LONDON – Son Heung-Min struck twice as Tottenham Hotspur’s challenge for Champions League football next season continued unabated with a routine 2-0 win over Huddersfield at Wembley on Saturday.
Spurs leapfrog Liverpool, who host Newcastle later (7.30pm SA time), into third in the Premier League, but more importantly open up a five-point lead over fifth-placed Chelsea in the battle for a top four finish.
Son was the star of the show as the South Korean took his tally for the season to 15 with a pair of calm finishes either side of halftime to extend Tottenham’s unbeaten run in all competitions to 17 games.
By contrast, Huddersfield offered barely any attacking threat as a 10th defeat in 15 away league games leaves David Wagner’s men just three points above the relegation zone in 15th.
Despite the spectre of a huge Champions League last-16, second leg with Juventus to come on Wednesday, Mauricio Pochettino named his strongest available side.
Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen were among those restored to the starting line-up from Wednesday’s 6-1 demolition of third-tier Rochdale in the FA Cup.
And that trio should have put Spurs out of sight of a limited Huddersfield in the first 45 minutes.
Alli just couldn’t stretch to turn home Kane’s driven cross inside three minutes before the on-form Son’s cut-back for Kane produced a fine save from Jonas Lossl.
Eriksen then saw a deflected free kick come back off the post, and hit a fiercely struck low drive that forced Lossl into action once more.
Son was in a class of his own all afternoon and it was little surprise he showed more poise than his teammates in front of goal to finally open the scoring 27 minutes in.
Alli’s fine pass split the Huddersfield defence wide open and Son took his time to round Lossl before slotting into an empty net.
It took Huddersfield 53 minutes to pose a treat when substitute Tom Ince latched onto a long ball in behind the Spurs defence and saw his well-struck effort beaten away by Hugo Lloris.
However, seconds later, the game was over as a contest when Son stooped to head home at the back post.
Kane may have failed to score for a sixth straight game, but the England striker deserved most of the credit for Son’s second, though, as his wonderful cross picked out his teammate perfectly.
Son was denied the chance of a hat trick as he was replaced 20 minutes from time by Erik Lamela as Pochettino began to look ahead to Juventus, with Moussa Dembele and Alli also withdrawn.
And Kane’s failure to continue his scoring streak was the only negative of a comfortable afternoon for the hosts as he skewed wide when completely unmarked from an Eriksen corner 10 minutes from time.
Other Premier League Results
Burnley 2-1 Everton, Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth, Swansea 4-1 West Ham, Southampton 0-0 Stoke, Watford 1-0 West Brom.