Son Heung-min’s performance was spectacular despite the lack of attacking points. He did 100% of what manager Enze Postecoglou wanted him to do.
Tottenham Hotspur defeated Manchester United 2-0 in the second round of the 2023-24 English Premier League (EPL) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at 1:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Spurs, who drew 2-2 with Brentford in the first leg, earned their first win of the season with the victory over United. United recorded a win over Wolverhampton in the first leg, but continued their away form with a loss to Spurs, handing them their first defeat of the season.
Tottenham started Guglielmo Vicario, Destiny Udoji, Micky van der Penne, Christian Romero, Pedro Foro, Pape Mattharsar, Yves Bissouma, James Maddison, Dejan Koulousevski, Heath Ledley and Son Heung-min. Son wore the captain’s armband. United started with Andre Onana, Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount, Bruno Fernandez, Marcus Rashford, Casemiro, Rafael Varane, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Alejandro Garnacho.
This will be Son’s second game as Tottenham captain. Tottenham announced on its website on Wednesday that “Son Heung-min has been appointed club captain. He takes over the armband from Hugo Lloris, who has been captain since the 2014-15 season. Maddison and Romero have been named vice-captains.”
Son joined Tottenham from Leverkusen in 2015 and spent eight years with the club, scoring 145 goals and providing 80 assists in 372 official appearances before last season. In the EPL alone, he has 103 goals and 58 assists in 268 games. He was the EPL’s top scorer in the 2021-22 season. He ranks 31st on the EPL’s all-time goalscoring list. The best Asian player in EPL history and an ongoing legend at Tottenham. He’s the best winger in the world beyond the EPL, but like Kane, he doesn’t have a trophy to show for it. But he’s still in London, choosing to remain loyal to Tottenham.
Harry Kane is leaving for Bayern Munich and Hugo Lloris is on the verge of a move. That leaves the captaincy to Son Heung-min. Tottenham awarded the captain’s armband to Son for keeping the romance alive. Postecoglou said: “Sonny (Son) has great leadership on and off the pitch and is the ideal choice as our new captain. We all know him as a world-class player and he has tremendous respect from everyone in the dressing room. He transcends the group. It’s not just about popularity. It’s what he achieves on the pitch.”
Captain Son Heung-min made his debut against Brentford. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. Spurs took the lead through a Romero goal, but then Romero got injured, forcing them to bring on Davinson Sanchez. Spurs played aggressive soccer, but their defense in the back was lacking. In the 27th minute, Son Heung-min conceded a penalty kick (PK) and Brian Mbemo converted to make it 1-1. In the 36th minute, Yoannes Wissa scored the game-winner to give Tottenham the lead.
Emerson Royal equalized in first-half stoppage time to make it 2-2. There were no further goals after that. The game continued to be a back-and-forth affair, with no finishing touches, and ended 2-2. Tottenham would have to wait until the next round for their first win in the league. Their next opponent was Manchester United. After a disappointing performance in Wolverhampton, the Red Devils managed to hold on for a point, with Andre Onana making a brilliant save to secure the three points.
Son Heung-min played on the left side. In attacking situations, he was wide left. Udoji moved to the center to add strength to the buildup, while Son Heung-min added strength to the flank. Heung-min was active and sent sharp passes. He opened the scoring. In the first minute, Son Heung-min took a shot that went wide. A good pass from Son Heung-min. In the 29th minute, a sharp pass to a running Saar. Sar shot was blocked by Onana. 33rd minute, Wan-Bissaka is cautioned for delay of game. In the 36th minute, Bruno tried his luck with a header from a no-mark chance, but it went wide.
Tottenham had a golden opportunity. In the 39th minute, Son Heung-min’s exquisite pass found Foro. Foro’s shot hit the post. In the 40th minute, another Sarr pass hit the post after being deflected by the United defense. United continued to send passes forward, but no shots were taken. The first half ended 0-0.
Tottenham took the lead. Four minutes into the second half, a Kuluczewski pass deflected behind the United defense and was finished by Sarr to give Spurs the lead. United had a golden opportunity soon after. Six minutes into the second half, Anthony Martial’s shot hit the post. Son Heung-min continued to send in good passes. In the 16th minute of the second half, he combined with Bissouma, Destiny, and Madison to try to break through the United defense, but his final shot was blocked. In the 18th minute, Son Heung-min’s pass was met by Bissouma, who scrambled and shot wide of the goal.
We counterattacked with Son Heung-min wide on the left, and Bisuma, Udoji, and Sarr combined in the center to open up space. Compared to United, the attack was lean and sharp. In the 24th minute, Tottenham removed Udoji and Michy Batshuayi to bring on Ivan Perisic and Ben Davies, with Son moving to the center and Perisic and Davies lining up on the left. Tottenham added Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to the midfield for the final 30 minutes of the game, leaving out Sarr, who had a great game and scored the opening goal. 메이저놀이터
Lissandro’s own goal. In the 37th minute, Perisic’s low cross was met by Davies’ foot and headed in by Lissandro. United pushed for an equalizer as they added numbers to their attack. Tottenham brought on Foro and Kuluczewski in the 42nd minute and sent off Emerson Royal and Manor Solomon. Son Heung-min stayed on to play full-time. The game ended with a 2-0 victory for Tottenham. Spurs got their first win and United suffered their first loss.
Postecoglou’s football was praised. “Tottenham deserved to win,” said BBC football pundit Charlie Waddle. They were excellent and deserved the applause. The technical entertainment, the will, it’s all at a very high level,” and as for United, “I don’t know what’s going on with United. They need to find a number nine striker and move Rashford back to the left. Coach Eric ten Hagh will have a lot on his mind.”
[What about Son Heung-min?]
The all-rounder recorded one shot, four key passes, six ground battles won (nine attempts), three successful dribbles, and two fouls on the day, while also making a series of important passes in attack. According to Opta, Son made 20 successful passes in the attacking third and created four chances, the most of any Spurs player. That’s a lot of influence. Thanks to his captain’s class and dedication, Tottenham won 2-0.
Football London said, “Heung-min used all his experience on the left flank to draw out the United defense. He linked up well with Udoji and Maddison and played up front once the Frenchman left the field,” and gave him a 7. The UK’s Evening Standard added: “They pressed United and their inside moves were threatening. He also created chances for Sarr with some clever passing” and gave him a 7. The UK’s 90min said, “After recovering from a long-term hernia problem, Son looked quick and free like never before. He made some excellent passes to set up several players.” Couch Score gave Son a 7.9 rating. He was followed by Sarr (8.5) and Vicario (8.3).
Speaking to the BBC after the game, Postecoglou said: “It was good and surprising. The young players were nervous and United had some good chances. We persevered and played our game. The second half spell worked and we showed the team we want to be. We still have a long way to go, but I loved the belief and courage of our players. The young players are at a high level and are building this team. The experienced ones, Son Heung-min and Madison, were great,” he said, praising the team’s performance and singling out Son Heung-min.