Son on song as Spurs down Red Star
Korean striker scores twice, days after he was left inconsolable at Andre Gomes injury
Red Star Belgrade 0 Spurs 4
Spurs thrashed Red Star Belgrade, again, to take themselves to the brink of qualification for the knockout phase of the Champions League. Having put five past the Serbs last month at White Hart Lane, Tottenham cruised to a 4-0 win in the return fixture and now lie second in Group B, five points behind leaders Bayern Munich but four clear of Red Star who are third. One victory from their final two games will ensure their qualification for the last 16.
Test of character
Two of their goals last night were scored by Son Heung-min, who has endured a difficult few days after his reckless challenge on Andre Gomes on Sunday left the Everton player in hospital with a fracture dislocation to his right ankle.
Having had his red card for the challenge rescinded on Tuesday, Son then repaid the faith shown in him by manager Mauricio Pochettino by scoring two second half goals as Tottenham went to town against their sub-standard opponents. Son marked his first goal with a clasp of his hands and a bow, a gesture taken as a sign of remorse to Gomes.
Tough few days
“It was a really, really tough few days,” Son said after the match .”I realised how lucky I am to have the supporters, my friends, my team-mates - everyone gave me such strong messages... I had to focus for the team. I had to keep going. I had to keep working hard. I think this is my right answer to all the people who support me.”
Asked about the incident at Everton, Son replied: “Of course I still feel really, really sorry about this accident and this situation.”
Giovani Lo Celso opened the scoring the Tottenham on 34 minutes, his first for the club since joining in the summer, and there was also a goal from substitute Christian Eriksen as the north London club won away from home in any competition for the first time since they beat Ajax in April in the semi-final of the Champions League. “It is so important to win this game, especially against a team that are unbeaten at home,” said Son. “It is massive for our confidence. It is a really difficult place to come and we know we can play well in the away games, so we can take these positives forward.”
Only the beginning
Few people predicted such an emphatic win for Tottenam given that they have lost just two of their last 21 games at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, but they were given the runaround by an invigorated Spurs. “The team was fantastic,” said Mauricio Pochettino. “It is a very difficult place and we spoke a lot before the game about Liverpool, PSG and Napoli not winning here...now we need to keep going. It is only a game and we need to add three more points to qualify but it is a good feeling after Everton.”