Son stands out with man-of-the-match showing in Spurs win vs. Huddersfield
Two goals from Son Heung-Min, one in each half, gave Tottenham a comfortable Premier League victory over struggling Huddersfield at Wembley on Saturday.
Spurs started brightly and created several half chances in the opening 10 minutes. Thereafter the game settled into a more leisurely pace before the deadlock was broken when Son ran on to a Dele Alli through-ball to round the keeper. The visitors showed more intent at the start of the second half, but the game was effectively killed off when Son ran on to one of the passes of the season from Harry Kane to head home.
Spurs' unbeaten record now stretches to 17 games, and the team looked to be in control throughout. Son was the standout player: apart from his two goals, he was a constant menace down both flanks and was unlucky not to have been awarded a penalty when upended in the box early in the second half. Best of all, Spurs appear to have no injuries going into Wednesday's crucial Champions League round-of-16 return leg against Juventus.
None worth mentioning. The games you are expected to win comfortably are always potential banana skins during the run-in to the end of the season, but Spurs passed the test with few alarms. Being picky, you could argue that Tottenham chose to play much of the game at training pace rather than going for the kill, but that may have been part of the game plan with Juve coming up.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Mauricio Pochettino picked just about his strongest team and was rewarded with a comfortable three points. Wisely removed Son and Mousa Dembele from the action when the game was won to save them for next Wednesday. The game plan was clearly to get though the 90 minutes with few alarms and to expend as little energy as possible and his team duly delivered.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 7 -- Another easy afternoon for the Spurs keeper. Was only once called in to action by a long-range shot in the second half, and thereafter his main problem was in keeping warm. His distribution has also improved and was quick to initiate breaks.
DF Serge Aurier, 6 -- Offered very little going forward -- his delivery is nowhere near as good as Kieran Trippier's -- but he was a lot tighter defensively than he has been of late. On the plus side, he got through the game without one foul throw-in.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 7 -- Apart from one early brainstorm when he gave away possession in a dangerous area, Sanchez had the Huddersfield attack in his pocket. Was particularly impressive in the air.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 7 -- With the Belgian international back from injury, Spurs look a far more secure defensive unit. Was rarely put under any pressure and linked well with the midfield. Had the ball in the net from a free kick, but his header was rightly ruled offside.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- One of his quieter games. Never quite managed to combine with the midfield to offer an attacking threat down the left flank, though his defensive work was flawless. Made one key interception in his own penalty area late on.
MF Eric Dier, 7 -- Back in his preferred position of defensive midfield ahead of the back four. With the visitors offering comparatively little in attack, this was a routine afternoon for Dier. His passing was crisp and accurate, though seldom incisive.
MF Mousa Dembele, 7 -- As against Crystal Palace the previous week, he wasn't the dominant force that we have come to expect of late. Though never less than assured on the ball, one or two passes did go astray and he was seldom able to play the killer ball. However, he was tireless in defence as well as attack and showed an unexpected turn of speed on one occasion.
MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Came close to scoring when his deflected first-half free kick bounced off the post for a corner, but otherwise had a quiet game. Was content to play from deep and was too happy to control the game at a walking pace rather than look for the penetrating pass.
MF Son Heung-Min, 8 -- Spurs' man of the match. Was one of the few players prepared to run at the Huddersfield defence at pace, and every time he touched the ball, the visitors looked vulnerable. Thoroughly deserved both his goals, which he finished in style.
MF Dele Alli, 6 -- He looks to be suffering a crisis of confidence. His pass to set up Son's opener apart, he never made a telling impact. His flicks and tricks aren't coming off and he has taken to over-elaborating his play rather than taking the direct option that was so effective last season.
FW Harry Kane, 7 -- Had a few half chances that he couldn't take but this was one of his more peripheral displays. Almost as if he was saving himself for Juve. But was still involved enough to play one of the passes of the season to set up Son's second.
MF Erik Lamela, 6 -- Brought on for Son just before the 70-minute mark and didn't impress. Wanted too much time on the ball and his decision making was poor.
MF Moussa Sissoko, NR -- It's still hard to see what Pochettino sees in the French international. Helped see out the game but offered little.
MF Lucas Moura, NR -- Made an immediate impact in his few minutes' playing time. His direct running unnerved the Huddersfield defence and he created several opportunities. Must be in line for a place in the starting XI for Juve ahead of the out-of-form Alli.
John Crace is one of ESPN FC's Tottenham bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @JohnJCrace.