First things first, we’re a bit behind on midweek Champions League & Europa League roundup so let’s get to it: important win for Spurs at Wembley, the group of death that includes Real Madrid in their Champions League battles to come, so notching 3 points against Borussia Dortmund was critical. Son scored early (4th minute!) in a beautiful teamwork derived counter attacking goal that had 3 elements.
- New CB Davidson Sanchez clears from the back and sends it 30 yards up the field.
- Son, who originally lined up on the right, shaded over to his usual left side of the pitch, heads down Sanchez’ ball toward Eriksen. Eriksen quickly finds Kane.
- Meanwhile, Son (still sporting his arm brace from his June WCQ injury) sneaks behind Dortmund’s defense and starts his run. Kane immediately splits the defense with a through ball to Son who continues his run, times it perfectly to remain onsides. Sokratis Papastathopoulos tries to catch up to Son, but Son wreaks BVB’s captain with a step-over and streaks past him. Approaching goal with narrowing options and Burki closing off the near post, Son audaciously blasts his left footed shot, over the surprised keeper’s shoulders and into the net.
Wicked pace and a brilliant finish that gave his side a great start.
And because this is the Tavern, we can’t help but to linger on some of the finer aspects of Son’s goal. We’ll start with last weekend where Poch wisely rested Son against Everton and kept him fresh to run at BVB all night. Then there’s Poch’s very defensive minded arrangement (either a 6-3-1 or a 3-3-3-1 depending on possession) Spurs were unusually behind on ball possession against a oft passing BVB. And BVB fell right into Poch’s trap – while the visitors enjoyed 60-70% of possession – there were behind against Spurs with swift counterattacking goals. Spurs were intent on mixing things up unpredictably, namely sit back and count on Son and Kane to hit the counter with vengeance. That they did and Spurs were up at HT 2:1. Another aspect to how inspiring Son’s goal was: Spurs have not done well last season at Wembley (the “hoodoo” or curse that has plagued them even into the beginning of this season, losing the vast majority of their alternative home matches. To start brightly with Son’s goal gave the momentum that they needed to break the hoodoo. That emphasis was added with that release valve -dare we say Ronaldo-esque post goal slide celebration. That look on his face – those arms that swung out like a superhero returning from space – the resplendent triumphant celebration. Wembley was in an uproar – shaking to it’s foundations – and it was glorious.
[Thanks to Heon – who is back after taking a few weekends off. Unfortunately it doesn’t show the wonderful development of Son’s goal, starting with Davidson. I’ll keep trying to find that video].
Now Son, while getting his plaudits deservedly, didn’t grab all the headlines – that would go to his teammate Harry Kane, who helped put the game out of reach with his 2nd goal later in the 2nd half. Both Kane and Son wasted some delicious chances, but it was Kane who by force of nature, snagged 2 hard fought physical goals and deservedly won MOTM. Still Son, playing in Deli Alli’s role (Alli is serving 3 game suspension for last year’s Europa League red card at Gent) did his job well enough despite missing his 2nd half chances to earn a standing ovation when he subbed out – out of gas in the 83rd minute. And his performance of course didn’t go unnoticed in the European press.
#thfc 83' Moussa Sissoko replaces Son, who started the scoring and has ensured that no-one has mentioned Dele Alli's absence tonight.
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) September 13, 2017
5. ANALYSIS: How Son Heung-min is key to Mauricio Pochettino’s latest tactical evolution – https://t.co/9d6Jzdj446
By @OMyles90. pic.twitter.com/gXCIknsA3g
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 15, 2017
The Guardian Football Weekly podcast and James Richardson’s new Totally Football podcast all heaped praise on Son’s performance.
Then there was the matter of his arm brace. He started the game with wearing it – still an odd sight despite playing several matches with it. However somewhere in the middle of the 2nd half, Son’s bandages began to unravel. He opted to just pull the whole damn thing off and hand all the foam, metal and bandages off to the sidelines and continue playing. Emphatic 1st goal of the season for Son comes at an important time – he’s off to a good start for his campaign to shatter records, one more time.
Moving on, Hwang Hee-Chan was injured and out of RB Salzburg’s 1-1 Europa League draw with Vitoria. Meanwhile over at Vienna, Austria Wein Lee Jin-Hyun meanwhile faced stiff opposition hosting AC Milan. It was a slaughter as you’d expect, 1:5. Still Lee Jin-Hyun didn’t look too bad at all and did well to get a shot in at target, that according to this highlight reel:
[Thanks Assabio Forever].
Weekend Listing for Sept 16-17
Brought to you by Korean Footballers Abroad:
|Saturday||7:30 AM||Lee Chung Yong||Crystal Palace||Southampton||NBCSN|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Ji Dong Won||Augsburg||@Frankfurt||Fox Match Pass|
|Saturday||9:30 AM||Koo Ja Cheol||Augsburg||@Frankfurt||Fox Match Pass|
|Saturday||12:30 PM||Ki Sung Yueng||Swansea||@Tottenham||NBC|
|Saturday||12:30 PM||Son Heung Min||Tottenham||Swansea||NBC|
|Saturday||2:00 PM||Kwon Chang Hoon||Dijon||St Etienne||BeIn Play|
|Saturday||2:00 PM||Suk Hyun Jun||Troyes||Montpelier||None|
|Saturday||2:45 PM||Lee Seung Woo||Hellas Verona||@AS Roma||BeIn Play|
How Lee Chung-Yong will fare in the new Roy Hodgson led Crystal Palace will be anyone’s guess (I’m not taking any bets given the backpass/backlash of last weekend).
We’re getting update on Suk Hyun-Jun, he’ll be in the lineup for the first time for Troyes in France’s Ligue 1.
Kwon Chang-Hoon is still out injured for Dijon.
Lee Seung-Woo in the 18 for Verona vs AS Roma.
We haven’t updated K-League Challenge listings in a while:
K League Challenge listing:
|Sat||16/09/17||Daejeon Citizen||06 : 00||Gyeongnam||More info|
|Seongnam||06 : 00||Seoul E-Land||More info|
|Busan I’Park||06 : 00||Bucheon 1995||More info|
|Sun||17/09/17||Anyang||06 : 00||Asan Mugunghwa||More info|
|Suwon||06 : 00||Ansan Greeners|
The only thing more impressive than Son’s goal was his post-goal slide. Definitely channeling his inner Ronaldo there. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come, that Sonaldo is back. With a fully healed arm and improved match fitness, he should be in more threatening form in no time (maybe 80-90% of the way already there). Let’s hope he makes the most of his starts in the UCL while Alli is suspended because he’s still playing the super sub role in the Premier League. Tough for him to crack that starting lineup when Poch plays the back 3