It was part reality-check, part initiation ceremony and it taught the team on the receiving end about the infinitesimally small the margins of error when Harry Kane is staring into the whites of your eyes.
Kane’s two goals in a searing opening half hour from Tottenham took his goals tally for September to 13 for club and country and made it seven in seven days for a 24-year-old who currently looks the complete striker. He rolls off full backs, threads chances for others and finishes with ice-cold calculation. Huddersfield know that now.
The match programme eulogised about the frugality of the side who had hitherto conceded three goals in six games — the fewest goals in the top flight since Herbert Chapman’s side of 1924-25.
MATCH FACTS, RATINGS, PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE FROM THE JOHN SMITH’S STADIUM
Team P GD Pts 1 Manchester United 7 16 19 2 Manchester City 6 19 16 3 Tottenham Hotspur 7 9 14 4 Chelsea 6 7 13 5 Liverpool 6 1 11 6 West Bromwich Albion 7 0 11 7 Watford 7 -3 11 8 Arsenal 6 1 10 9 Burnley 6 1 9 10 Newcastle United 6 1 9 11 Southampton 7 -1 9 12 Huddersfield Town 7 -2 9 13 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 -2 7 14 Everton 6 -7 7 15 Swansea City 7 -4 6 16 Stoke City 7 -5 6 17 Leicester City 7 -3 5 18 West Ham United 7 -7 5 19 Bournemouth 7 -7 4 20 Crystal Palace 7 -14 0
Harry Kane (No 10) kept his cool to slot home the opener
Spurs produced rapid counter-attack and Ben Davies (No 33) added fine second goal.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side put that many past them in a mere 23 minutes, with Kane the fulcrum. He scored the first and third and navigated the pass which set in train the second.
He was looking for the net in the second minute, exchanging passes with Kieran Tripper and spinning off Chris Lowe — who will be remembering this occasion with a chill for weeks to come — to open up a shot that Mathias Zanka deflected wide.
But Huddersfield were bearing such gifts that the forward did not need to wait long. Lowe’s abject failure to deal with a clearing header by Tripper allowed Kane to race clear and bury the ninth-minute opening goal beyond goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, at his near post.
There was a more tangential contribution by Kane to the second: a No 10’s lay off to Dele Alli in the early stages of a move down the right which sent Christian Eriksen motoring clear. Lowe got a toe on the ball but managed only to send it squirting out to Ben Davies, entirely unmarked, who clipped it first time over Lossl and into the bottom corner.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner was in buoyant mood prior to kick-off as he greets Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino
The Terriers supporters turned up in numbers on Saturday to cheer their team on against the Premier League giants
Kane, the in-form Tottenham striker, had an early chance to open the scoring but he saw his effort deflected out for a corner
Kane latched on to Trippier’s headed pass, after a weak clearance from Lossl, and confidently fired home the opening goal
The forward, who has been in sublime form for Tottenham this season, celebrates in front of disappointed Terriers supporters
Danish playmaker Eriksen looks to play a right-footed pass to a team-mate as Elias Kachunga puts the pressure on
Spurs manager Pochettino looks to get his team to play the throw-in quickly as he passes the ball to defender Davies
The third — Kane’s second — was the game’s stand-out moment and evidence of the complete range he brings. Spinning off Jonathan Hogg, back to goal, he eased across the face of goal, with Zanka and Hogg in vain pursuit, before dispatching, left footed, beyond the goalkeeper.
Huddersfield were not without their moments. Captain Tommy Smith dug out a powerful left foot effort from 20 yards as soon when the scores were level, sending Hugo Lloris into a diving, two-handed save. At the other end of the first half, Laurent Depoitre crashed against the upright.
But Tottenham were a class apart against opponents who were desperately ragged for the first 45 minutes. The first opponents of top class that David Wagner’s side have encountered this season, Tottenham attacked at a pace the home defence could not cope with in a first half when they seemed capable of scoring at will. Alli flicked a tee-up that Kane lifted onto the roof of the net, then hit the post after leaving Zanka behind.
After Spurs attacked Huddersfield’s goal with a fine counter-move, Davies showed his ability by slotting home a second goal
A look from behind the goal as former Swansea defender Davies slots home his goal after being left clear down the left flank
Australia international Aaron Mooy (L) and Christopher Schindler (R) look stunned as Huddersfield prepare to restart the tie
Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen (R) in action with Huddersfield Town’s Mathias Jorgensen during the entertaining first half
Kane was involved in a lot of the action in the opening period – and is pictured here battling for the ball with Jorgensen
That was the best of Alli. The worst was the simulated dive after he pushed a ball beyond Lossl in the second half, which saw him booked. It was patchy performance from him.
Huddersfield were stronger in the second half. Tom Ince fought well and Aaron Mooy brought as much as anyone to the home cause. But the scrappy concession of a fourth — in the first minute of second-half added a time —encapsulated a poor display. Elias Kachunga lost possession to Alli and Spurs raced up the pitch, with substitute Moussa Sissoko’s strike deflecting in off Christopher Schindler.
Kane was substituted near the end to an ovation from home and visiting supporters. With 84 goals from 123 Premier League appearances now, Kane’s stated aim of reaching 100 in a division this season looks a comfortable aim.
Meanwhile Huddersfield, who face Manchester United here in three weeks, are discovering what they’re really up against. The stadium announcer perhaps put it best. ‘Premier League stuff from Kane; clinical,’ he said at half-time. ‘We’ll face a few moments like this.’
The striker prepares to let fly with this left-footed pile-driver – and he was soon jumping for joy for a second time on Saturday
Kane is congratulated by Belgium international Vertonghen after showing his class to score Tottenham’s third in fine fashion
Tottenham captain Huge Lloris, who had a quiet match, pumps his fist in celebration after seeing Spurs take control of game
Huddersfield Town’s Laurent Depoitre (L) and Davinson Sanchez battle for the ball during the Premier League match
Kane thought this acrobatic effort clinched his hat-trick but his first-half effort was correctly ruled out for offside
Spurs playmaker Alli moves his right leg towards Huddersfield goalkeeper Lossl in a bid to win a second-half penalty
Alli takes a tumble after playing for the contact and was deservedly booked by Premier League referee Neil Swarbrick (R)
Huddersfield boss Wagner cuts a concerned figure on the touchline as he watches his team struggle to deal with Spurs’ attack
Despite seeing his Tottenham side hold a comfortable three-goal lead, Pochettino was as animated as ever on the touchline
It proved to be a disappointing afternoon for Huddersfield, who rarely tested Lloris and conceded three first-half goals
Spurs talisman is congratulated by his captain, Lloris, after playing a starring role in a crucial Premier League victory
HUDDERSFIELD (4-2-3-1): Lossl 6; Smith 7, Jorgensen 5.5, Schindler 6, Lowe 4.5 (Malone 61); Mooy 6.5 (Billing 61), Hogg 5.5 (Whitehead 81); Kachunga 5, van La Parra 5.5, Ince 6; Depoitre
Subs not used: Green, Sabiri, Cranie, Hadergjonaj
Manager: David Wagner 6
TOTTENHAM (3-4-2-1): Lloris 6.5; Alderweireld 6, Sanchez 6, Vertonghen 6.5; Trippier 7 (Walker-Peters 82), Winks 6, Dier 6, Davies 6.5; Eriksen 6.5 (Sissoko 74, 6 ), Alli 6; Kane 9 (son 87)
Subs not used: Vorm, Nkoudou, Llorente, Foyth
Goals: Kane 9, 23; Davies 16
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino: 7
Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire