Gareth Bale didn’t even have to play to help Tottenham Hotspur. A day after Bale rejoined the London club from Real Madrid, longtime Spurs standout Son Heung-min scored four goals Sunday in a 5-2 Premier League dismantling of Southampton.
Danny Ings had both of the Saints’ goals, including one that surprisingly put the hosts ahead 1-0 in the 32nd minute. His second came at the death on a controversial penalty decision after Harry Kane had scored Spurs’ fifth. Kane ended the day with four assists, all of them on strikes by Son.
The South Korean international was undoubtedly the star man, though. Son pulled the visitors level on the stroke of halftime, then added a 27-minute natural hat trick following the break that put the result beyond doubt in favor of Tottenham.
Kane’s clever early pass sprung Son for Spurs’ opener, and the finish was just as good. It was a sign of things to come.
Two minutes after the intermission, Kane and Son linked up again to make it 2-1 and give Jose Mourinho’s team a lead they wouldn’t relinquish again:
Son would complete his hat trick in the 64th minute before adding his and Tottenham’s fourth goal with more than a quarter of an hour still to play:
The win was vital for Tottenham after Mourinho’s side lost its opening game of the 2020-21 Premier League season last week at home to Everton.
The only blemish was Ings’s second goal, which came after the video assistant referee determined that Spurs defender Matt Doherty had handled the ball in the penalty area. The call appeared harsh after replays showed that Doherty’s infraction was the result of a deflection and that he didn’t have time to pull his arm out of the way.
Bale arrived in London on Friday and was officially re-introduced on Saturday, but he failed meet Friday’s registration deadline to be able to play against his former club Southampton. The Welsh attacker, who spent 2007-13 with Spurs before leaving for Spain for a then-world record transfer fee, is expected to be available for Tottenham’s next Prem contest against Newcastle on Sept. 27.
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