Kane strikes twice as Spurs sink struggling QPR

Harry Kane scores the first goal for Tottenham. Queens Park Rangers v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - Loftus Road - 7/3/15. Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) - Harry Kane struck twice as Tottenham Hotspur beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 on Saturday to boost their hopes of a top-four finish and leave their London rivals facing an uphill battle to avoid relegation.

QPR enjoyed the better of the early exchanges at Loftus Road but in-form Kane continued his impressive run of scoring in his last five London Premier League derbies to put Spurs ahead.

Kane added his second after the break in front of England manager Roy Hodgson before former Tottenham midfielder Sandro pulled a goal back for QPR.

Spurs resisted a late onslaught to hold on to the victory which moved them up to sixth on 50 points -- three behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

QPR remained in 18th place on 22 points, three behind Aston Villa.

"It's a massive win, we always seem to be winning 2-1," Kane told the BBC. "I'm loving my football, being out there with my team mates and my mates.

"I feel good and confident, it's important for a striker to have that. The second goal was a nice composed finish.

"There are a lot of top teams up there (competing for the top four) and whoever can put a run together will be right up there."

Both goalkeepers were called into action early on as Hugo Lloris forced Bobby Zamora's header over the bar before Rob Green produced a smart save to deny Kane. Charlie Austin fired a shot against the underside of the crossbar as QPR piled on the pressure but Spurs snatched the lead when Kane headed in Andros Townsend's free kick. QPR had appeals for a penalty turned down at the end of the first half when Lloris appeared to clip Mauricio Isla in the box. But Kane scored his 16th Premier League goal of the season to double Spurs' advantage in the 68th minute when he latched on to Ryan Mason's pass and slotted the ball home. Sandro's neat finish gave QPR a lifeline and the home side were denied another possible penalty in the dying minutes when Steven Caulker's header appeared to strike the hand of Nabil Bentaleb.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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