Son, Kulusevski and Kane strikes seal Champions League football in emphatic style


Tottenham fans could be forgiven for being sick as Harry Kane did ahead of Friday’s decisive Champions League match.

In the end, he was left with only butterflies of excitement as Antonio Conte saw his top-four “miracle” from nothing even remotely close.


Son Heung-min kicks out Spurs in Champions League and claims Golden Bootcredit: getty
Dejan Kulusevski was on fire as Tottenham beat Norwich to finish fourth


Dejan Kulusevski was on fire as Tottenham beat Norwich to finish fourthcredit: Rex

January Signature Dejan Kulusevsky and Rodrigo Bentancur jointly netted the crucial opener as Sweden.

Ken, who was spurs What fans feared most when he exited a media event three days earlier with stomach troubles came second before Kulusewski hit his belt.

The procession had begun in earnest by then, but it only got the better of fans as far away as the South Korean hero. son hyung-min netted twice to win Premier League Golden Boot.

His second on the day – and his 23rd league goal of the season – was sheer magic as he blasted into the top corner before being crowded by his teammates.

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Norwich were sad, but considering what was on the line for Tottenham, how well they came along came as a testament to how Conte has turned the side.

After finishing ninth in November as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor, Conte was asked by chairman Daniel Levy not to finish in the top four, just to improve the team.

But Conte said in his pre-match press conference that had Levi made that specific request, the answer would be: “Are you kidding?”

Tottenham were only six points from a Champions League spot at the time, but miles away from leaning towards Europe’s elite competition.

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Talisman striker Kane failed to make a funk even after a dream move to Manchester City, with only one league goal at the time.

This is why Conte consistently referred to his side’s chances of breaking into the top four as a “miracle”.

Also as recently as February, the ex-Chelsea boss hinted to the media that he might step down after a shocking 1-0 loss at Burnley – a message he repeated in the dressing room as well.

Conte later revealed that it was a persuasive tactic and it paid off well as Spurs won all but four of their last 14 league games.

His 3-4-3 formation has made the Spurs the best in defense and attack, with Son and Kane blasting goals to take them to the Promised Land.

Kane’s fitness – and all the health of the Spurs team – was thrown into doubt by former Tottenham striker Gary Lineker on Friday.

The Match of the Day presenter tweeted that he had heard of an outbreak of food-poisoning at Tottenham camp, bringing back memories of ‘lasagne-gate’ in 2006 when a disease-hit Spurs missed the Champions League final day Were.

But it turned out to be a false alarm as all the squad from last weekend’s win at Burnley, including Kane, stood on Carrow Road.

Spurs soon took control of the game and Pierre mile-Hojberg could defuse the tension when Kulusevski dismissed him in eight minutes, but the Dane fired.

He made up for it soon after, however, firing a length ball over the top to chase Bentancur.

The South Korean star took his tally for the season to 23 goals


The South Korean star took his tally for the season to 23 goalscredit: Reuters

Uruguay squared it off for his teammate Jan to sign Kulusevski to tap home from a few yards.

Erik Dyer delivered a nerve-jangling moment, if you can call it that, soon after as he passed the ball to Milot Rashika, but Kosovan fired wide.

Then after half an hour it went 2-0 due to a rush of blood from Tim Krul.

The canary keeper’s terrifying pass was picked up by Bentancur who slammed into a cross that Kane ran into an unsafe net.

It was his 17th league goal of the campaign – not bad for someone considered poor by his sky-high standards.

His strike on the final day of the season was also ninth, equaling the joint record set by Andy Cole and former Spurs striker Les Ferdinand.

If the game hadn’t already been there, then surely 64 minutes had come when Kulusevsky blasted a brilliant third.

Kane turned away the Swede, who easily brushed off a weak challenge from Dimitris Giannoulis and swung the ball into the top corner.

From then on it was all about Son’s bid to win over the league’s deadliest striker.

It looked like it wasn’t going its way when Kulusevski choked him when he should have taken a shot himself, and Max Aarons chuckled to clean.

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But Son was not to be denied as he took his first catch by completing a lovely move involving Kane and deputy Lucas Moura, medically firing after a clever touch from the Brazilian.

The South Korean finished 23rd for the campaign with a breathtaking quality strike, curling from 25 yards before being crowded by his teammates.

Conte claimed he had never heard of the word ‘Sparcy’ this week and that hints at it, his team is beginning to forget its meaning, given how comfortable it was.

The focus now turns to what the former Inter Milan boss can make in north London – provided he lives.

Conte has been careful not to extend beyond the end of this season, pointing out that he needs support in the transfer market.

For Tottenham fans, you hope he’ll be in the dugout as a serial winner – the one who could end the Spursey curse once and for all.

Big Finale Live: Stay up to date with all the events of the final day of the Premier League in SunSport’s live blog


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