Tottenham’s Son Heung-min scores vs. Liverpool in return from COVID-19 layoff

December 20, 2021

Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean star Son Heung-min has extended his goal scoring streak to three matches, helping his club eke out a draw against Liverpool in a return from a lengthy COVID-19 layoff.

Son netted a 74th-minute equalizer for a 2-2 draw against Liverpool at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Sunday (local time). It was Son’s seventh goal in the Premier League this season and eighth goal in all competitions. He leads Tottenham in that category.

This was Tottenham’s first match since Dec. 5 against Norwich City. A COVID-19 outbreak within the team forced postponements of Tottenham’s next three matches — a UEFA Europa Conference League match, along with two consecutive Premier League contests. While infected players have never been officially identified, Son was reportedly among those to have contracted the virus.

If indeed Son had been ill, it clearly didn’t slow him down against Liverpool. Son had also scored in each of his past two Premier League games — against Brentford on Dec. 2 and then Norwich City three days later.

The draw stretched Tottenham’s undefeated streak to five games. With three wins and two draws in that span, Tottenham find themselves in seventh place with 26 points. Because of their COVID-19 scare, Tottenham have only played 15 matches so far, up to three matches fewer than other clubs.

Harry Kane put Tottenham up 1-0 in the 13th minute, but Liverpool took the lead on goals by Diogo Jota in the 35th and then by Andrew Robertson in the 69th.

Son came to Tottenham’s rescue five minutes later, as he capitalized on a miscue by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.

Harry Winks sent a through ball toward Son on the left side, and Alisson charged toward the top of the box to clear the ball. Instead, the Brazilian fanned on the ball as it skipped over his legs, and that allowed Son to roll the ball into the unoccupied net.

Liverpool went down a man three minutes later when Robertson was shown the red card for a hard tackle on Emerson Royal, but Tottenham failed to take advantage.

Son apologized to his teammates afterward for not converting on earlier scoring chances, saying Tottenham should have been able to rally for a win.

“We had a great game but should be disappointed we didn’t win this game,” Son said. “It was an intense game. At the end, I felt like I couldn’t run anymore. In the first half, we created so many chances. When you play a big club like Liverpool, you don’t get as many chances as we had.”

Tottenham’s next scheduled match will be in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup against West Ham United at home Wednesday.