If this was a first taste of life without Harry Kane for Tottenham, maybe that prospect isn’t so terrifying after all. At least not while Son Heung-min is still at the club.
Son netted a second-half winner Sunday as Tottenham opened the Premier League season with an impressive 1-0 home victory over defending champion Manchester City — the team that has spent the summer trying to buy its talisman striker.
New Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo left Kane out of his team altogether amid continued speculation about a pending move to City, but still ended up with a statement victory on his debut.
Son finished off a quick counterattack in the 55th minute and Tottenham effectively neutralized City’s many attacking threats in front of a packed home stadium of about 58,000 fans.
“I think this means a lot for us, for the start of the season,” Son said. “First game, with the fans finally, it’s just an incredible performance.”
Kane’s absence was the big pregame talking point, although Nuno said the decision was made solely because the England striker only returned to full training on Friday after his holiday.
Son insisted the Tottenham players had no difficulties putting all the speculation aside.
“We are all professionals. We wanted to focus on this game,” Son said. “Obviously, Harry is so, so important for us. But let’s see.”
Based on this performance, City might need Kane more than Spurs do — especially after letting Sergio Aguero leave on a free transfer this summer.
This was the final game of a crowd-pleasing opening Premier League weekend and City was the only big title contender that failed to start with a win. Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all opened with big victories on Saturday.
City dominated possession but struggled to break down a disciplined Tottenham side, which was content to sit back and wait for opportunities to counter. “You see the stats, the intention to create chances, to create much more,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “Unfortunately we were not clinical enough.”
Tottenham will hope it was the kind of performance that could help convince Kane to stay at Spurs after all. And Nuno insisted he expects to soon have the striker back in the team.
“Look, Harry is one of the best players in the world, honestly,” Nuno said. “So we are very lucky to have him. So he has to get ready and help the team.”
In Sunday’s early game, West Ham twice came from a goal down to beat Newcastle 4-2 in an entertaining encounter at St James’ Park. “It was a really good game, if you were a neutral you would have said it was a good game of football, plenty of action at both ends,” West Ham manager David Moyes said.
Source : TRN,