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Son keeps Spurs hope alive for top-four


London, March 20

No partnership has combined more effectively for goals in the Premier League than that of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min. It showed yet again in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 win in the London derby against West Ham with Son scoring twice and Kane assisting in all three goals.

Spurs manager, Antonio Conte, said: “There is only one target in our dressing room and that is the race for fourth place. We know how difficult it is to reach this target in England because there are four very top teams in Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool. But if one of these teams has a struggle, like with Manchester United, we have to be there.

“We know Arsenal have the advantage – they are showing great stability. But we have all the players to take the responsibility to fight for this target. With Tottenham, for sure, I have taken a team at a lower level than the top teams in this league.”

He added: “But now we are ready to make it difficult for anyone. I have seen a great improvement in the players’ mentality, technically and tactically. Every player is improving and we are becoming a strong team.”

West Ham had hardly settled when Spurs took the lead in the 9th minute. Matt Doherty won possession and passed to Kane whose cross was missed by Son but went into the net off the left knee of Kurt Zouma for an own goal.

The Hammers missed a chance for a quick equaliser when Michail Antonio shot wide after intercepting a pass from Kane to his defenders. Then in the 12th minute Son was unlucky to hit the post after receiving a pass from Dejan Kulusevski. But Son made no mistake in the 24th minute when he took a long pass from Kane from inside the centre circle and left-footed a shot into the far corner taking a slight deflection from Zouma again.

West Ham reduced the lead ten minutes before the break as they fought back putting Spurs’ defence under pressure. Doherty conceded a corner which was headed back by Craig Dawson and Said Benrahma volleyed in a powerful right-footed drive before Son could tackle him.

While three goals came in the first half, it wasn’t until two minutes before time that the next goal was scored with Son having the final word. It came with Kane beating Dawson and Zouma for a header to Son whose clinical finish took him to his 14th goal of the season.

Hammers manager, David Moyes, said: “If somebody said at the start of the season that West Ham would be challenging for the top four, you’d have had a belly laugh. So, the question should be, ‘How well have we done to get to the final seven or eight games of the season and for the first time might have dropped out of the running for the top four?”

He added: “We have been in that bracket all season despite the quality and spending power of the teams around us.”

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