Tottenham striker Harry Kane has hit back at Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk’s claims that he is a diver.
Liverpool’s record signing claimed the England international went down far too easily under pressure from goalkeeper Loris Karius for the first of two Spurs penalties in the 2-2 draw at Anfield.
Kane, whose first spot-kick was saved but converted a second in the fifth minute of added time to salvage a point and reach 100 Premier League goals, denied the Dutchman’s allegation.
“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.
“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 Anfield.
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 goal 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.
“Hopefully I can get better and better. I am 24 years old, 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.
“What separates good players from great players is can you do it consistently year after year? Can you get better and better when people don’t expect you to?
“That’s what I’ve done so far and that is what I will continue to strive to do. That is always my mindset – to never let up.
“It is a short career and I’ll try to do as much as I can in it.”