As Son Heung-Min calmly stroked home Harry Kane’s perfectly weighted ball in the 12th-minute, the Tottenham forward achieved two things. Firstly, he gave the Lilywhites the belief that they could finally banish their Wembley hoodoo, and secondly, Son became the highest-scoring South Korean in Premier League history.
Top-scoring #PL players from South Korea:
🇰🇷 Park Ji-Sung: 19
🇰🇷 Son Heung-Min: 19
And there's plenty more where those came from… pic.twitter.com/WmvXwVCHWI
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 22, 2017
Having now passed the record of Manchester United’s former fan favourite, Park Ji-Sung, you’d fully expect the 25-year-old to end up finishing well clear of the 19 goals his fellow countryman left the top flight of English football, with.
Unlike Park, goals are a huge part of Son’s game – although Park’s penchant for big goals, especially against Arsenal, will forever be second-to-none – with the former Hamburg player feeling he should’ve probably gone in at half-time against Liverpool with at least a brace.
16: Son hits the bar.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 22, 2017
Son is the perfect symbol of this Tottenham: selfless, industrious and devastatingly efficient; in just his fourth Premier League start of the season, Pochettino has built a team of players that fully understand they all have a role to play – the Argentine is often criticised for his failure to have added to Spurs’ squad depth outside their XI, but when the ethos of those outside the line-up, is that of Son’s, you can understand why (Arsene Wenger, during his early days at Arsenal, always spoke of his preference of a small squad).
36% possession was all Spurs had against Liverpool, but as they did against Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid, Tottenham don’t need the ball to dominate and suffocate teams; Son’s incessant pressing of Liverpool’s backline, and exploiting of gaps behind them, was key in Pochettino’s side breaking that Wembley hoodoo in such style.
The greatest weapon in Pochettino’s varied arsenal is, of course, Harry Kane. And it is little wonder that the England striker thrives when playing up top with Son; the South Korean international’s tireless and selflessness performances must be a dream to play alongside, with Kane’s desire for breaking records seemingly Son’s main aim, too.
It would be no surprise to see Son back on the bench for the visit to Old Trafford on Saturday, but Pochettino knows, that should he need the South Korean, he’ll be ready and waiting, like usual.