Harry Kane says Tottenham are focused on league title fight after FA Cup exit

Jacob Steinberg at Wembley
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Harry Kane, who scored Tottenham’s opening goal in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea, insisted his team had learned from last season’s title battle.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images</span>
Harry Kane, who scored Tottenham’s opening goal in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea, insisted his team had learned from last season’s title battle. Photograph: John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images

Harry Kane believes Tottenham Hotspur have shown Chelsea that the title race is far from over after pushing the Premier League leaders hard in their FA Cup semi-final.

Tottenham left Wembley licking their wounds after losing 4-2 to Antonio Conte’s side and one school of thought is that they suffered significant psychological damage at the hands of their London rivals. They can prove otherwise by winning at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, however, and Kane preferred to focus on the positives, arguing that Chelsea will certainly not be taking Mauricio Pochettino’s team lightly.

“I think they have got respect for us. The way we played for large parts we were the better team,” Kane said. “They know we are going to play like that for the rest of the season and hopefully win games. They know they still have a job to do in the league. But so have we.”

Chelsea are four points clear of Tottenham with six matches remaining and they could extend their lead when they host Southampton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. Kane, who scored a brilliant early header at Wembley, knows that Tottenham will have to prove their mettle at Selhurst Park.

“A lot of people will be looking at us now waiting to see what will happen and has the momentum kind of stopped a bit but we are focused,” the striker said. “We want to finish strong in the league and learn from what happened last year. The only way we can do that is starting with a win on Wednesday. It’s one game at a time, not long left and we have to give it everything.

“That’s what we have got to see. No one really knows until we go out there on Wednesday. I think we are, I think we have learned from last year. Hopefully this is just a blip in what’s been a great season so far. Its a tough game, Palace away, they’ve been on a great run recently and it’s not easy but we will fight until the end.”

Tottenham impressed for long spells at Wembley, only to succumb to a late flurry from Eden Hazard, and Kane said they must improve in the biggest matches. “It’s hard to put a finger on why and what you can do to change it,” he said. “We are playing great football for most of the game, we were the better team but for one reason or another we didn’t get over the finish line. That’s what we have got to try to do. I don’t think there’s an easy answer to it. It comes over a period of time. We have to try to do that.”

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