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“He slipped twice”- Conte gives verdict on Spurs forward’s poor display vs Man United

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Mark Lawrenson believes Tottenham will repeat what they did under Jose Mourinho in 2020.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte defends Son Heung-Min for his final third struggles vs Manchester United

Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte has backed Son Heung-Min following his struggles in the final third of the pitch against Manchester United. His team lost 3-2 in the Premier League as Cristiano Ronaldo led the hosts to a win after scoring a hat-trick on the night.

Ronaldo dropped a vintage performance yesterday, which helped Man United see off the challenge posed by the Lilywhites. On the other hand, Son was a huge disappointment on the night as he was expected to step up to the plate and assist his team alongside Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski in the frontline. However, that was not the case, and questions were asked about his display to Conte after the league fixture.

Speaking in the post-match press conference (h/t Football.London), Conte refused to single out any players and pointed out the South Korean’s display vs Everton to shut down claims of his struggles in the final third. In fact, the boss expressed that the winger enjoyed a good game and was unlucky to slip twice in decisive moments.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte defends Son Heung-Min for his final third struggles vs Man United. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Antonio Conte defends Son after his disappointing displays vs Man United. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“It’s difficult to speak about single players because in the last game against Everton he was devastating, Sonny. There are a couple of players that are very, very important to us and we need to always have good performances but Sonny and I think he played a good game to give everything tonight.”

“Then there are games that everything goes well and others where you can slip. Tonight, he slipped twice! He slipped twice and it was a pity because it was in two important situations where you can go towards the goal.”

Son had a tough game

Let’s be real, compared to Kane and Kulusevski, Son failed to perform to his best in a match where he was expected to make a difference. We created multiple chances throughout the game, and the latter could have done better to help us clinch all three points. Unfortunately, that was not the case as he endured one of his most disappointing outings in a Spurs shirt this season.

Even when you ignore the slips, Son could have put the ball in the back of the net around the hour mark. Kulusevski set him up with a low cut-back, which he failed to convert as the resulting shot whizzed past the post.

Son Heung-Min failed to step up vs Man United. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Son Heung-Min failed to step up vs Man United. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

However, we are left to rue the mistakes and the missed opportunities as United make their way into the top four. Conte’s comments regarding Son are expected. The ex-Bayer Leverkusen star can count on the Italian to back him in public considering he has had a good season with us overall.

We cannot dwell on the past for too long, but a top-four finish seems to be out of our hands at this moment. The sentiment is shared among the fanbase, but we cannot stop fighting in any case. A strong end to this season could turn the tides for us to ensure Champions League qualification. Whether that will happen or not would only be known in due time.

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But one thing is for certain- when the South Korean superstar is firing on all cylinders, we are automatically a better side. Let us hope he learns from this horror outing against the Red Devils and gets back to his best against Brighton and Hove Albion later this week.

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