Tottenham 4 Huddersfield Town 0: Lucas hat-trick fires Spurs up to third

Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur moved up to third in the Premier League with a routine win over Huddersfield Town.

Lucas Moura was the star of the clash as his stunning hat-trick powered Tottenham Hotspur to a comfortable 4-0 win over Huddersfield Town.   -  Getty Images

Lucas Moura stepped up impressively in Harry Kane and Dele Alli's absence by plundering a hat-trick for Tottenham Hotspur in Saturday's 4-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield Town.

Kane is only likely to feature again for Spurs this season if it reaches the Champions League final after suffering an ankle injury in Tuesday's quarterfinal, first leg victory against Manchester City, while Alli injured his hand in the same game.

MATCH CENTRE

Mauricio Pochettino's side initially struggled to break down its already relegated opponent, but two goals in the space of three first-half minutes from Victor Wanyama and Lucas set the side up for the most routine of victories.

Lucas added two more in the closing stages as Spurs moved a point ahead of Chelsea into third ahead of the Blues' clash at Liverpool on Sunday.

Tottenham dominated the early stages but had to wait until the 24th minute to forge ahead. Wanyama surged into the area after Fernando Llorente failed to control Ben Davies' pass, rounded Ben Hamer and slotted into an empty net for his first goal of the campaign.

That was followed three minutes later by Lucas' eighth of 2018/19 in the league, the former Paris Saint-Germain forward drilling through the weak resistance of Hamer from 10 yards after being teed up by Moussa Sissoko.

Jon Gorenc Stankovic then missed a golden opportunity to halve the deficit after 30 minutes, the Slovenian inexplicably steering a side-foot volley wide from Juninho Bacuna's corner.

Llorente came agonisingly close to adding a glorious third immediately after the restart. The Spaniard controlled Juan Foyth's lofted ball and then crashed a superb volley against the crossbar.

Steve Mounie missed the opportunity to set up a grandstand finish, heading wide from 10 yards 15 minutes from time, while Bacuna's free-kick was clawed onto his crossbar by Hugo Lloris. Christian Eriksen hit the post late on before Lucas sealed the win in style. He scored his second in the 87th minute, flicking up the Dane's pass and sending a controlled volley into Hamer's bottom-left corner.

He then completed his treble three minutes into stoppage time, running onto Son Heung-min's pass and lashing unerringly across Hamer and into the roof of the net.

What does it mean? Spurs enjoying home comforts
Any worries that Tottenham would struggle to make itself at home at its new stadium have been well and truly dispelled with three wins on the spin on the side's return to north London. With the second leg against City looming in midweek, Pochettino could scarcely have cherry picked more a accommodating opponent than rock bottom Huddersfield, which crumbled to a 26th defeat of a sorry season.

Lucas too hot to handle
With Son Heung-min named on the substitutes' bench, the task of injecting dynamism into Spurs' attack was given to the Brazilian, and he did not disappoint. The 26-year-old made life difficult for Huddersfield's defenders all game and scored a stunning hat-trick.

Mounie miss sums up Huddersfield misery
It is perhaps not surprising that a player who has scored just two league goals all season failed to find the back of the net with a free header from 10 yards, but Mounie really should have beaten Lloris and given his side a chance of securing an unlikely point. The story of Huddersfield's season.

What's next?

Tottenham takes its 1-0 aggregate lead to City on Wednesday before returning there four days later for a Premier League clash. Huddersfield, meanwhile, hosts Watford in the league next Saturday.

Key Opta facts

- Tottenham has won its first four Premier League games against Huddersfield without conceding a goal, something it had only previously done against Cardiff.
- Huddersfield has lost 26 of its 34 games in the Premier League this season, the joint-most defeats at this stage of the season in the competition (level with Sunderland in 2005-06).
- Tottenham has won all five of its Premier League games this season without Harry Kane.
- There were just 144 seconds between Tottenham's first and second goals against Huddersfield Town.
- With seven goals and five assists in 853 minutes of action, Tottenham’s Fernando Llorente has registered the best minutes per goal involvement rate of any Tottenham player this season in all competitions (71.1).
- Huddersfield’s Ben Hamer has conceded 21 goals in seven Premier League appearances this season, at a rate of one every 26.3 minutes, the worst rate of any ‘keeper this season to play more than one game.
- Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen registered his 60th Premier League assist, eight more than any other player since his debut in the competition in September 2013.
- Tottenham’s Lucas Moura is just the fourth Brazilian to score a Premier League hat-trick, after Alfono Alves, Robinho and Roberto Firmino.

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