Tottenham put a nightmare week behind them with a much-needed 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Carlos Vinicius put Spurs ahead against the run of play before Harry Kane’s penalty gave the north Londoners the three points.
After defeat to Arsenal and that horrorshow against Dinamo Zagreb in midweek, Jose Mourinho desperately needed a reaction.
The Portuguese went bold with his team selection, bringing in both Joe Rodon and Japhet Tanganga in defence, but initially Spurs struggled to get themselves into proceedings.
It was a clever move that broke Villa down, with Man of the Match Lucas Moura’s dogged work leading to a 1-2 with Harry Kane.
The Spurs vice-captain played a visionary pass back to Lucas, who set up Vinicius for his first Premier League goal.
Kane was at the heart of the second too, winning the penalty off Matty Cash in the 67th minute.
The ball was going out but the full-back mistimed his tackle. Replays appeared to show Kane was content to be brought down rather than really chasing the ball.
Mike Dean didn’t need a second look, though, and immediately pointed to the spot.
Inevitably, the incident has divided fans and pundits alike. Gary Lineker tweeted: “Never a penalty. A tad unscrupulous from Harry Kane.”
There were swathes of fans on social media criticising the England skipper for “cheating”. Others thought it was simply football intelligence and his characteristically strong reading of the game.
Gary Neville was in the second party. Commentating for Sky Sports, he called it “cute” from Kane, though he did add: “Some won’t like it.”
Here’s the incident again:
Clever play, or a side to his game we don’t like to see? You decide.
Ultimately, Villa’s poor home record against Spurs continued either way. Dean Smith’s side badly missed Jack Grealish yet again and Tottenham headed back to north London in much happier form than they’d arrived at the Midlands.