England captain Harry Kane equalled a Premier League record with a double against Everton for the fourth successive match as Tottenham raced to a convincing 6-2 win at Goodison Park.
Spurs put all the speculation linking manager Mauricio Pochettino with Manchester United behind them to stay within touching distance – six points – of Liverpool at the top of the table.
Kane, becoming only the second player after Michael Owen against Newcastle to score twice in four successive meetings against the same team, and Son Heung-min accounted for four goals, with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen completing the scoring.
Everton, who led through Theo Walcott’s first league goal in four months and could have been 2-0 up but for Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s disallowed header, fell apart shortly after Gylfi Sigurdsson had briefly made it 4-2 earlier in the second half.
They have not won since their added-time defeat in the Merseyside derby at the start of the month and have taken six points from a possible 21.
A year ago Everton, under the much-maligned Sam Allardyce, were ninth with 26 points at Christmas.
Twelve months on they are 11th with 24, leaving manager Marco Silva with a number of questions to answer.
The only worries Tottenham have over their boss are reports United will target him as the permanent successor to Jose Mourinho.
After an unmarked Richarlison had headed wide early on, the Spurs midfield took a firm grip as they swamped Everton, who switched from 3-4-3 at Manchester City to 4-2-3-1 and paid the price as deep-lying midfield pair Tom Davies and Andre Gomes, neither of whom are particularly defensive, were over-run by Tottenham’s diamond.
Kane nipped in behind the dozing Kurt Zouma to lob Pickford but found the side-netting, with the Everton goalkeeper batting away a Kieran Trippier shot after the assistant referee missed Son running the ball over the byline.
The England striker – and Eriksen – were left frequently left unmarked and Zouma had to time his sliding tackle perfectly to stop Kane in the area before, against the run of play, Everton took the lead.
Calvert-Lewin who outpaced Trippier to cut back for Walcott to drive home, ending a sequence of 14 league appearances without a goal – his worst run since he made his league debut in 2006.
Everton felt they should have had a second when Calvert-Lewin’s twisting header was ruled out for the striker’s barely-there push on Davinson Sanchez.
It was downhill from there as Spurs made their superiority count, their comeback kick-started by an absolute gift from their hosts.
Zouma, preferred to Yerry Mina but who looked shaky all game, and Pickford got in each others’ way trying to deal with Kane’s hopeful clip forward and Son capitalised on the loose ball by impressively firing home from a tight angle.
It was Pickford’s third error leading to a goal, the joint worst in the league, and things got no better for the England number one when he parried Son’s shot straight out to Alli who rammed the rebound home past the keeper’s left foot.
There was plenty more pain to come for an increasingly frustrated Pickford when Trippier’s free-kick narrowly beat him and rebounded back off a post, with Kane quickest to react three minutes before half-time.
Alli was replaced by Erik Lamela at half-time after appearing to injure his hamstring in a challenge with Pickford and within three minutes Eriksen lashed home from the edge of the area.
Tottenham, with the best away record in Europe’s top five leagues, showed no intention of shutting down the game, allowing Sigurdsson to waltz past four players and fire past Hugo Lloris.
Son, looking fractionally offside, grabbed his second after nipping in behind the centre-backs, with Kane prodding home in the 74th minute, prompting the Spurs fans to sing Pochettino’s name incessantly for the final 15 minutes.
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