Thursday 21 November 2019

Son shines as four-Star Tottenham ease pressure

Red Star Belgrade 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their second goal. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their second goal. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

John Percy

After the devastation of Sunday's events at Everton, this was an evening Son Heung-min will reflect back on with a sense of relief.

Son has experienced a wildly contrasting range of emotions over the past few days, following the incident which left Everton's Andre Gomes with a broken ankle, but his two goals here will help him to move on.

There were initial doubts over his state of mind and he refused to celebrate either goal, appearing to mouth the word "sorry" to the camera after his first strike early in the second half.

But Son's response to his own personal trauma was admirable and Tottenham Hotspur are almost certainly heading for the Champions League knockout stages after this rout in the Serbian capital.

Last season's winners, Liverpool, were beaten here last November, but the team they defeated in the final never appeared in danger of squandering their grip on second place in Group B.

Gloss

Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko in action with Crvena Zvezda's Njegos Petrovic and Milan Rodic. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko in action with Crvena Zvezda's Njegos Petrovic and Milan Rodic. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Giovani Lo Celso's opening goal, straight off the playground, eased the nerves and then Son seized centre stage to generate some far more palatable headlines before substitute Christian Eriksen put the gloss on a rare triumph on Spurs's travels with the fourth goal.

Spurs's away record since January has been alarming and the Rajko Mitic Stadium is not a venue designed for those of a weak disposition.

Spurs had appeared comfortable in defence, but there was a pivotal moment 10 minutes later which the Serbian hosts were left to regret.

With the Spurs back four completely collapsing in shape, striker Milan Pavkov was given a free shot on goal, but goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga dived to his left and saved with his feet.

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane in action before teammate Son Heung-min hits the crossbar. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane in action before teammate Son Heung-min hits the crossbar. Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters

It was a huge escape for Spurs, and they rubbed Red Star's noses in it by taking the lead in the 34th minute.

Kane toe-poked the ball against a post after being sent clear by Lo Celso, and then Son's shot was cleared off the line. As Red Star frantically attempted, and failed, to clear the danger, Son then struck the crossbar from barely a yard out from Kane's miscued half-volley before Lo Celso scrambled home.

The second goal came in the 57th minute with Dele Allisetting up Son and he added a second three minutes later after being set up by Danny Rose.

Eriksen, a substitute, completed the demolition job with a shot into the corner on 85 minutes. (© The Daily Telegraph)

Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose in action. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose in action. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

Telegraph.co.uk

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