Forward Heung-Min Son stepped up his game big time in absence of star striker Harry Kane, guiding Tottenham Hotspur into the fifth round of the FA Cup with his brace against Preston, which helped them secure a 3-0 win at Deepdale on Saturday.
In his 17 previous outings for his country South Korea and his club, Son had managed to score only one goal. But five minutes into the second half and 19 minutes later in the 69th minute, he unleashed two brilliant strikes that helped his side keep hopes of a trophy alive. They have not won a trophy for 15 years, having won the League Cup back in the 2007-08 season after defeating Chelsea.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham was short on quality in the first half, as compared to the well-organised nature of their hosts. A block from Ryan Ledson denied Dejan Kulusevski a goal and Freddie Woodman saved twice from Son in what was a rain-soaked Deepdale.
The win was capped late on by a goal for debutant Arnaut Danjuma (87), who glanced in a third to make his first appearance after signing on loan from Villarreal a memorable one.
Spurs managed to control a vast majority of ball possession in the opening period, but could not convert it into goals. It was yet another frustrating first half for the fans. Preston registered their first shot of the game in the 21st minute as Ivan Perisic got in way of a volley from Andre Hughes. Crosses from Spurs wing-backs Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon near the end of the first half looked less sharp.
But in the second half, fans were treated to the rejuvenation of Son, whose magic put an end to the match within just 20 minutes. He scored his first goal in the 50th minute. A swiwel and shoot inside the net in the 69th minute doubled the Spurs’ lead.
With a lead, Conte could afford to make some changes and former Bournemouth man Danjuma got a chance to make his debut for the club. After being frustrated by some intercepted passes, he made his debut count by sweeping home a low cross from Kulusevski which tripled Spurs’ lead in the 87th minute.
h Manchester City, which is live on Sky Sports. The fifth round of the FA Cup will take place in the week commencing February 27.
This win and the exploits of Son mean that Conte can still keep an unwell Kane on the bench. Spurs will next meet Manchester City on next Sunday in their Premier League clash. The fifth round of the FA Cup will start from February 27.
Preston return to EFL Championship and will host Bristol City on Saturday. (ANI)