LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Kane became the first Tottenham Hotspur player since the great Jimmy Greaves to hit 20 goals in three successive top-flight seasons after netting in the 4-0 Premier League defeat of Bournemouth on Saturday.
Homegrown Kane slotted his 20th of the season just after halftime -- his sixth goal in his last four league games -- in his first start since a month-long layoff with an ankle injury.
He also had a hand in Son Heung-min’s effort which put Tottenham 2-0 up inside 20 minutes.
Greaves, Tottenham’s record goalscorer with 266 in all competitions, managed at least 20 between 1966 and 1969.
Kane, who won the Golden Boot award last season with 25 goals as Tottenham challenged for the title, is only the fourth player since the start of the Premier League to score 20 goals in three successive seasons -- joining Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The 23-year-old still has a long way to go to match the exploits of Greaves, but his goals are helping Tottenham stay in touch with leaders Chelsea as they try to win the English title since 1961 when Greaves was in his pomp.
Victory narrowed the gap to four points ahead of Chelsea’s tricky-looking trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
Kane played down his feat, insisting the only focus was on Tottenham maintaining the form that has seen them win seven consecutive top-flight games for the first time in 50 years.
“It was great to be back out there,” said Kane, who returned as a substitute against Watford last week after a month out because of an ankle injury.
”It’s good to be consistent as a striker. I want to do that year in year out. We’ve still got plenty to do this season so I don’t want to think about it.
“Hopefully, Manchester United can get a result tomorrow and do us a favour.”
With 71 points, Tottenham are just one off their best-ever Premier League points total set in 2012-13 and they have six games left to top that mark.
They have won 12 home league games in a row, their best sequence within a single season since 1919-20 and two short of their all-time winning run at White Hart Lane which reached 14 in October 1987.
They have two home games remaining -- against Arsenal and Manchester United -- and look almost certain to finish in the top-four even if they cannot overhaul Chelsea.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband