LONDON (AP) — Son Heung-min filled the void left by Harry Kane’s injury-enforced departure by giving Tottenham a 1-0 win over Manchester City on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.
Twenty minutes after Kane hobbled off with a left ankle injury that could end his season, Son netted in the 78th minute having just received treatment himself on the field.
After receiving a pass on the right from Christian Eriksen, Son’s poor first touch nearly put the ball over the byline, but he just kept it in play. The South Korean then cut the ball back and skipped past Fabian Delph’s challenge before striking a low shot under goalkeeper Ederson.
It handed quadruple-chasing City its first loss in any competition since January.
“As a team, we never give up for 90 minutes — we fight,” Son said. “It was a very difficult game and in the end, we were more clinical than them.”
Son also scored in Tottenham’s first game at its new stadium last week and he now has 18 goals in a season that has seen him miss spells to go on South Korea duty at the Asian Games in August and the Asian Cup in January.
“If he is one player who deserves to score it’s him,” Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “He always smiles.”
If Kane faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Son has already shown he can deputize for the 24-goal striker.
Kane missed seven games across six weeks with damaged ligaments in his left ankle across January and February — a spell when Son scored four goals.
“We need to check tomorrow but it looks the same, a similar issue,” Pochettino said of Kane. “Very sad, very disappointed, and it’s going to be tough for the rest of the season. We hope it’s not a big issue but there’s not much time to recover. He’s twisted his ankle and we will see how he reacts in the next few hours.”
Kane was injured as he went into a sliding challenge with Fabian Delph and came worse off.
“I think both were fighting for a ball and had no intention to damage each other,” Pochettino said.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris prevented Tottenham from conceding its first goal at the new stadium when he saved a penalty in the 13th minute from Sergio Aguero after a sliding Danny Rose was adjudged to have blocked Raheem Sterling’s shot with his hand.
In an intense game, the Premier League gulf between the sides was not apparent. City is challenging for the title in second place, 16 points ahead of a Tottenham side clinging on to fourth place and the final Champions League spot for next season.
This was Tottenham’s first quarterfinal in European football’s elite competition in eight years — the last time a Champions League game was staged on this site in north London before the team was forced to play at Wembley while a new home was built.
City reached the last eight last season but was knocked out by Liverpool. Juergen Klopp’s side is trying to reach a second straight final and beat Porto 2-0 at Anfield in the night’s other first leg.
On Wednesday, Manchester United hosts Barcelona and Juventus is at Ajax.
Source: FOX Sport