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Champions League

Son Heung-Min the Man of the Hour For Tottenham

Heung-Min Son Tottenham Champions League
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates victory after the UEFA Champions League Group E match between PFC CSKA Moskva and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Stadion CSKA Moskva on September 27, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Tottenham winger Son Heung-Min has continued his rich vein of form after breaking the deadlock in the 71st minute in Tuesday’s Champion League match vs. Russian side CSKA Moscow.

Son started out on the left and looked lively, but was pushed into the middle after Mauricio Pochettino subbed off striker Vincent Janssen early on on the second half. The change provided a spark as Erik Lamela put in a sublime through ball which Son smashed through the arm of Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as Spurs won 1-0, moving up to second in group E in the process.

For Son, this is his 5th goal in as many matches as the South Korean international is playing some of his best football in a Spurs shirt since his move in the summer of 2015 from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

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Since he left international duty from South Korea a week early to prepare for the match against Stoke City earlier in the season, he’s been a mainstay in Mauricio Pochettino’s starting XI this season.

Son has been a live wire for Tottenham this season.  His pace and directness has helped Spurs climb to second in the Premier League.

After enduring a horrid first season at White Hart Lane, Pochettino persuaded the South Korean to stay, and Son has repaid the faith the Argentine has put in him. His performances this season has minimized the impact of Harry Kane‘s injury as he has took up the responsibility of scoring goals, as he scored braces against Stoke and Middlesbrough.

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Tuesday night against Moscow was much of the same. Despite Moscow sitting deep and absorbing pressure, Son was a direct threat throughout the match. His willingness to take players on helped create an outlet for Tottenham. He gave Moscow left-back Mario Fernandes a hard time and created chances for his side to break the deadlock. His shift into the middle of the pitch paid dividends as he helped Spurs get all three points in a must-win game away from home.

Pochettino has been impressed with the South Korean international this season:

“I think it is key,” Pochettino said of Son’s recent success. “It is very important that not only Harry, who was good before his injury and scored, that now another player has scored and that is very important for the team, I feel very pleased for Sonny. He is on fire and to keep this form is very important for us.”

When comparing last season to now, Son has felt like a new signing for Spurs, and “Sonaldo” (a nickname he acquired while playing in the Bundesliga), could be the lynchpin as they look to get out of the group stage, compete in the knockout phase of the Champions League, and compete for the Premier League’s top four places this season.

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