Tottenham striker Harry Kane has hit back at Virgil van Dijk’s claim he dived to win a penalty in Sunday’s dramatic 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.
Liverpool’s record signing said the England international went down too easily under pressure from goalkeeper Loris Karius for the first of two Spurs penalties.
“I think it is a dive. You see him (Kane) diving clearly and no one is talking about it but I think it is a dive,” said Van Dijk, who joined Liverpool from Southampton last month for £75 million ($ 106 million, 85 million euros).
Kane’s first spot-kick was saved but he converted a second deep into added time to salvage a point and reach 100 Premier League goals.
“He (Karius) has dived, he got in the way and I’m a player. I’m not going to jump out of the way because it’s football,” said Kane, denying Van Dijk’s accusation. “I definitely felt contact and I went down.”
Kane, like manager Mauricio Pochettino, praised the officials for having the strength of character to award two controversial penalties at Liverpool’s home ground.
Assistant referee Ed Smart flagged for a Van Dijk foul on Erik Lamela for the second penalty award after match official Jon Moss had waved play on.
“I thought the linesman showed amazing character to give (the second penalty) because a lot happened for the first one about the linesman so to give that penalty was massive — and it was a penalty,” added Kane.
The debate surrounding the first penalty centred on whether Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren had touched the ball on its way through to Kane, who would otherwise have been offside as he clashed with Karius.
Kane’s late strike brought up a century of Premier League goals in his 141st match.
Only Alan Shearer (124) reached the landmark more quickly and the Tottenham striker now has his sights set on the next 100, with Shearer’s all-time record of 260 still some way off.
“That has to be the aim — and hopefully quicker than I got to 100,” said the 24-year-old. “It is nice, I am going to enjoy the moment but let’s see how many I can get this year and go from there.”
Liverpool are third in the Premier League, five points behind second-placed Manchester United, while Spurs are fifth, one point behind Chelsea, who travel to play Watford on Monday.