Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min is still without a goal six matches into the new season after coming within inches of snapping that skid in his most recent appearance.
Tottenham edged out Fulham FC 2-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Saturday (local time). Son made his sixth consecutive start, despite mumblings in the local press that he should be benched after a string of ineffective performances. Son gave his critics even more ammunition by once again being held off the scoresheet.
With 23 goals last season, Son shared the Golden Boot with Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. Son became the first Asian player to lead the Premier League in scoring.
Expectations were admittedly high for the 30-year-old South Korean at the start of the season but Son, whose performances so far have fluctuated between strong and uninspiring, has only one assist.
His longest drought in the 2021-2022 season lasted four matches.
Son nearly scored a fluky goal against Fulham in the 10th minute, when his right-footed shot ended up in the back of the net. The goal was wiped off, however, after Harry Kane was ruled offside while trying to head home the ball from the other side.
Son had another great opportunity in the 33rd minute, though he struck the crossbar this time after Kane had found him inside the box.
Spurs took the lead on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's 40th-minute goal. They nearly doubled the advantage in the 63rd minute, with Son suffering some poor luck yet again.
After receiving a pass from Kane, Son fired a right-footed shot from the center of the box. It ricocheted off the body of Fulham defender Tosin Adarabioyo and sailed toward the net. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno got just enough of the ball to deflect it out of play.
Kane made it 2-0 Spurs in the 75th, and seven minutes later, Son set up Richarlison for a right-footed shot that hit the left post.
Fulham cut the deficit in half in the 83rd, and Son was subbed out for Ivan Perisic in the next minute. Spurs hung on for the narrow win and stayed undefeated for the season with four wins and two draws. (Yonhap)