Harry Kane haunts Arsenal again in decisive North London Derby

Harry Kane remembers. It was pure coincidence that memories spilled into an autobiographical story this past week, five days before the derby that means a bit more to him than the rest. But deliberately or inadvertently timed, it was poetic.

Harry Kane remembers the day Arsenal cut him. “I was eight years old, I was walking to the park with my dad, and he said, right out of the blue, ‘I’ve got to tell you something,'” Kane recalled to the Players’ Tribune. “Then he put his arm around my shoulder, and he said, ‘Well, Harry … Arsenal have released you.’”

They say, though, that actions speak louder than words. And an even better example of Kane’s memory – yet another one – came Saturday just after 1:30 p.m. local time in London.

The record-breaking Tottenham striker rose above the Gunners defense – the defense which, in another parallel world, he’d be playing in front of – and headed Spurs to a 1-0 North London Derby victory.

He propelled Tottenham seven points clear of its rivals, and momentarily into third place, with Arsenal still lagging behind in sixth.

Harry Kane celebrates his go-ahead goal against Arsenal on Saturday. (Getty)

Kane has now scored seven goals in seven league games against the Gunners. His 49th-minute tally was the only goal of Saturday’s game, which Spurs bossed. Kane himself easily could have had a rapid-fire double, but skimmed a few other headers wide.

Tottenham very nearly paid for its inability to bag the three points before the final whistle. At 1-0, doubt lingered, and Alexandre Lacazette, the man who was supposedly the answer to Arsenal’s striker woes, had two excellent late chances. He spurned both, the second particularly guilt-edged. Arsenal Wenger, seemingly on the verge of pained tears, covered his face with his hands in disbelief, trying to hide from the reality of defeat.

It would have been Kane and Spurs in disbelief had they thrown away two points late on. Instead, Kane celebrated yet another glorious day against his early-boyhood club.

It was his second winner against the Gunners. He recalled the first in his Players’ Tribune piece as well. “I remember the first time we played against Arsenal … and even back then, I had a chip on my shoulder. It might sound ridiculous — I was only eight when they let me go — but every time we played them, I thought, ‘Alright, we’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong.'”

When he beat them with a winner on that day, he thought: “Well — I told you so.”

And three years later, that sentiment hasn’t changed.

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.