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Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Newcastle United: Son Heung-min earns Mauricio Pochettino praise

Son Heung-min celebrates his winning goal for Tottenham against Newcastle
Son Heung-min struck with just seven minutes remaining

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino likened Son Heung-min's energy levels to "a battery" after his late strike beat Newcastle and moved them second in the Premier League.

The South Korean forward benefitted from a Martin Dubravka error with seven minutes left as his powerful 20-yard shot went under the Newcastle goalkeeper's body.

"Sonny is like a battery that you have - you work, work, work until the battery is gone," said Pochettino. "He is like this. He gives you everything and when he is exhausted he says he needs to rest. On the pitch he is always 100 per cent in every action."

"He works so hard, he pushes and never gives up - he tries, tries, tries, tries."

Newcastle were well organised and gritty throughout, with Fabian Schar's acrobatic goalline clearance to deny Christian Eriksen in the second half epitomising their spirit.

Rafael Benitez's side had chances of their own, with Salomon Rondon heading against the post with the score at 0-0 but their resistance was broken when substitute Fernando Llorente laid the ball off for Son to score a ninth goal in his past 10 Spurs appearances.

The win means Pochettino's side set a Premier League record as they reached 29 matches in a row without a draw, eclipsing Bolton's mark of 28 set in 2011.

Son and persistence win the day

Tottenham's left-sided central defender Jan Verthongen had 142 touches and delivered 14 crosses from open play as Newcastle sat deep to force Tottenham into wide areas.
Tottenham's left-sided central defender Jan Vertonghen had 142 touches and delivered 14 crosses from open play as Newcastle sat deep to force Tottenham into wide areas. As the touch map shows, the majority of his touches were in the Newcastle half.

Spurs' lack of draws perhaps shows they refuse to settle and that has certainly been the case in recent weeks with late goals earning wins against Fulham, Watford and now Newcastle.

The snatching of such wins points to the kind of spirit Pochettino has needed from his players when faced with injuries to key names like Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

Perhaps no-one has stepped up more than Son.

His return from South Korea duty at the Asian Cup has proven key and just as fatigue looked to be setting in at Wembley, he found the space to win it.

It was the 14th goal he has been directly involved in during his past 10 Tottenham outings and ultimately moved his side above Manchester City - who play Arsenal on Sunday - and four points behind leaders Liverpool.

No-one had more shots than Son's five but Llorente's introduction from the bench on the hour was also pivotal as he served up the assist.

Spurs, with help from Dubravka, ultimately found an answer against a side who sat deep in a 5-4-1 formation and threatened in pockets on the break.

Given Lucas Moura headed wide from close range early on, Erik Lamela headed against the bar and Schar's clearance from Eriksen, few could argue Spurs did not deserve three points.

Pochettino may not be happy that only four of their 21 shots hit the target but they got the job done for a third league win in a row.

Match of the Day analysis

Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas said: "Son Heung-min is Tottenham's danger man, and especially in the first half, Newcastle knew he was playing out wide and they surrounded him with bodies.

"It was more of the same in the second half so Mauricio Pochettino made a couple of changes and he went with three at the back which allowed them width and meant Son could play in the pocket of space behind substitute Fernando Llorente. It allowed Spurs to play more direct.

"It was a lovely touch for the goal and Martin Dubravka made a big mistake. Spurs are still in the title race and it's in their hands to put themselves amongst it."

Newcastle show promise in defeat

Dubravka allowed Son's powerful shot to go under his body
Dubravka allowed Son's powerful shot to go under his body

Newcastle, while defensive, looked confident in their tactics following Wednesday's shock win over Manchester City.

Their wing-backs - DeAndre Yedlin and Matt Ritchie - tucked in to make a narrow back five and Spurs were repeatedly forced left.

Jan Vertonghen had delivered nine crosses by half-time, his highest mark in the Premier League, as Newcastle's plans largely worked.

And with Rondon a presence up top they had chances of their own. He saw an effort blocked in the box before the break and perhaps should have opened the scoring after the interval when his guided header hit the post with Hugo Lloris beaten.

Ayoze Perez also warmed the hands of the Spurs keeper from long range in the second period as Newcastle showed pockets of threat for their 28% possession.

They could have been better on the ball for periods, but Benitez will look at the dogged displays of Schar and Jamaal Lascelles as positives, along with the general resistance his side offered.

January addition Antonio Barreca came off the bench for his debut late on, while record signing Miguel Almiron was ineligible while he awaits a visa.

If the new £20m forward brings the quality fans crave, gutsy displays like this will at least give him a solid platform from which to perform as they look to climb the table after a result which leaves them 15th.

