Son shines as Spurs recover composure with five-star display
Tottenham 5 Burnley 0
It was one of those moments that make you rub your eyes and shake your head at the same time, disbelief and wonder caused by stunning ingenuity and craft and, for Son Heung-min, the crowning moment of a sensational display. He tormented Burnley here and on 32 minutes scored a bona fide contender for goal of the season.
It came from nowhere. Well, to be specific, from a Burnley free-kick that Jan Vertonghen managed to hook clear from just inside Tottenham's area while under pressure from Chris Wood and which he nor anyone else imagined would turn into an assist. But that is what happened as the ball popped out to the waiting Son, pictured, and he set off, dribbling and drifting towards glory.
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Robbie Brady, James Tarkowski, Erik Pieters, Matthew Lowton, Ben Mee. All of them tried to stop Son in his tracks. All failed to get anywhere near him. Soon he was inside the Burnley area and the ball was in the back of the net after a right-footed finish that was composed as the build-up had been thrilling.
Son slid to his knees in celebration as the crowd either went wild in celebration or silent through shock and for Tottenham it meant this game was won before half-time. Fully deserved, too, on the back of a stunning display by the hosts. They were rampant from the start and had gone 2-0 up inside nine minutes through goals by Harry Kane and Lucas Moura.
Burnley had chances to score but, overall, they were overwhelmed and it is now nine goals conceded in two games for Sean Dyche's men, after the 4-1 defeat at home to Manchester City on Tuesday. Kane made it 4-0 on 54 minutes before Moussa Sissoko wrapped things up 16 minutes from time to cap the best Tottenham display of this new era under José Mourinho, right.
For Son, it was the perfect afternoon, one that began with him being presented with a trophy on the pitch for having been named the Asian player of the year for a record third time, and culminated with what may well be his best display since arriving in north London more than four years ago.
He was full of intent and running and played a part in four of the goals, and the third will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.
Tottenham's starting lineup contained one change from the team that lost to Manchester United in midweek, with Eric Dier coming in for the injured Harry Winks, yet in so many other ways they were drastically different.
At Old Trafford they had, in Mourinho's words, lacked intensity and aggression, but they were full of that from the start here and required only four minutes to take the lead after Vertonghen launched a long pass towards Son, who quickly turned the ball into the path of Kane. He dribbled forward and, seeing that no defender was bothered about engaging him, let fly from 35 yards, sending a swerving drive past Nick Pope.
It was an excellent goal and illustrated the intent of the men in white. Their passing was quick and crisp, their movement deceptive and purposeful and it led to the hosts soon doubling their lead. Son moved into the left channel of Burnley's area, drifted past Tarkowski and hit a low shot that Pope managed to save with his foot, but as the ball came out it deflected off Mee, spun up and provided Dele Alli with an opportunity to flick it towards the back post, where Lucas Moura had the simplest of finishes. Burnley's players were left looking at each other with a mixture of bemusement and fear. Rightly so, as Spurs came at them again and twice in two minutes, through Sissoko and Alli, had excellent chances to extend their lead.
Another home goal seemed a matter of time, which made it curious when the visitors came closest to scoring next. Dwight McNeil stood a cross up to the back post where Brady was on hand to send the ball back across goal with a looping header. It looked set to drop in but instead clipped the bar and a post before Sissoko cleared the danger.
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