Son levels S Korean scoring record as Spurs beat Bournemouth
LONDON – Son Heung-min matched a 31-year South Korean scoring record as Tottenham beat Bournemouth 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday to remain hot on the heels of leader Chelsea.
Son netted Tottenham's second goal to take his season tally to 19 and become the highest-scoring South Korean in a single European season since Cha Bum-kun at German club Bayer Leverkusen in 1985-86. Son also played for Leverkusen before the midfielder moved to London in 2015.
A rampant Tottenham ripped Bournemouth apart with ease to record a club-record 12th straight home win in the league to trim Chelsea's advantage to four points ahead of the leaders playing Sunday at Manchester United.
Tottenham is ending the season strongly but might have to settle for its highest Premier League finish rather than a first English title since 1961.
Not only did Mousa Dembele score his first goal of the season, but substitute striker Vincent Jansson netted in stoppage time for his first from open play in the league since joining Tottenham last year.
And Harry Kane reached 20 goals for a third successive season, scoring on his first start in almost five weeks after recovering from an ankle injury.
Mauricio Pochettino's side has a tough run-in with games against Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester in the final six games. There's a break from league action next Saturday to play Chelsea in the semifinals of the FA Cup.
If Spurs are to pull off a remarkable comeback in the league, they will need Kane back in form. The 23-year-old striker was still regaining sharpness during his 79 minutes on the field.
Son had scored four goals in three games during Kane's absence and kept his place in the starting lineup despite Kane's return, with Pochettino accommodating him in a 4-2-3-1.
Dembele set Tottenham on its way to a seventh league win in a row for the first time since 1967 by scoring in the 16th minute. The midfielder ran through unchecked to meet Christian Eriksen's corner at the far post and net his first goal in 15 months.
A Bournemouth error led to Tottenham doubling its lead inside three minutes.
Jack Wilshere, much to the delight of the home support, was the player at fault. The Arsenal midfielder, on loan at Bournemouth, gave the ball away under pressure from Eric Dier — and in a flash Kane was flicking it behind him and Son was driving it through goalkeeper Artur Boruc's legs.
If Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe had hoped the interval might spark a change in fortunes, he would soon be disappointed. Two minutes and three seconds after the restart, his side conceded a third.
Kane looked to have lost control under pressure from Simon Francis but he wrestled the ball back, twisted away from the defender and rifled it past Boruc.
He squandered two excellent chances to add to his tally soon after — the second thwarted by a block from Wilshere, who then dropped to the grass clutching his ankle.
The midfielder was then subjected to a harrowing few minutes of taunts from jubilant Tottenham fans before he finally hobbled down the tunnel.
Son could have made the score line more emphatic by volleying more precisely and then later leaving the ball for Dele Alli when he was offside.
But Janssen, on as a substitute, added a final flourish, converting at the second attempt from close range after Ben Davies had pulled back in stoppage time.
Bournemouth is seven points above the relegation zone and closing in on securing a third season in the Premier League.