Premier League

Son's incredible efficiency is firing Tottenham's title challenge

Son Heung-Min was on target again as Tottenham defeated Manchester City 2-0, with the South Korean posting brilliant numbers in front of goal this term.

8:34pm on Saturday 21st November 2020
Robin Bairner

Tottenham’s 2-0 victory over Manchester City carried them to the top of the Premier League table, with Son Heung-Min once again playing a pivotal role in the success.

Son scored a winning goal in England’s top flight for the fourth time in nine league games this season, and while Harry Kane continues to churn out goals and assists at a formidable rate, the role the South Korean is playing alongside him is proving to be invaluable.

Indeed, the statistics point to Son enjoying an incredible uptick in his efficiency around the box.

His numbers for this season make impressive reading. He has 11 goals in all competitions for Spurs, including nine in the Premier League alone.

What is most remarkable, though, is the manner in which he is taking chances.

Prior to Saturday’s game against Manchester City, Son had an xG of just 5.06. That means he has scored nearly twice as many goals as one would expect given the shots he has taken on.

Last season he proved himself an efficient finisher, too. He scored 20 times and did so with an xG of 17.91. His return, therefore, was very commendable.

Son's Stats

Son's match stats

Shots On Target %45.459.3
Touches in box per 905.94.8
Dribbles per 902.10.8

All competitions (up to 20th November)>

Put into perspective, Kane is considered one of the most in-form forwards in front of goal this season. Although he has scored 13 times, his xG is 13.95, suggesting that the England man is actually underperforming slightly.

The England man has found the target with 42% of his shots. That is below Son, who has worked the goalkeeper on 59.3% of occasions he has let fly – up from 45.4% last term.

Son’s statistics point at some other interesting trends. His touches in the box per game have dropped from 5.9 to 4.8. Meanwhile, his dribbles per match have fallen off a cliff, going from 2.1 to 0.8.

Could this be a side effect of the more counterattacking approach that Mourinho has his team playing in this season?

It certainly appears to be having a positive impact on the South Korean, who is doing as much as anyone to propel the London club forward currently.

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