Sonny snatches it late for Spurs

Brian Jeeves

Tottenham Hotspur v Luton Town – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Luton Town 

Skipper Heung-min Son grabbed a dramatic late winner to help Tottenham Hotspur overcome battling Luton Town, keeping alive their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish.

A heavy defeat at Fulham ahead of the international break had dented Tottenham’s chase for a Champions League berth. Ange Postecoglou was wary of the next challenge his side needed to overcome: “A tough game. Luton has been ultra-competitive all year,” he explained.

“They’ve always, in every game, really made it hard for the opposition. I think Rob has done a brilliant job this year, considering all the challenges they’ve had and have currently got with injuries. 

“Every game I’ve watched them, they’re always competitive, they always make it difficult for the opposition and it’ll be no different for us tomorrow and we’ve got to be ready for it. 

“We’re back at home, obviously the last game was disappointing but we’ve got to make sure we get back to playing our football and playing our best because that’s what’s going to be needed.”

While Spurs have top-four aspirations, Luton’s need, towards the foot of the table, was perhaps somewhat all the more needy. The Hatters stunned the N17 audience in only the third minute when Tahith Chong swept home following a sweeping move from the right involving Ross Barkley.

Luton Town’s Tahith Chong scores his side’s early goal (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport)

Tino Werner should have levelled the score but scuffed wide after twisting away from Issa Kabore. Then, in an incredible passage of play, Son’s effort rebounded off both posts, while Werner and Papa Matar Sarr saw attempts kicked off the line.

Having drawn the Spurs sting, Alfie Doughty went close to doubling the Luton lead. Meanwhile, Son’s shot was blocked after Werner teed him up. Spurs left the field to a chorus of booing from the anxious audience.

Postecoglou replaced Dejan Kulusevski with Brennan Johnson for the restart. Guglielmo Vicario kept the visitors at bay, saving from Barkley. And that proved key when Kabore turned Johnson’s centre into his own goal seconds later.

With the wind in their sails, Tottenham began to stretch the visitors. Luton stopper Thomas Kaminski rebuffed Johnson’s close-range effort, then produced an unorthodox save to keep out Pedro Porro’s deflected cross.

Vicario was again called upon to push aside Jordan Clark’s speculative strike. The busy Johnson fizzed over as the momentum swung back Tottenham’s way.

A combination of Kaminski and Doughty somehow kept out Johnson. The ball cleared only centimetres from crossing the line. But Tottenham’s persistence paid off. Son’s deflected effort wrong-footed Kaminski. The North Londoners are ahead with time running out. Werner and Johnson were involved in the move as the home side broke swiftly from defending a corner.

Heung-min Son celebrates scoring Tottenham’s late winner (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport)

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Tuesday, April 2 when they take on West Ham United at the London Stadium (8:15 pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Pedro Porro, Romero, Dragusin, Udogie, Sarr (Lo Celso 68′), Bissouma (Richarlison 85′), Maddison (Bentancur 68′), Kulusevski (Johnson 46′), Son (Capt) (Hojbjerg 88′), Werner Subs not used: Austin, Royal, van de Ven, Davies

Booked: Hojbjerg (foul), Lo Celso (time-wasting)

Goals: Kabore (own-goal) 51′, Son 86′

Luton Town: Kaminski, Townsend, Burke (Hashioka 46′), Mengi, Kabore, Doughty (Woodrow 83′), Mpanzu, Barkley, Berry (Clark 64′), Chong (Onyedinma 74′), Morris (Capt) Subs not used: Shea, Krul, Hashioka, Johnson, Nelson, Piesold

Booked: Barkley (foul), Burke (foul), Mpanzu (foul), Mengi (foul)

Goals: Chong 3′

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistants: Darren Cann and Neil Davies

Fourth Official: James Linnington

VAR: Michael Salisbury

Assistant VAR: James Mainwaring

Attendance: 61,534

Brian Jeeves