Son strikes to hand Tottenham opening day win over champions

West Ham rally against Newcastle to secure morale-boosting win

Heung Min Son was the hero for Tottenham Hotspur as they defeated champions Manchester City 1-0 on the opening day of the season in front of a packed Tottenham Hotspur stadium in new manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s first match in charge.

Tottenham were without talismanic striker and club record goalscorer Harry Kane for the clash amid ongoing talks about whether he would continue at the club or move to Manchester City for a British record fee. It was also club record-signing Jack Grealish’s first outing for Manchester City in the Premier League since his £100 million transfer. Spurs boss Santo started a front three of Heung Min Son, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura against the champions, and the contest had a shot-shy nature with no recognisable striker on the pitch for either team. The first half ended with both sides barely testing the goalkeepers.

The second half started as a cagey affair between both sides before a textbook counter attacking moment of brilliance brought the game to life. Manchester City sent a set-piece into the Spurs area, and a Spurs head made first contact before Moura expertly kicked the ball over his shoulder for Dutch international Bergwijn to run into acres of space. The Dutchman picked out Son wide right of him, and the Korean star stepped inside City defender Nathan Ake before curling a delightful finish into the far bottom corner with his left foot. An unsighted Ederson was rooted to the spot in the Manchester City goal. In a bid to save the situation, Pep Guardiola threw on Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne, but Tottenham held on for an important opening day win. There was a debut for €55 million signing Cristian Romero as he came on in the 90th minute for Tottenham.

In the day’s other game, West Ham secured a credible 4-2 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park. The home side went in front barely five minutes into the contest through Callum Wilson before Aaron Cresswell’s cross flew all the way in to level matters for the Hammers in the 18th minute. Jacob Murphy restored Newcastle’s advantage five minutes to the break to send Newcastle in at halftime 2-1 up.

It took only eight minutes of the second half for an energised West Ham outfit to draw level again through Algerian winger Said Benrahma. Ten minutes later, in the 63rd minute, the Hammers were awarded a penalty. Michail Antonio stepped up but saw his kick saved by Newcastle debutant Freddie Woodman, but Tomas Soucek was on hand to prod home the loose ball and give West Ham the lead for the first time. Three minutes later, Michail Antonio scored to put the tie beyond the Magpies and also equal Paolo Di Canio as West Ham’s all-time top scorer in the league with 47 goals.

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