Son becomes EPL's highest-scoring Asian as Spurs pip Palace
|(Son Heung Min 64)|
Tottenham Hotspur rode their luck before South Korean forward Son Heung Min earned them a 1-0 victory over bottom club Crystal Palace to consolidate their place in the English Premier League's top four last night.
Mauricio Pochettino's side, fresh from beating European champions Real Madrid in midweek, found Palace a tough nut to crack at Wembley and could have trailed before Son curled in the winner.
Son's goal, his 20th in a Tottenham shirt, lifts the 25-year-old above fellow South Korean and former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji Sung to become the highest-scoring Asian in the Premier League.
Despite not being at their best, however, Tottenham remained in third position.
"No point in beating Real on Wednesday if you can't win at home at the weekend," Spurs defender Eric Dier said.
"We knew it would be difficult today with players missing, but we wanted to keep the momentum going."
Striker Harry Kane tweeted: "Sometimes you just got to grind it out. Great finish Sonny."
Palace have four points from 11 games, but could count themselves unfortunate as Scott Dann was twice denied by Tottenham's debutant goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, while Wilfried Zaha wasted a great chance shortly before Spurs scored.
Gazzaniga also saved well from former Tottenham player Andros Townsend early in the second half, while Son could have given Spurs breathing space but put his chance wide.
Spurs were without Dele Alli, scorer of two goals in the 3-1 win over Real, while goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and his deputy Michel Vorm were both unavailable, handing a debut to 25-year-old Argentinian Gazzaniga, who made crucial saves to earn the Man-of-the-Match vote.
The second half was more open. Zaha should have punished Spurs when he was clean through but, after going round Gazzaniga, he shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
A few minutes later, after Danny Rose's shot was blocked, the ball ended up with Son on the edge of a crowded area and he curled a delightful shot past Julian Speroni. - REUTERS