Heung-min Son may have been unable to inspire South Korea to glory at the Asian Cup which was won surprisingly by Qatar who shocked Japan 3-1 in the final on Friday evening, but it was his goal that gave Tottenham Hotspur a hard-earned 1-0 win over a resilient Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, helping the London side to set a new record as a result.
After coming from behind to beat Watford in midweek, Tottenham dominated their visitors for lengthy spells at Wembley but lacked a killer instinct in the absence of injured duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli. But Spurs eventually moved up to second on the Premier League table after goalkeeper Martin Dubravka let Son’s 83rd-minute shot squirm under his body to gift Mauricio Pochettino’s men the important win over Newcastle.
The win allowed Pochettino’s side break the Premier League record for most consecutive matches played without a draw, as Spurs’ mark of 29 matches surpassed the run of 28 matches without a draw set in 2011 by Nigerian football icon, Austin Okocha’s former club Bolton Wanderers. Saturday’s win for Spurs was the 19th in 25 matches for the London side, who have lost the other six games.
Rafael Benitez might have sensed the chance to upset a another team with Premier League title aspirations after his side beat Manchester City in midweek, especially with Tottenham missing the presence of Kane in their attack. And Newcastle benefited from having a very clear target man to aim at in the form of Solomon Rondon, who caused problems all afternoon for Spurs and even came close to putting Newcastle ahead early in the second half only for him to be denied by the post.
Spurs themselves had seen an effort cleared off the line while another effort came off the Newcastle post as the afternoon looked set to have a frustrating end for the Londoners but Newcastle keeper Dubravka’s error cost the Magpies a precious point and kept Spurs in the hunt for silverware. Son’s low drive looked to be heading straight into Dubravka’s arms yet it wriggled underneath his dive and found the net.
As a result, Pochettino’s side move up to second with 57 points, four points behind league leaders Liverpool who play on Monday night in London at West Ham United. By then, the Reds could have seen their lead at the top cut even more to two points should Manchester City, now a point behind Spurs in third place, get a win on Sunday when they face fourth placed Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.