Harry Kane scored his 200th goal for Tottenham as Jose Mourinho’s side got their Europa League Group J campaign back on track with a convincing 3-1 win at Ludogorets.
The Lilywhites had angered their manager with a weak showing at Antwerp last week, but a repeat was never on the cards as their captain set the tone from the off.
Kane twice went close in the early exchanges before heading home a landmark goal on his 300th appearance for the club after 13 minutes.
The England skipper then turned provider, linking up with Gareth Bale to tee up Lucas Moura for a simple tap-in just past the half hour.
Kane was withdrawn at the interval with the job seemingly done, but the hosts grabbed a lifeline on 50 minutes when Claudiu Keseru took advantage of a fortunate deflection to volley past Joe Hart.
It didn’t take long for Spurs to reassert their authority and Son Heung-Min made an instant contribution off the bench as he set up Giovani Lo Celso to notch a third within 15 seconds of taking to the field.
The result sees Spurs move to the top of Group J, level on six points with both Antwerp and LASK. Ludogorets remain bottom after three straight defeats.
Tottenham will now switch their focus back to the Premier League at West Brom on Sunday, but are next in Europa League action when they reconvene with Ludogorets at the Tottenham Stadium on November 26.
All hail goal-king Kane. What can you say that hasn’t been said about Kane already? The forward is an all-round class act, not just for performance levels but with his overall attitude. Mourinho didn’t pull any punches with his criticism of how the team he selected took to the task in Antwerp, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him turn to his main man in Bulgaria.
He has always been a goal-getter, but his game has evolved and he is just as much of a threat when providing nowadays. The stats back that up as he has already hit double figures for both goals and assists in all competitions for Spurs this term. He started with Gareth Bale for the first time and there was some lovely link up play to give Spurs fans room for real optimism going forward.
Kane is third on Tottenham’s all-time leading scorer list and just eight behind Bobby Smith in second spot. He should surpass that tally this season, but is some way off Jimmy Greaves on 266. If he remains with the club in the years ahead, he could yet be No.1, and with the likes of Bale and Son around, he may feel more confident of realistically pushing for the trophies he craves than he did at one point last term.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Harry Kane (Tottenham). When you want a response on the European stage, who better to turn to than your captain? Kane couldn’t rescue it from the bench against Antwerp, but led by example here. Once again he showed he is much more than a lethal marksman with some intelligent link play. He was a constant nuisance and could have had a handful of goals on another night. Not bad for just 45 minutes of action.
LUDOGORETS: Iliev 7, Ikoko 6, Terziev 6, Verdon 6, Nedyalkov 6, Souza 6, Anicet 6, Badji 6, Keseru 7, Manu 6, Yankov 6. Subs: Tekpetey 7, Santana 6, Mitkov 6, Tchibota 6, Yordanov n/a.
TOTTENHAM: Hart 7, Doherty 7, Alderweireld 7, Dier 7, Davies 7, Winks 7, Sissoko 7, Lo Celso 8, Bale 8, Lucas 8, Kane 8. Subs: Vinicius 6, Hojberg 7, Son 7, Bergwijn 6, Ndombele 6.
2’ - TOTTENHAM CHANCE! Kane blazes a volley over the top from close-in after running clean through on to Winks' clipped pass. Some lovely one-touch build up there.
6’ - TOTTENHAM CHANCE! Kane lets fly from 20 yards but sees a thumping drive cannon back off the post.
13’ - GOAL! – Ludogorets 0-1 Tottenham. It's third time lucky for Kane. After twice going close, he rises highest to thump a left-wing corner into the back of the net. That's his 200th Spurs goal on his 300th appearance.
32’ - GOAL! – Ludogorets 0-2 Tottenham. This time Kane turns provider as he darts on to Bale's lovely pass and rolls it across the six-yard box for Lucas Moura to tap home.
50’ - GOAL! – Ludogorets 1-2 Tottenham. Keseru reduces the arrears as he lashes home on the volley after Tekpetey's attempt had deflected into his path.
62’ - GOAL! – Ludogorets 1-3 Tottenham. Son makes an instant impact from the bench as he surges into the area and squares unselfishly for Lo Celso to slot home.
Kane scored his 200th goal for Tottenham Hotspur, the third player to reach the milestone for the club. His strike was also his 100th away from home for Spurs.
Kane has now hit double figures for both goals and assists in all club competitions this season (12 goals, 10 assists), in just his 13th appearance.