diligence and natural humility earned the respect of some of football’s most demanding fans.

Above all, he is the product of a philosophy which teaches emerging players that speed across the ground is not their single most important quality; spatial awareness and speed of thought are vital. A work ethic is non-negotiable.

“If a player deserves to play I don’t see names or years” Pochettino insisted. “You have to be brave to give young players the possibility to play, but it is down to a belief in a philosophy. Harry gave a great performance, but we need to push him to develop his potential, which is massive.”

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Mason (Paulinho, 90); Lamela (Stambouli, 88), Dembélé (Chadli, 74), Eriksen; Kane

Arsenal (4-2-3-1 ): Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin (Akpom, 88), Ramsey; Welbeck (Walcott, 77), Cazorla (Rosicky, 67), Özil; Giroud.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of Match: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Match Rating: 8/10