Indeed, while it could be argued that the home side were the better of the two teams during the opening 45 minutes, it was the visitors who went into the break ahead, with Son Heung-min laying off to Harry Kane shortly ahead of the interval, before the 29-year-old turned, held off a defender and fired beyond a helpless Bernd Leno between the Cottagers’ sticks.
The second half saw more of the same, with both sides creating a number of chances in the final third, however, it would ultimately be Tottenham who emerged 1-0 victors, with the win moving the Lilywhites to within three points of Manchester United in fourth place – albeit having played a game more than Erik ten Hag’s side.
Although, despite the result, there were still a couple of below-par performances on display from Spurs’ starting XI, with Ivan Perisic once again struggling at left wing-back, however, the display of Son will undoubtedly be the biggest cause for concern for Conte, as the 30-year-old flanker yet again struggled to get himself into the fixture in west London.
Indeed, over his 76 minutes on the pitch, the £47m-rated talent offered his side little going forwards, as, despite providing the assist for Kane’s winner, the winger failed to have a single shot of his own at goal, was unsuccessful with each of his two attempted dribbles, enjoyed just 33 touches of the ball and completed a mere 13 of his 17 attempted passes.
The £190k-per-week attacker also won just five of his 11 duels – a failure rate of 60% – was very lucky to have not received a straight red card for a horror tackle on Kenny Tete and lost the ball on 11 separate occasions – meaning he ceded possession with every three touches he had on the night.
Rather unsurprisingly, these metrics saw the South Korea international earn an extremely disappointing Sofascore statistical rating of just 6.6 – by far and away the worst received by any of Tottenham’s starting XI – while the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick also awarded the winger a five in his own player ratings, as well as stating of Son’s display:
“Fittingly got the assist for Kane’s record-equalling goal but was largely a passenger again, and lucky to avoid a red card for a studs-up challenge on Kenny Tete.”
As such, while Conte will certainly be delighted to see his side get back to winning ways on Monday, another “toothless” – in the words of talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy – performance from Son will be a worry for the 53-year-old manager, as the winger well and truly failed the Italian’s trust once again at Craven Cottage.