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EPL PIX: Son shines as Tottenham stun Man City

Last updated on: August 16, 2021 00:00 IST
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Images from Sunday's action in the English Premier League.

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's players celebrates after Heung-Min Son, 2nd right, scored the goal against Manchester City during the English Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on Sunday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Son Heung-min proved there is life at Tottenham Hotspur without Harry Kane as his goal earned the north London club a surprise 1-0 win over champions Manchester City in an absorbing Premier League opener on Sunday.

 

All the talk beforehand was whether Tottenham's goalscoring talisman Kane, strongly linked with a big-money move to City, would be involved.

The England skipper was duly left out of the squad, having only just returned to training, but it was his usual strike partner Son who gave Tottenham's new manager Nuno Espirito Santo a perfect start to his reign in front of a capacity crowd.

Tottenham were a constant threat on the counter-attack against a City side boasting new 100 million pounds ($139 million) signing Jack Grealish and it was from one such raid from deep in the 55th minute that Son beat City keeper Ederson with a clinical finish.

City enjoyed the lion's share of possession but their best chance came early on when Riyad Mahrez sliced wide.

Pep Guardiola had the luxury of 347 million pounds worth of talent on the bench but even when Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus joined the fray late on City were unable to spark.

The final whistle was greeted with a huge roar by Tottenham's fans who chanted "Nuno Nuno" as their new Portuguese manager proved an instant hit.

"Amazing! It was a good day. Hard work for the boys, they worked really hard, the distance they covered, the balance, the fight," the former Wolverhampton Wanderers coach said.

"Still a long way to go but most of the things the boys did well. We are knowing each other better and it is about creating this energy between us to keep us moving forward. There is always something new and always something to improve."

IMAGE: Heung-Min Son beat Manchester City keeper Ederson with a clinical finish in the 55th minute. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

City could have few complaints about the result and have now lost all four games they have played at Tottenham's magnificent new stadium without scoring a goal.

They are also only the third Premier League champions to lose their opening game of the following season.

Whether they do indeed take Kane, scorer of 221 goals in 336 games for Spurs, will become clearer in the next week or so, but on the evidence of Sunday, Espirito Santo's side look capable of embarking on a new chapter with optimism.

The opening 20 minutes were dominated by City with Joao Cancelo dragging a shot wide and then Riyad Mahrez fluffing a great chance from a Raheem Sterling cross.

But Tottenham were disciplined with home-grown defender Japhet Tanganga outstanding at the back and Oliver Skipp, playing only his fourth Premier League game, composed in midfield after a shaky start.

Tottenham became increasingly ambitious on the counter-attack with Son failing to make the most of a couple of good positions.

But 10 minutes after the break, Tottenham struck in deadly fashion. Lucas Moura played in Steven Bergwijn with a clever flick on the edge of the home area and the Dutchman bounded forward before playing the ball to Son.

Son then cut in from the right past Nathan Ake and slotted a left-footer inside the far post.

Bergwijn wasted a glorious chance to make it 2-0 but it did not matter as Tottenham held on comfortably as their joyous fans broke into a chorus of "Are You Watching Harry Kane."

West Ham power past Newcastle in six-goal thriller

Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring West Ham United's third goal against Newcastle United in the Premier League match, at St James' Park, Newcastle, on Sunday.

IMAGE: Tomas Soucek celebrates scoring West Ham United's third goal against Newcastle United in the Premier League match, at St James' Park, Newcastle, on Sunday. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters

West Ham United forward Michail Antonio missed a penalty before scoring with a thundering shot as the Londoners came from behind to outclass Newcastle United 4-2 in a breathless Premier League season opener at St James' Park on Sunday.

 

Antonio collected Said Benrahma's neat pass and blasted one past Freddie Woodman to make it 4-2, shortly after the debutant goalkeeper palmed away the forward's poor spot kick only for Tomas Soucek to pounce on the rebound to put West Ham ahead.

Antonio's strike made him West Ham's joint-top scorer in the Premier League alongside Italian Paolo Di Canio on 47 goals and he nearly added to his tally only to be denied by the post.

"Not bad for a right back," Antonio, who has played in a number of positions including in defence before establishing himself as West Ham's main striker, told Sky Sports.

"I had a couple of opportunities before that I didn't take but getting a goal on the first game starts the season off for me and hopefully I can keep going and keep scoring more."

Benrahma had earlier made it 2-2 with a header to put West Ham on course for a victory which seemed unlikely after they had conceded in the fifth minute to Callum Wilson.

Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin is fouled by West Ham United's Declan Rice.

IMAGE: Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin is fouled by West Ham United's Declan Rice. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

The Newcastle striker came into the contest having netted eight goals in 10 top-flight matches against West Ham, and he did not take long to spark celebrations as he nodded in Allan Saint-Maximin's cross.

Boyhood Newcastle fan Jacob Murphy guided his header into the goal from Matt Ritchie's pinpoint cross to make it 2-1 after West Ham Aaron Cresswell had levelled the scores in the 18th minute with a fizzing cross that found its way in.

But Murphy went from hero to villain later in the game as he fouled Pablo Fornals to concede the penalty that led to West Ham's revival.

"We showed our ability last year," Antonio said of West Ham's sixth-placed finish in the 2020-21 campaign.

"We showed we have the resilience and we always believe in ourselves that we can come back and score goals. We're never beaten, we'll always fight back and keep going."

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