Three stadia, three landmark goals against Palace for Heung-Min Son
Wed 11 September 2019, 15:13|Tottenham Hotspur
It’s fair to say, Heung-Min Son enjoys playing Crystal Palace at home.
Since arriving at the Club at the beginning of the 2015/16 season, our South Korean superstar has scored in Premier League home matches against the Eagles on three separate occasions.
The unique thing about that record, however, is that each of those goals have come in different stadia. What’s more, each one of them was significant for reasons other than helping us claim maximum points.
A goal to open his Premier League account, one to set a new record for a player hailing from Asia and one to go down in history – here’s a reminder of Sonny’s strikes against Palace ahead of the Eagles’ return to the new stadium on Saturday...
1. Spurs 1-0 Palace – White Hart Lane – September, 2015
What a start to life at Spurs for this livewire from Bayer Leverkusen! Having made his debut away at Sunderland on 13 September, 2015, Son scored his first two goals in our colours during a 3-1 home win over Qarabag in the Europa League four nights later.
The following weekend – on 20 September – he lined up for his home Premier League bow as we welcomed Crystal Palace to White Hart Lane.
The game was a close one. Finely poised at 0-0, it was always going to take a moment of magic to open up the visitors’ defence and, mid-way through the second half, one duly arrived.
Christian Eriksen broke away and sent Son scurrying forward in the left channel. The attacker advanced into the box, shifted the ball onto his left foot and fired past Alex McCarthy at his near post to register his first Premier League goal.
Son was replaced by Clinton Njie 11 minutes from time but we held onto the advantage for the rest of the game to secure a 1-0 win.
2. Spurs 1-0 Palace – Wembley Stadium – November, 2017
Having missed our 1-0 home win over Palace at the start of the 2016/17 season due to international commitments with South Korea, the next time Sonny would face the Eagles in the top flight at home was on 5 November, 2017, during our tenure at Wembley.
It was another scrappy game, notable for a number of impressive saves from Paulo Gazzaniga, who came in for his debut following injuries to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm.
Palace were looking more likely to score for a spell in the second half but, in the 64th minute, Son found the breakthrough for us. The ball was pinging across the area from side to side before Moussa Sissoko drilled it back into the danger zone, Yohann Cabaye could only clear as far as Son on the edge of the box and he curled a delightful left-foot shot past Julian Speroni.
The goal was momentous because it made Sonny the highest-scoring Asian player in Premier League history, overtaking Manchester United legend and fellow countryman Ji-Sung Park. It was his 20th top-flight goal at the time – he’s since made it up to 42.
3. Spurs 2-0 Palace – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – April, 2019
None of us will ever forget the night of Wednesday 3 April, 2019.
Fireworks blasted high into the north London sky as we marked the official opening of our new stadium with a 2-0 win over Palace.
Who provided the fireworks on the pitch by scoring the first Premier League goal in our world-class new facilities that night? You've guessed it…
With the scores still at 0-0, Son struck gold 10 minutes into the second half. Eriksen won the ball back mid-way inside the Eagles’ half and pinged a pass out to the attacker on the right. He drove at the defence with menace, cut inside a couple of challenges and, with the help of a slight deflection off Luka Milivojevic, fired past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita, right in front of the new single-tier South Stand. Cue immense noise levels from all four sides of the ground!
Eriksen made the game safe with a second goal 10 minutes from time – securing a result that proved vital to our eventual top four finish at the end of last season. Sonny was substituted in added time for Victor Wanyama.
Having posed the opposition for that historic inaugural match, Palace will this weekend become the first two-time visitors to our new stadium. Who will step up and write the headlines this time?