Tottenham’s Harry Kane has received a boost in his chase for the Golden Boot after being awarded a disputed goal — drawing a surprised reaction from Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, his top rival for the accolade.
Kane had publicly claimed Tottenham’s second goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Stoke at the bet365 Stadium, insisting that he touched Christian Eriksen’s free kick.
And upon further review, the Premier League agreed to give him his 25th goal of the season.
“After taking the player’s testimony into account and reviewing the match footage, a three-person panel agreed that the final touch on the ball belonged to Kane,” a statement said.
Kane, who is hoping to win a third consecutive Golden Boot, is now four goals behind Salah for the most in the league, and the Liverpool attacker appeared to express his surprise with the decision, writing on Twitter:
Wooooooow really ?
— Mohamed Salah (@22mosalah) April 11, 2018
Kane is aiming to become the first player since Thierry Henry from 2003-06 to win the Golden Boot three years in a row.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who finished one goal behind Kane for the award in 2016, used a series of emojis in reacting to the decision:
— Jamie Vardy (@vardy7) April 11, 2018
Asked after the game if he had scored, Kane said: “I swear on my daughter’s life that I touched the ball, but there’s nothing I can do.
“If they turn it around, they turn it around. If they take my word, they take my word. It is what it is, the most important thing is that we won the game.”
Asked if he can catch Salah, who has 29 goals, Kane added: “Yeah, I still believe I can. Look, whatever happens, there are still games to go.
“I’ve got to focus on my game. I can’t control what he does. Obviously, as a striker, it would be great to win the Golden Boot again and I will keep working hard from now until the end of the season.”
Kane’s Spurs contract includes significant performance-related bonuses but he does not have a separate bonus for winning the Golden Boot.
Dan is ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.