Man of the match - Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min celebrates his winning goal for Tottenham against Newcastle
Son Heung-min completed more sprints (16) than anyone, despite looking fatigued late on. He had more shots than anyone and his completed passes mark of 91% also ranks highly. He got Tottenham home.

Fernando turns provider - key stats

  • Newcastle have lost their past eight visits to Wembley in all competitions since winning the 1955 FA Cup final against Manchester City - extending their record for worst ever losing run by a team at the stadium.
  • Tottenham have lost just one of their past 27 home Premier League games in February (W19 D7).
  • Newcastle have lost 13 of their past 14 Premier League games away to 'big six' teams (D1), since beating Tottenham 2-1 in December 2015.
  • Fernando Llorente has been involved in seven goals in his past eight appearances for Tottenham in all competitions (five goals, two assists).
  • Llorente provided assists in back to back league games for the first time since March 2008 for Athletic Bilbao.

The Llorente impact - what they said

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Constant selection debates 'upset' Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It was difficult to find space. We created some chances in the first and second half but the most important thing in the end is to keep pushing and it was a massive effort again in the second game consecutively. Once again I need to praise my players.

"Llorente, after Harry Kane's injury, plays four games in a row and with three days' recovery the normal thing is to rotate. It upsets me a little bit because the debate in England is difficult to understand. You have 24 players you need to use."

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez: "I think we did well in the first half and we had chances in the beginning of the second half. They were pushing hard, we were defending well and this goal we could've avoided.

"We have to give credit to Son because the shot was a good one and we hit the post in the second half, that was a big chance for us. You have to give credit to Tottenham because they have injuries. It was not easy for us."

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Benitez optimistic despite defeat at Spurs

What's next?

Tottenham welcome Leicester to Wembley on Sunday, 10 February (13:30 GMT), while Newcastle travel to Wolves a day later (20:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Trippier
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 17Sissoko
  • 8Winks
  • 11LamelaSubstituted forRoseat 78'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forDierat 89'minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forLlorenteat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Rose
  • 12Wanyama
  • 15Dier
  • 16Walker-Peters
  • 18Llorente
  • 21Foyth
  • 22Gazzaniga

Newcastle

  • 12Dubravka
  • 22YedlinBooked at 65mins
  • 5Schär
  • 6Lascelles
  • 20Lejeune
  • 11RitchieSubstituted forBarrecaat 86'minutes
  • 17Pérez
  • 36Longstaff
  • 14Hayden
  • 30AtsuSubstituted forKenedyat 82'minutes
  • 9Rondón

Substitutes

  • 2Clark
  • 15Kenedy
  • 18Fernandez
  • 19Manquillo
  • 21Joselu
  • 23Barreca
  • 41Woodman
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
41,219

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamNewcastle
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home21
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home6
Away6

Live Text

Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Newcastle United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Newcastle United 0.

Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Eric Dier replaces Son Heung-Min.

Attempt missed. Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Antonio Barreca replaces Matt Ritchie.

Foul by Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur).

Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Kieran Trippier tries a through ball, but Son Heung-Min is caught offside.

Goal!

Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Newcastle United 0. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fernando Llorente.

Substitution

Substitution, Newcastle United. Kenedy replaces Christian Atsu.

Attempt blocked. Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Fernando Llorente.

Attempt blocked. Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Kieran Trippier with a cross.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Christian Atsu.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Danny Rose replaces Erik Lamela.

Delay in match Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) because of an injury.

Foul by Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur).

Salomón Rondón (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

Attempt missed. Fernando Llorente (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen with a through ball.

Attempt blocked. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

Attempt blocked. Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Christian Eriksen.

Attempt missed. Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high following a corner.

Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

Attempt saved. Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Salomón Rondón.

Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Christian Eriksen following a set piece situation.

Booking

DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Hand ball by DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United).

Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Son Heung-Min with a headed pass.

Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Jamaal Lascelles.

Foul by Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur).

Sean Longstaff (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Fernando Llorente replaces Lucas Moura.

Foul by Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur).

Matt Ritchie (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Liverpool24194155144161
2Tottenham25190651242757
3Man City24182463194456
4Chelsea25155545232250
5Arsenal24145550331747
6Man Utd24136548351345
7Wolves2511593332138
8Watford259793334-134
9Everton2596103636033
10Bournemouth25103123744-733
11Leicester2495103030032
12West Ham2494113037-731
13Brighton2576122736-927
14Crystal Palace2575132633-726
15Newcastle2566132133-1224
16Southampton2559112742-1524
17Burnley2566132646-2024
18Cardiff2564152246-2422
19Fulham2545162555-3017
20Huddersfield2525181346-3311
View full Premier League table

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