Son Heung-min scored a sublime contender for the Premier League’s goal of the season as the South Korean’s moment of genius inspired Tottenham’s 5-0 rout of Burnley on Saturday.
On the day he was presented with the AFC Asian International Player of the Year award by compatriot Park Ji-sung, Son underlined his place among the game’s elite with arguably the greatest effort of his glittering career.
With Spurs already rampant after early goals from Harry Kane and Lucas Moura, Son stole the show before half-time when he ran from deep inside his own half past a host of Burnley defenders and capped the astonishing burst with an ice-cool finish.
Since christening the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with its first senior goal last season, Son has now been directly involved in 15 goals in 15 appearances at the plush north London arena.
Son’s 77 goals in Spurs colours since his 2015 move from Bayer Leverkusen have featured some memorable moments but none have been quite as dazzling as this one.
The 27 year-old winger’s 10th goal of the season ranks among the best ever scored by a Tottenham player, alongside Ricky Villa’s 1981 FA Cup final gem and Gareth Bale’s Champions League classic against Inter Milan in 2010.
It was the culmination of a swaggering Tottenham display that featured further goals from Kane and Moussa Sissoko, putting them back on track after their 100 per cent start under new boss Jose Mourinho was ended by Wednesday’s defeat at his former club Manchester United.
As if Son’s masterclass wasn’t enough to lift Mourinho’s spirits, Tottenham also kept the first clean-sheet of his reign after conceding twice in each of his first four matches.
Tottenham are up to fifth place, six points behind fourth placed Chelsea, after their fourth win in five games in all competitions under Mourinho.
Aware that his players were feeling sorry for themselves in the Old Trafford dressing room on Wednesday, Mourinho urged them to respond to the first setback of his reign by showing “rage and anger”.
It took just five minutes to see Mourinho’s impassioned plea had the desired effect.
Son laid a cushioned pass into Kane’s path and, with the Burnley defence backing off too far, he advanced unchecked before blasting a thunderous 25-yard strike past Nick Pope.
AFP / Ian KINGTON
Tottenham’s Son Heung-min (L) shoots past Burnley’s Nick Pope
Tottenham were pouring forward with such pace and poise that Burnley were powerless to stem the tide as Mourinho’s men struck again four minutes later.
– Jaw-dropping –
Son was involved again with a scintillating run and low shot that Pope blocked into the path of Burnley defender Ben Mee, who deflected it high into the air.
Dele Alli flicked a back header towards the net and Lucas was on hand to tap in his fourth goal of the season from virtually on the goal-line.
Mourinho slept at Tottenham’s training ground immediately after flying back from Manchester, allowing him extra time to work on the Burnley game-plan, but even he couldn’t have drawn up Son’s 32nd minute stunner.
Taking possession on the edge of his own penalty area, Son looked for a pass before deciding the best option was to go it alone.
He accelerated with such speed that in the blink of an eye he was past McNeil’s challenge and through a Burnley defence still regrouping from their own attack.
After evading Eric Pieters’ despairing lunge, Son was face to face with Pope and his clinical low strike was the perfect finish to a jaw-dropping goal.
Tottenham weren’t finished yet and Kane got his second in the 54th minute, cleverly gliding away from two Burnley defenders before firing into the roof of the net from 18 yards for his 15th club goal of another prolific season.
Sissoko’s emphatic drive rounded off Tottenham’s biggest league win of the season in the 74th minute.