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Son nets brace as Spurs close in on knockout stages

Son nets brace as Spurs close in on knockout stages
By Eurosport

06/11/2019 at 20:53Updated 07/11/2019 at 08:45

Champions League Group B, Stadion Rajko Mitic - Crvena Zvezda 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4 (Lo Celso, 34', Son 57', 61', 85')

Heung-Min Son netted twice, Giovani Lo Celso scored on his first start and Christian Eriksen added another late for Tottenham, who secured their first away win in six months, against the hapless Crvena Zvezda.

Although occasionally shaky at the back, it was the perfect opportunity for Tottenham to show there is still life left in the Mauricio Pochettino-era against an opponent who sat back and let Spurs get confidence playing possession football.

When the goal came, it did so in comical fashion. First Lo Celso slipped a ball through to Kane who poked it under the onrushing Milan Borjan only for it to comeback off the post.

Tottenham Hotspur's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and Tottenham Hotspur at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade, on November 6, 2019

Tottenham Hotspur's players celebrate after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and Tottenham Hotspur at the Rajko Mitic stadium in Belgrade, on November 6, 2019Getty Images

A melee ensued with the ball eventually falling to Kane on the left hand side of the six-yard box and his square ball hit Son's torso three yards out but came back off the bar, before then falling to Lo Celso, who lashed home from eight yards out.

Spurs had a real scare at 1-0, when Rajiv van La Parra hit the ball against the post and the ball ricocheted off Davinson Sanchez and back off the bar.

Son then scored two in four minutes around the hour mark, the first when Dele Allie squared the ball to him after Tanguy Ndombele’s driving run into the last third and then when Rose squared the ball to him inside the six-yard box. Eriksen put more gloss on the scoreline five minutes remaining after good work from Danny Rose and substitute Ryan Sessegnon.

Spurs are now four clear of their opponents with just two games left in the group stage.

TALKING POINT - PERFECT OPPONENTS

The song 'Can we play you every week?' never seemed more appropriate. Spurs are still without a win in the league since their humiliating 7-2 reverse at home to Bayern Munich but playing Crvena Zvevda twice in a fortnight will have raised the spirits immeasurably around White Hart Lane.

Even after the 5-0 a fortnight ago you'd have thought the former Red Star would have put in a shift at home. You'd have been wrong. They were dreadful. Let a tentative Spurs have possession, gain confidence, which they eventually took full advantage of.

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (L) shoots and scores a goal past Red Star Belgrade's Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan (C) during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and Tottenh

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (L) shoots and scores a goal past Red Star Belgrade's Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan (C) during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Red Star Belgrade (Crvena Zvezda) and TottenhGetty Images

Of course, Spurs will face a stiffer test on Saturday when Chris Wilder's Sheffield United arrive at White Hart Lane - but this must do their confidence good.

And it was a performance unworthy of a shirt made famous by the likes of Dragan Dzajic and Dragan Stojkovic. Puff the Magic Dragon would have blown over this defence.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham)

Apologies to Lo Celso who showed he will be a real favourite of the Lilywhites faithful but the French midfielder was superb, either powering his way into the final third or playing smart passes to put his team-mates in possession to create goal-scoring opportunities.

PLAYER RATINGS

Crzena Zvezda: Borjan 6; Gobeljic 5, Milunovic 6, Degenek 6, Rodic 6; Jovancic 5, Petrovic 5; Garcia 5, Marin 5, Van la Parra 6; Pavkov 5

Tottenham: Gazzaniga 7, Foyth 7, Dier 7, Sanchez 6, Rose 7, Ndombele 8, Sissoko 7, Dele 6, Son 7, Lo Celso 8, Kane 7

KEY MOMENTS

24' Gazzaniga to the rescue. Red Star's first attack for 20 minutes and some awful defending put Pavkov through on goal but the Spurs stopper saved with his legs.

34' GOAL! Incredible. It took three goes but eventually Lo Celso hits the net. He first slipped Kane through who hit the post, then after a scrambled Son hit the bar and then the Argentinian lashed home his first for the club.

58' GOAL! Son blasts home after Alli rolled it square to him on the left hand side of the penalty area after Ndombele charged into the last third and fed it inside to the England forward. Afterwards Son gestures 'Sorry' to the camera at Andre Gomes.

61' GOAL! Kane played in Rose in the left hand side of the penalty area and he squared across the six-yard box for Son who smashed home - with no apology. Seems to have forgiven himself, at last.

85' GOAL! As promised...it was Spurs who looked more likely and Eriksen managed to squeeze the ball inside the near post after good work from Rose and Sessegnon down the left flank.

KEY STATS

182 - Days since Tottenham won away from White Hart Lane. It will linger less in the memory than the night in Amsterdam but was very, very welcome.

9 - The amount of goals Tottenham have scored past the hapless Crvena Zvezda in the space of 15 days.

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