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Son shines late on to give Tottenham a one goal cushion

Pin The Korean international broke the deadlock in an even contest. AFP
The Korean international broke the deadlock in an even contest. AFP

Son shines late on to give Tottenham a one goal cushion

Paul Singh by Paul Singh @besoccer_com - 2 6,858

A goal from Son-Heung Min 12 minutes from time gave Mauricio Pochettino's side a 1-0 victory over Manchester City at the new Tottenham Stadium. Aguero missed a penalty for the visitors.

Tottenham Hotspur go into the second leg at the Etihad Stadium next Wednesday with a 1-0 advantage thanks to a strike from Son-Heung Min late on to see off Manchester City in a very even contest. 

Manchester City started the stronger and David Silva had the opening opportunity inside the first minute. Guardiola's side started with lots of possession and territory away from home. They also managed to force a corner before Dele Alli volleyed a Sissoko cross over the crossbar in the eighth minute. Just two minutes later, the away side had their clearest opportunity of the game to score. Sterling made a superb run into the box and then shot. Rose looked to have blocked it for a corner, but the VAR spotted that Danny Rose's arm was raised and he ordered Dutch referee, Danny Makkelie, to look at the monitor. 

After a good look on the touchline, he decided to give a spot kick to Guardiola's side. Sergio Aguero, who was a doubt going into the game, stepped up and hit it to the goalkeeper's left, but Lloris guessed correctly and he prevented the opening goal of the game in the 13th minute. Vertonghen, who strayed into the box slightly early, was first to the rebound and cleared it away.

After the penalty, Tottenham picked up and they were the stronger side for the rest of the half. The City defence were forced to clear on a couple of occasions and Dele Alli, Kane and Son started to threaten for the home side. Tottenham had their first opportunity in the 24th minute when Ederson made a fine stop to deny Harry Kane. Dele Alli started it with a run to the by-line, the referee played advantage and Eriksen then flicked the ball for Kane. Kane then shot from inside the area and Ederson had to dive to prevent Spurs from hitting the front.

Danny Rose redeemed himself after the penalty with some good defending on a few occasions. Just after Kane was denied by the City goalkeeper, He fended off Riyad Mahrez and used his strength and muscle to stop the attack after Aguero had played him in. In the 29th minute, Eriksen hit the wall from a free kick and Harry Winks was unable to find the target after a bit of pinball. Tottenham had definitely started to take control of the match. 

Man City responded from a free-kick when Otamendi headed a Gundogan free-kick straight at Lloris. It was that kind of night. Very even and topsy turvy which could have gone either way. In the 35th minute, Sterling made a good run before being dispossessed and that was inresponse to a Trippier corss which Kane was unable to direct on target. Aguero then fired wide six minutes before the break, but they were unable to test Lloris on any occasion.

Rose tested Ederson in the 42nd minute of the match and he again forced a corner seconds later with another run down City's right. He did that quite a few times in the first half. Aguero had one last pop at goal before the interval, but the game was deservedly goalless at half-time. 

After the interval, it was a very frenetic start to the second half. Sterling had the first opportunity of the second period. Gundogan saw Aguero on the far side who then sent it to Sterling at the far post who was unable to beat Lloris. Son went straight up the another end and hit off target from 25 yards. The toing and froing carried on for the whole game.

Ederson picked up a knock after landing awkwardly after coming out to claim a ball, but Spurs suffered a much severe injury blow 10 minutes into the second period. Delph kicked the ball and ended catching Harry Kane on his left ankle in his follow through. Kane's ankle was absolutely smashed by Delph and it went in a very unnatural position. He was unable to plant his foot on the ground and he had to leave the field immeidately. 

The defences were very strong and both goalies were largely untroubled for the most part. After Kane's injury, there was a 15 minute lull where very little happened and the game was heading for a goalless draw. Spurs had a corner and Silva was caught offside on one occasion, but there was very little to write home about. 

Delph managed to break the lull, but it was just a long range shot which was so wayward it ended up becoming a cross and Silva was unable to get on the end of it. After five minutes of good Man City pressure, Son stepped up and gave Spurs the lead against the run of play. Moura won a 50:50 bal to start with, the move developed before Eriksen sent in a ball for Son. The Korean miscontrolled it before cutting inside and striking it under Ederson's body, City wanted both offside and they thought that the ball went out after Son's miscontrol. They were wrong on both counts.

That was a bitter pill to swallow for Pep Guardiola's men who did not deserve to lose, but they failed to take their golden opportunity. In the 87th minute, Son and Eriksen combined again and the Korean was close to making it 2-0. Unfortunately for him, his shot was off target. The home crowd were in full voice and one fan got a little too excited and came onto the pitch in the final minute of normal time.

Man City tried to attack, but although they went close to the Spurs area, they had very few clear-cut chances. With the last play of the game in the 96th minute, De Bruyne sent in a free-kick which was first punched away by Lloris and then Fernandinho headed over.

The final whistle sounded and the home crowd were jubilant. It was a bad night for a City side who were rather poor going forward and they will have to score three times next week if they happen to concede in the second leg. For Tottenham, it was a fantastic night and a great opening Champions League night at the new stadium. That said, it came at a huge price: losing Harry Kane to what looked like a serious injury.

Paul Singh

Paul Singh

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