Mauricio Pochettino offered a sense of relief for Tottenham fans after claiming that there is nothing to worry about Son Heung-min‘s fitness following their victory on Saturday.
After two mediocre performances in their last two Premier League outings against Manchester City and Sunderland, the north London club got back on track with a crucial 1-0 triumph over relegation candidates Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane.
The closeness of the scoreline highlights that it was a tense and tight affair as the visitors pinned most of their players in the own half and defended in numbers, while looked to break on the counter-attack. The latter plan did not work as the Lilywhites’ backline was largely untroubled despite missing key starters like Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen. As it looked like Aitor Karanka’s men were going to foil Spurs from a victory, all those efforts came undone when Harry Kane slotted home his 14th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot in the 58th minute. It was the club’s seventh successive home win, and they remain 2nd in the league, 9 points behind toppers Chelsea.
The only blot for the home side was seeing Son Heung-min, who won the spot kick, picking up a knock and eventually being replaced by Moussa Sissoko nearing the closing stages of the match.
The 24-year-old has been an integral part of the north London side since arriving from Bayer Leverkusen in 2015. He has racked up seven goals and laid on three assists so far this season, and does offer an alternate attacking dimension for Pochettino.
However, the former Southampton boss assured the fans at full-time that the knock wasn’t too bad.
“He had a knock if you remember from the previous action but it’s not a big issue,” the 44-year-old told his post-match press conference.
“Yes, [it was tactical substitution] to try to help the team at 1-0 and refresh the team in that moment. It wasn’t because it was an injury.”
Next test for Tottenham is an away tie at Anfield against Liverpool on Saturday. Jurgen Klopp’s men continue their torrid run of form since the start of the year as they were humbled by Hull City 2-0 away from home on Saturday. They are definitely struggling to break down stubborn teams who are tactically outsmarting them by dropping bodies deep. For sure, Spurs won’t be following the similar ideology which makes the match mouth-watering. If Spurs could return to London with three points, the Reds’ hope for Champions League qualification is certainly over.
The following match will see them squaring off Gent in the Europa League at the Ghelamco Arena.
Meanwhile, Karanka’s side will carry on their Premier League survival quest when they take on Everton at home next weekend.
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