Between the Lines: Trippier pinpoints Son threat before do-or-die semi-final second leg

Tottenham Hotspur defender Kieran Trippier has suggested that Son Heung-Min holds the key to beating Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final, per Sky Sports.

What’s the word?

Spurs lost 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday, with Donny van de Beek scoring the only goal of the game.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men, of course, were limited by a number of notable absences, including striker Harry Kane, midfielder Harry Winks and the suspended Son.

The South Korea international will be back for the second leg in Amsterdam, however, with Spurs aware that they need to win to have any chance of reaching the final in Madrid.

And Trippier believes that victory is possible for a team that have so far knocked out Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, though he was sure to namecheck one star who could, ultimately, prove vital.

He told Sky Sports: “It was a difficult first 20, 25 minutes. We just couldn’t close them down as we like to, the pressing that we do week in, week out.

“I thought we gradually got into the game and kept on pushing. We gave everything to try and equalise in the second half.

“Obviously it is only 1-0 – we go to their place next week and hopefully we can get a performance.

“Sonny is back for the next leg and we will give everything we have got. We all believe, we have the belief in the squad.

“Next Wednesday, we have nothing to lose. We will try to score as many goals as we can, like we did at Man City – and anything can happen.”

A repeat of City

Son, valued at £58.5 million by Transfermarkt, was brilliant across both legs against City.

He scored the only goal of the game in the home leg as Spurs won 1-0 and then netted a brace in the helter-skelter second leg, with his side coming out victorious on away goals after a 4-3 defeat.

Trippier, then, is spot on to pinpoint the threat offered by the 26-year-old, who has scored 20 goals and laid on 10 assists in all competitions this season.

Son offers a very different threat to the lumbering, immobile Fernando Llorente and, with him in the team, Spurs have a chance of once again coming back from the dead in Europe.

Having been written off in the group stages after taking one point from their opening three games and been massive underdogs against City, it would be foolish to underestimate them again.