Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

Harry Kane hits back at Van Dijk diving accusations

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has denied Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk’s allegation that he dived to win a penalty in Sunday’s heated 2-2 draw at Anfield.

Spurs were the beneficiaries of two controversial spot-kick awards in a frantic final 15 minutes, the first of which came when Kane went down following a challenged from Reds goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Kane missed that penalty but did convert his second chance from 12 yards, which came in the fifth minute of stoppage time after Van Dijk kicked Erik Lamela, to earn a draw in the Premier League fixture.

Read more: Kane rescues draw for Spurs after frenzied finish at Anfield

Asked whether he had been brought down by Karius, Kane said: “Yeah. He has dived, he has got in the way and I’m a player, I’m not going to jump out of the way. I’ve definitely felt contact and I’ve gone down.

“Lamela’s one, I thought the linesman showed amazing character to give that because a lot happened for the first one about the linesman so to give that penalty was massive and it was a penalty.”

Van Dijk had accused both Kane and Lamela of diving in the aftermath of a match that Liverpool led until the 80th minute and then appeared to have won through Mohamed Salah’s 91st-minute strike.

“I think it is a dive,” he said of the first penalty. ”You see him [Kane] diving clearly and no-one is talking about that.

“For the second penalty, I see him [Lamela] coming and I try and hold my leg in. He just pulled his body in front of the ball and he goes down. I don’t think that is a pen and the same with the first one.”

Kane’s late equaliser brought up a century of Premier League goals in his 141st appearance. That made him the second fastest to reach 100, although he is already aiming to speed up his strike rate.

“I am going to enjoy the moment, but let’s see how many I can get this year and go from there,” the England frontman added.

“Hopefully I can get better and better. I am 24; that’s not young but it’s not old so I’ve still got a lot of learning to do. I feel I am getting more experience year by year and I feel I am getting stronger and more physical and hopefully that just continues. I will always keep trying to work hard and get better and hopefully that will be the case.”

Read more: Harry Kane and other stars won't be sold, vows Spurs chief

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