Tottenham moved into second in the Premier League as Son Heung-min struck late to deny a gallant Newcastle a point at Wembley Stadium. The South Korean forward benefited from a Martin Dubravka error with seven minutes left as his powerful 20-yard shot went under the Newcastle goalkeeper’s body.
The away side were well organized and gritty throughout, with Fabian Schar’s acrobatic goal line clearance to deny Christian Eriksen in the second half epitomizing their spirit. Rafael Benitez’s side had chances of their own, with Salomon Rondon heading against the post with the score at 0-0 but their resistance was broken when substitute Fernando Llorente laid the ball off for Son to score a ninth goal in his past 10 Spurs appearances.
The win means Mauricio Pochettino’s side set a Premier League record as they reached 29 matches in a row without a draw, eclipsing Bolton’s mark of 28 set in 2011. Newcastle stay 14th before the 15:00 GMT kick-offs. Son and persistence win the day. Spurs’ lack of draws perhaps shows they refuse to settle and that has certainly been the case in recent weeks with late goals earning wins against Fulham, Watford and now Newcastle.
The snatching of such wins points to the kind of spirit Pochettino has needed from his players when faced with injuries to key names like Harry Kane and Dele Alli. Perhaps no-one has stepped up more than Son, His return from South Korea duty at the Asian Cup has proven key and just as fatigue looked to be setting in at Wembley, he found the space to win it.
It was the 14th goal he has been directly involved in during his past 10 Tottenham outings and ultimately moved his side above Manchester City – who play Arsenal on Sunday – and four points behind leaders Liverpool. No-one had more shots than Son’s five but Llorente’s introduction from the bench on the hour was also pivotal as he served up the assist.
Spurs, with help from Dubravka, ultimately found an answer against a side who sat deep in a 5-4-1 formation and threatened in pockets on the break. Given Lucas Moura headed wide from close range early on, Erik Lamela headed against the bar and Schar’s clearance from Eriksen, few could argue Spurs did not deserve three points. Pochettino may not be happy that only four of their 21 shots hit the target but they got the job done for a third league win in a row.