Sensational Son inspires Spurs to victory over Middlesbrough
Premier League, Riverside Stadium - Middlesbrough 1 (Gibson 65) Tottenham 2 (Son 7, 23)
Heung-Min Son scored a double as Tottenham survived a late scare to secure a 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
The victory moves Spurs to second in the table having claimed 14 points from their opening six leagues – a record which represents their best start in the top flight.
The South Korean international broke the deadlock with just seven minutes on the clock after good work from Vincent Janssen who replaced the injured Harry Kane. And the 24-year-old had the travelling supporters out of their seats once more when he doubled Spurs’ advantage with a terrific solo effort on 23 minutes.
Boro improved in the second half, helped undoubtedly by the introduction of summer signing Adama Traore, and the Teessiders pulled a goal back through local boy Ben Gibson, who headed in from Stewart Downing’s free-kick on 65 minutes.
And despite a late scare, with Jordan Rhodes going close to levelling the scores inside the final 10 minutes on his Premier League debut, Mauricio Pochettino’s side held on to claim the three points.
Tottenham can cope without Harry Kane – The England international had played 71 consecutive games before today’s match with his side failing to win in his absence. However, the top form his team mates Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen are showing so far this season means Spurs will be less dependent on their talisman this term, especially with the indication that new signing Vincent Janssen is set to improve.
Tottenham's Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their second goalReuters
MAN OF THE MATCH
Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) – Having ripped Sunderland to pieces the previous week, Spurs’ attacking midfielder picked up where he left off to put their North-East rivals to the sword with another wonderful performance. If he can continue to play at such a high level, Tottenham could well improve on last season's third-place finish.
7’ - GOAL! Middlesbrough 0-1 Tottenham - The visitors have the lead and it's Son who breaks the deadlock! He picks up a pass from Janssen before slotting it past the helpless Valdes.
23’ - GOAL! Middlesbrough 0-2 Tottenham - Spurs double their lead and it's a wonderful strike from the on-form Son which does the damage to Boro. He wins it on the left-hand side of the area before curling it into the top corner.
43’ - ALMOST THREE! Chambers almost gifts Spurs their third goal of the afternoon as he loses possession to Eriksen, who pulls the back to Alli but the England international sends the ball over the bar from 10 yards. What an opportunity.
58’ – DOUBLE BORO SUB! Adama Traore and Jordan Rhodes, who will make his Premier League debut, will replace the frustrated Negredo and ineffective Ramirez.
65’ - GOAL! Middlesbrough 1-2 Tottenham - Boro have a goal back and suddenly, it's game on! Spurs concede a soft free-kick in their own half, Downing swings the ball in and it's the defender Gibson who rises highest to head the ball into the back of the net.
76’ - CHANCE! Rhodes should probably score on his first Premier League appearance! He meets a deep cross from Downing but he can't get enough on the connect to glide the ball past Lloris. Boro won't get many better opportunities.
Son Heung-Min has already equalled his Premier League goal tally from 2015-16 in just three appearances this season (4).
The South Korean international has also had a hand in seven goals (six goals, one assist) in his last six Premier League appearances for Spurs.
Tottenham have now won 23 of their last 25 Premier League games (D2) against newly promoted sides since losing 1-0 to QPR in April 2012.
This was Middlesbrough’s 250th Premier League game at the Riverside Stadium (W98 D74 L78).