Son gives Tottenham lead over Man City
| Son gives Tottenham lead over Man City |
|2019-04-11 08:53 Shenzhen Daily|
WITH Tottenham’s Champions League quarterfinal scoreless and oozing intensity, Harry Kane launched into a challenge to block Fabian Delph’s run, clattering into the Manchester City opponent and twisting an ankle.
It was the same left ankle the Tottenham striker damaged just a couple of months ago, and soon he was hobbling down the tunnel.
Son Heung-min once again seized the opportunity to become Tottenham’s savior, just as he did when Kane missed seven games during January and February.
Son gave the crowd at Tottenham’s new stadium his own injury scare. But moments after being treated — and 20 minutes after Kane’s departure — Son put the ball in the net on Tuesday night.
After receiving a pass on the right from Christian Eriksen, Son’s poor first touch nearly put the ball over the byline, but he just kept it in play. The South Korean then cut the ball back and skipped past Delph’s challenge before striking a low shot under goalkeeper Ederson in the 78th minute.
It was enough to secure a 1-0 lead to take to City next Wednesday for the second leg. There is little prospect of Kane playing at Etihad Stadium, and the striker might not be fit to feature again this season after he left the stadium on crutches.
“We need to check tomorrow but it looks the same, a similar issue,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “Very sad, very disappointed, and it’s going to be tough for the rest of the season. We hope it’s not a big issue but there’s not much time to recover.”
Son has already shown he can more than fill in for Kane, who has 24 goals this season. When Kane missed those six weeks with a damaged ligament, Son scored four times.
“As a team, we never give up for 90 minutes — we fight,” Son said. “It was a very difficult game and in the end, we were more clinical than them.”
Son also scored in Tottenham’s first game at its $1.3 billion new stadium last week, and he now has 18 goals in a season that has seen him miss spells to go on South Korea duty at the Asian Games in August and the Asian Cup in January.
“If he is one player who deserves to score, it’s him,” Pochettino said. “He always smiles.”
City was smiling — initially — early in the first leg when a video review gave the Premier League champions a penalty.
No City players appeared to be appealing for the penalty when the screens signaled the VAR had intervened to check whether Tottenham defender Danny Rose blocked Raheem Sterling’s shot with his hand.
Meanwhile, Liverpool built a 2-0 lead over Porto heading into the second leg of the quarterfinals thanks to first-half goals by Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino at Anfield. Keita’s strike from just inside the area deflected into the top corner off Porto midfielder Oliver Torres to give Liverpool the lead in the fifth minute. After failing to score in his first 27 games for Liverpool since his offseason move from Leipzig, the midfielder has now netted in back-to-back matches.