Tottenham striker Harry Kane hailed the 3-0 win over Arsenal as the best night at the club’s new stadium but knows it will count for nothing unless they beat Burnley on Sunday.
Spurs kept their Champions League qualification hopes alive by trouncing their fierce rivals and Kane, of course, was at the forefront with two goals to take his tally to 13 in just 17 north London derbies.
Son Heung-min added a third to ensure Spurs moved to within a point of the Gunners with two games left.
They have a chance to climb into fourth if they can get three points against the Clarets on Sunday, but that will not be an easy task given they play at 12pm on Sunday – the shortest possible turnaround.
While Kane savoured the delight of Thursday’s victory, which was played in front of a stadium-record 62,027 people, he knows the good work can quickly be undone.
Asked whether this was the best night at Tottenham’s new stadium, he said: “I think so.
“There was a lot of anticipation before the game, during the week. The atmosphere was electric from the start. The pressure was on us to deliver. And I thought we handled that really well.
“We started the game well. Took our chances. And then second half we controlled it really nicely, especially with the game on Sunday as well. So yeah, an important win for us, but we look forward to Sunday now.”
“I think we showed our experience, the experience in the squad. In a big game like this, at home, in our stadium, we knew we had to win otherwise Champions League was pretty much dead for us.
“So it was nice to respond that way, and show that we’re capable of playing that way under that pressure. But, like I said, and like we know, it means nothing if we don’t go and win on Sunday now.”
If Spurs do get the job done against Burnley then they will be able to watch the Gunners in their match at Newcastle on Monday night with their feet up and while Kane says he will not “have the popcorn out”, he does think it is an advantage playing before their rivals.
“Look there’s still two games to go. It was important to win, of course. We play before them on Sunday, they play Monday night, so I feel like if we can win that, we obviously put a bit more pressure on them, when they’ve got a tough game away to Newcastle,” he said.
“But we can only control us, and what we can do. Obviously Burnley are fighting for points themselves, so they’ll be coming here to make it difficult for us. We’ve got to be ready for that.
“I think I’d rather be going first than second, of course. But we still need to go out there and win. Otherwise it makes their job a lot easier.
“So if we can do that on Sunday, of course it makes their game a lot tougher on Monday night away to Newcastle. We’ll see what happens.
“We’ll be watching it for sure. I don’t know if I’ll have the popcorn out. Look, we need to get our job done first on Sunday. And then of course, I think a lot of us will be watching it, and hoping for a good result for Newcastle.”
Kane was already the king of north London, but his two goals saw him overtake Wayne Rooney as the man who has scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal.
He added: “I enjoy the fixture, I look forward to it throughout the whole year. There’s something special about the north London derby.
“Something with the fans, and around the club, and the whole build-up to the game. And especially this one, it’s the first big one we’ve had over the last few years where there was a lot of pressure, and a lot of points to play for in a big Champions League push. So nice to come out on top.”
While it was a glory night for Spurs, it was a chastening one for the Gunners, who slipped to their heaviest north London derby defeat since 1983.
Their top-four hopes remain in their own hands, though, and they know if they win their final two games against Newcastle and Everton they will be in the Champions League next season.
Skipper Martin Odegaard said: “I think we have everything in our own hands. Win the last two games, that’s it for us. That is the only focus now. We don’t feel the pressure. We are going to go to Newcastle and play a good game, and try to win of course. That’s all the focus now.”