Sonny’s late strike puts Tottenham in second place

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Heung-Min Son
Heung-Min Son

Tottenham  Hotspur picked up all three points in a defensive battle against relegation-threatened Newcastle United thanks to Heung-Min Son, winning the match by the final score of 1-0.

The first chance of the match came in the 17th minute right after a set piece for Spurs. Kieran played the ball into the penalty area, only for it to be cleared out. The ball fell to Christian Eriksen, who played a little chip back in. Lucas Moura was kept onside by Newcastle and had a clear header, but he went just wide of the net. It should have been 1-0, but the Magpies escaped unscathed.

Spurs maintained possession going into the 25th minute when their next chance came. After unlocking the Newcastle defense, coupled with an error by their back line when it came to clearing the ball, Jan Vertonghen played a cross in that somehow found a streaking Erik Lamela. His headed attempt hit the crossbar and kicked back out to Trippier. The right back crossed it again and found Lucas, who again mis-headed the ball. This time it went well over the crossbar to end the threat.

Newcastle managed to muster up an attack in the 30th minute, finally breaking the possession run of Spurs. After breaking on the counter, Hector Rondon managed to collect the ball about ten yards out from goal and attempted a shot. It was blocked by Toby Alderweireld and eventually cleared out to touch. Newcastle had a bit of a chance off the corner kick after but ultimately ended up shooting the ball well into the stands to end the threat.

Spurs knocked on the door again in the 38th minute, looking for the breakthrough. Trippier found himself all alone just outside the penalty area after a series of good passes, crossing the ball into the box but, ultimately, getting his ball cleared out. It fell to Moussa Sissoko, who fired a low shot for the far post. It was heading for the side netting, but Martin Dubravka got a glove to it to keep his clean sheet in tact.

One final chance in the first half came for Spurs in stoppage time as Jan Vertonghen earned a free kick in the final third. Christian Eriksen attempted a cross into the box to find a free attacker, but Newcastle cleared it out to end the half with both sides still looking for the opening goal.

SECOND HALF

Spurs opened up the second half the same way as the first, owning possession and working the ball slowly towards the final third. After earning a corner kick from a Heung-Min Son deflected shot, Erik Lamela played a great ball into the penalty area that found Davinson Sanchez. The glancing header was good, but it flashed just wide of the post. Another missed chance for Tottenham.

Newcastle took over a little bit of possession at this point and got on the brake, playing a corner into the penalty area for a jumping Rondon. The Newcastle striker managed to get his own headed attempt towards the side netting but thankfully the attempt kissed off the outside of the post. Yet another woodwork shot in this match that ricocheted out.

Pochettino made a substitute at the 60th minute mark, bringing on Fernando Llorente for Lucas Moura and making a slight change in the formation. Llorente took up shop at the #9 with Sonny playing just wide of him.

Spurs thought for certain they had the opening goal in the 65th minute as a bright attack led to Lamela playing the ball into the penalty area. Sonny got his head on the ball to deflect it past Dubravka and Eriksen flicked it towards the net. Somehow, Fabian Schar managed to clear the ball off the line.

Newcastle answered with an attack of their own in the 67th minute as Ayoze Perez came free about twenty yards out and ripped a shot headed for goal. Hugo Lloris, who didn’t have much to do up until this point in the match, made a wonderful leaping save to keep the score level with just over twenty minutes to play.

The breakthrough finally came for Spurs in the 83rd minute. Fernando Llorente posted up nicely and chested the ball down to Sonny. With one little dribble, the Korean International cleared some space and fired a shot on net. Dubravka probably should have had the save, but the ball dipped down at the right time, under the Newcastle keeper’s body and finding the back of the net. Spurs had their lead with seven minutes to play plus stoppage.

Newcastle tried to push up, suddenly tasked with actually having to form an attack not on a counter, but Spurs handled the pressure well. The only bit of a chance for the Magpies came in the 93rd minute on a long cross attempt that could have found Rondon, but Hugo was there to clean it up and snuff out any chance of an attack. Andre Marriner brought the match to a close and Spurs had all three points.

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