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Tottenham 2-1 Norwich City: Son to the rescue as Mourinho's men fail to impress

By Stephen Creek
Son Heung-min scored a late winner for Spurs

London, January 23: Son Heung-min came to Tottenham's rescue in a 2-1 victory over bottom side Norwich City, as Jose Mourinho's men ended a four-game winless Premier League run on Wednesday (January 22).

Results | Points Table | Fixtures

This was no vintage performance from Spurs, who scored their first top-flight goal since December when Dele Alli turned Serge Aurier's cross into the net from close range seven minutes before half-time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The hosts rode their luck as Norwich passed up numerous opportunities to get back on level terms, before Canaries striker Teemu Pukki equalised from the penalty spot following Ryan Sessegnon's foul on Max Aarons.

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A point was the most Spurs deserved but they were up against the side with the joint-worst defensive record in the division and Son's winner arrived 11 minutes from time to move his side up to sixth, six points adrift of fourth-place Chelsea.

Tim Krul made a smart reaction save when Erik Lamela rattled a volley towards the top corner of the Norwich net in the ninth minute, and moments later Pukki rolled a shot just wide.

Son and Todd Cantwell fired over the crossbar at either end before Lucas Moura's defence-splitting pass carved out a gilt-edged chance for Son, who hit the side-netting from 12 yards.

Tottenham's first Premier League goal of 2020 arrived when Son played Aurier into the penalty area and his low cross found Alli, who scored with a first-time finish from inside the six-yard box.

Cantwell turned a Sam Byram cross towards goal after seven minutes of the second half but the ball was inadvertently blocked by Pukki.

Harry Winks limped off with an injury and was helped down the tunnel as Eric Dier replaced him, and there was more bad news for Spurs when Sessegnon tripped Aarons in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Pukki tucked the penalty into the bottom-right corner despite Hugo Lloris - back in the starting line-up after dislocating his left elbow and sustaining ligament damage in October - getting a hand to it.

Norwich's porous defence was their undoing when they allowed Giovani Lo Celso to play Alli into the box and his deflected cross was headed home from point-blank range by Son.

What does it mean? Relief for Mourinho - but only just

Mourinho will have been pleased with his side's creativity and relieved to have brought a drab run of January results to an end, but if his side give teams with more quality the possession and space they gave Norwich they will get punished.

Alli drags Spurs over the line

In a team that often looks toothless in the absence of the injured Harry Kane, Alli provided the attacking impetus they needed and played a role in both goals.

Cantwell must be careful

On his day Cantwell can provide Norwich with a spark of inspiration but he was sloppy here, giving the ball away before Spurs' opener and almost getting sent off for a reckless challenge on Lamela in the second half.

What's next?

Norwich make the journey north to Lancashire for an FA Cup fourth-round clash with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday (January 25), while Tottenham are away at Southampton in the same competition.

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Story first published: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 3:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 23, 2020
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