Dublin: 11°C Sunday 3 July 2022
Advertisement

Tottenham secure Champions League football at Arsenal's expense as Son seals Golden Boot win

The South Korea forward shares the illustrious prize with Liverpool’s Mo Salah.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

TOTTENHAM BOOKED their return to the Champions League with a 5-0 rout at relegated Norwich where Son Heung-min earned a share of the Premier League Golden Boot.

Son scored twice in five second-half minutes to finish level with Liverpool’s Mohamad Salah on 23 goals as Spurs ran riot to complete an achievement that boss Antonio Conte had described as needing a “miracle”.

Tottenham were ninth when the Italian took over in November and then seven points adrift of fourth when they lost to Burnley in February but 10 wins from their next 14 games saw them overhaul Arsenal, Manchester United and West Ham.

Dejan Kulusevski scored twice and Harry Kane also bagged as Spurs made sure there would be no last-day failure at Carrow Road.

They will return to the premier European club competition after two seasons away and the future looks bright if they can get Conte to commit his future to the club this summer.

Norwich are heading in the opposite direction after another listless display left their home fans chanting against the board and they will have to regroup in the summer ahead of another stint in the Championship.

It never looked like it would be a case of the north London club being ‘Spursy’ as Conte’s side started confidently.

They had an early chance to ease their nerves inside the opening 10 minutes as a quick counter-attack saw Kulusevski cut back to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who blazed over when he should have scored.

That did not matter, though, as they went ahead in the 16th minute.

Hojbjerg’s ball over the top played in Rodrigo Bentancur and as he raced in on goal the midfielder squared for Kulusevski to tap in from close range.

Norwich were almost gifted an equaliser as a sloppy Eric Dier pass allowed Milot Rashica in on goal but he shot wide.

Instead, it was a poor pass at the other end that led to a goal as Spurs doubled their lead just after the half-hour.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul was playing out from the back, but he passed straight to Bentancur, who crossed for Kane to head into an empty net.

Qualifying for the Champions League was the primary goal for Spurs, but the second was for Son to overhaul Salah in the race for the Golden Boot.

He spurned a good chance in the first half as he chose to attempt a first-time volley at the far post when he had time to bring it down.

For large periods of the second half it looked like he would miss out on the silverware as he missed three golden chances.

First he saw an effort palmed away by Krul, who then produced a miraculous save to deny the South Korean from close range after a telepathic cross by Kane.

Then moments later, Kulusevski barged through on goal, rounded Krul and – with an empty net to shoot at – attempted to square to Son, who was tackled by Max Aarons.

The Swede was not going to make the same mistake as two minutes later he out-muscled a defender following Kane’s pass, cut inside and then curled a sublime effort into the far top corner.

Five minutes then changed the course of Son’s afternoon as he scored twice.

After again being denied by Krul, he got another bite of the cherry as Lucas Moura popped off a quick pass and the South Korean found the bottom corner.

Then he put himself in the outright lead as he curled a trademark effort into the far corner from 20 yards to mark mass scenes of celebration.

Salah’s late goal at Anfield did not dampen the mood as Son’s and Spurs’ season ended on a high.

Elsewhere, Arsenal made light work of Everton in a 5-1 victory at Emirates Stadium yet still had to resign themselves to playing Europa League football next season after Tottenham powered past Norwich.

Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Cedric Soares, Gabriel Magalhaes and Martin Odegaard were on target but the result became incidental once Spurs secured fourth place in the Premier League by storming Carrow Road with a 5-0 win.

Emphatic defeats by Tottenham and Newcastle had left Arsenal needing a final-day collapse from their north London rivals to have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League but none materialised.

Exclusive NZ - IRE
Rugby Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella's match analysis and Garry Doyle's updates from New Zealand exclusive to members

Become a Member

Instead, they had to sign off a disappointing season by crushing an Everton side that had climbed their Everest on Thursday night by delivering a stunning comeback win against Crystal Palace to escape relegation with a game to spare.

Frank Lampard made six changes and beyond a lone strike by Donny van de Beek, they played like a team who had already checked out knowing their season had been saved.

They were particularly vulnerable at corners with Arsenal engineering three of their five goals from the set-piece and they looked in danger of capitulating right from the start.

Arsenal had lost the last three Premier League meetings between the rivals but as they poured forward with Bukayo Saka shooting high, that run looked certain to end.

Martinelli aimed a powerful shot on the turn directly at keeper Asmir Begovic as pressure grew on the visiting goal.

Everton had barely ventured from their own half inside the opening 20 minutes but when they did Demarai Gray was kept out by Aaron Ramsdale after being set up by Dele Alli.

The one-way traffic quickly resumed, however, and when VAR intervened for an Alex Iwobi handball, Martinelli smashed the ball past Begovic.

Four minutes later and Arsenal had surged 2-0 ahead as a scruffy corner was worked to Nketiah by accident as much as design and the forward nodded home from close range.

Everton were in danger of being overwhelmed yet with the help of leaden-footed home defence they pulled a goal back through substitute van de Beek, who slotted in Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s pass without breaking stride.

It then became the visitors’ turn to lose concentration as Saka worked a corner to an unmarked Soares and the Portugal right-back produced a mighty shot that gave Begovic no chance.

Gabriel Magalhaes was the next to profit from good work at a corner as he blasted in the fourth and by the 82nd minute, it had become a rout as Odegaard found the bottom left corner despite his attempt lacking any real power.

About the author:

Press Association

Read next:

COMMENTS (4)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel