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It’s all about Harry as Kane smashes goal-scoring record in Spurs win

Harry Kane set the English Premier League record for goals in a calendar year, raising his total to 39 with a hat-trick that led Tottenham to a big 5-2 win over struggling Southampton on Boxing Day.

Kane headed in Christian Eriksen's free kick in the 22nd minute, breaking the Premier League's previous record of 36 set by Alan Shearer in 1995.

Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son combined to set up an easy finish for Kane in the 39th minute.

Kane scored Tottenham's final goal with 23 minutes left, lobbing the ball over goalkeeper Fraser Forster for his record sixth Premier League hat-trick this year.

External Link: Premier League tweet: In a league of his own — @HKane

"It was hard not to think about it going into the game being level," Kane said.

"As always, I wanted to win the game first and foremost but of course I wanted to score as a striker. To get that goal early on and get that record was a great feeling and I could enjoy the rest of the game."

Kane has played in 36 league matches this year, six fewer than Shearer's 1995 total.

The English forward has 57 goals this year for club and country, moving two ahead of Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina for the most among players in Europe's five major leagues.

Alli curled in a shot from the edge of the penalty area in the 49th, then set up Son two minutes later for a 4-0 lead.

External Link: Spurs – Southampton summary

Sofiane Boufal pulled a goal back for Southampton in the 64th and substitute Dusan Tadic scored in the 82nd.

"I want to congratulate Harry Kane. Massive achievement for him — well deserved," Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

"We are all so, so, so happy. It's an amazing thing to celebrate."

Spurs won for the fourth time in five league games and remaining one point behind fourth-place Liverpool, which routed Swansea 5-0.

Reds much too strong for struggling Swans

Philippe Coutinho scores for Liverpool against Swansea at Anfield on December 26, 2017.

The Reds missed a string of chances to put the game away in the first half, before powering home with four goals after half-time.

Jurgen Klopp's side has dropped a number of crucial points in the last month or two, but the team's scoring ability is beyond question.

Liverpool has now hit the net 21 times in the last seven Premier League matches.

Transfer speculation still surrounds star playmaker Philippe Coutinho, who will again be targeted by La Liga's Barcelona in the January window.

The Brazilian reminded everyone why Liverpool will be desperate to keep him at Anfield, with a brilliant performance starting with his sixth-minute opener, and followed by a centimetre-perfect pass for Roberto Firmino from a free kick to set up the Reds' second.

From there it was one-way traffic, as the struggling Swansea side produced few chances on the way to its fifth loss in seven games.

The win puts Liverpool back in the top four on 38 points, while the Swans are anchored to the foot of the table with just three wins for the season.

In other games, Chelsea recorded a 2-0 win over Brighton at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United were forced to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Burnley at Old Trafford and Watford beat Leicester 2-1.

West Brom and Everton played out a 0-0 draw, while Bournemouth and West Ham shared the spoils after a six-goal thriller on the south coast.

External Link: Premier League ladder 2017-18

AP/ABC

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