With two classic center forward's finishes, Harry Kane showed he is not suffering any lasting effects from his World Cup disappointment with England.
It's now three goals in three Premier League games for Tottenham since returning from Qatar after his double in a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Kane has had to shoulder the burden of missing a late penalty in England's 2-1 loss to France in the quarterfinals on Dec. 10.
Back with Tottenham, he scored in the 2-2 draw with Brentford on the first day of the league's resumption and added two more against Palace — a header at the back post and an emphatic low finish into the bottom corner.
It was a reminder, not that it was really needed, of Kane's opportunism in front of goal and brought some respite for his manager, Antonio Conte, who was pessimistic about his team's top-four chances after a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa on Sunday.
The win over Palace moved fifth-place Tottenham five points clear of sixth-place Liverpool, and two points behind both Newcastle and Manchester United, who are in third and fourth, respectively. United has a game in hand.
Matt Doherty and Son Heung-min also scored at Selhurst Park, with all goals coming in the space of 24 minutes in the second half.
At the other end of the standings, Southampton is two points adrift in last place after a 1-0 home loss against Nottingham Forest, which moved out of the relegation zone.
Wolverhampton stayed in next-to-last place after squandering a lead and drawing 1-1 at Villa, while Leeds drew 2-2 with West Ham, which played hours after the announcement of the death of its co-chairman, David Gold.
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press