The South Korean forward has endured an indifferent start to his campaign, having not found the net prior to Saturday’s clash against Leicester and as a result was dropped to the bench by Antonio Conte.
After taking the lead just after the interval through Rodrigo Bentancur, Conte decided to throw on his mercurial South Korean forward for the last half an hour of the game.
Son Heung-min came off the bench to break his Premier League drought and score his first goals of the season
With Tottenham looking comfortable, Son made sure of all three points with a wonderfully taken effort on 73 minutes. It was his first goal in Lilywhite since his hat-trick on the final day of last season at Norwich.
Conte revealed prior to the game that Son was ‘angry’ at his current form with clamour for the Italian to try a front three of Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Kane and Richarlison growing stronger by the week. Son displayed both this anger and his frustration at not having started the game by not celebrating his spectacular right-footed effort and instead placing his finger to his lips.
Usually a jovial character with a grin etched across his face, Son gave off the air of a player disappointed at their current plight and not having been given the chance to put things right from the start by his manager.
The South Korean admitted to being disappointed with his own performances so far this term
Not content with one on his return to the Premier League’s scoring books, Son had a second only a matter of minutes later.
Picking the ball up on the right, he curled in a wonderful left-footed shot beyond the hapless Danny Ward. Once again, the finger was raised to the mouth as he looked on at the gleeful Tottenham fans.
It was hard not to feel the finger raised in a shushing motion was not directed at the ‘noise’ surrounding him this season.
With many believing it could not get much better for the forward, he capped his superb cameo with a hat-trick. Racing through on goal, he slid the ball under Ward to send the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium delirious.
Son’s second goal saw him bend the ball round the Leicester back line and into Danny Ward’s net
His once-again muted celebration was halted by the assistant’s flag but a VAR check showed that he was indeed level. Cue second set of wild celebrations.
Son’s return to form will be most welcome at Tottenham with Conte’s side having looked slightly concerning in front of goal in their midweek defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
Having finished joint-top scorer in the Premier League last season, it was expected Son would hit the ground running this but it had not yet clicked for him. Richarlison, so impressive since he completed his move from Everton this summer, had seen his stock rise both as a combination of his own work but also Son’s poor form.
Social media was in a state of shock as Son went about his astonishing 14-minute rampage to extinguish any threat of a late Leicester resurgence, with many supporters focusing on Son’s – lack of – celebration.
Each of Son’s celebrations were muted and appeared to reflect his anger at having been dropped to the bench
‘Son with a celebration that says “he dropped me for few bad games, bro lemme show ya”‘,’ one supporter noted after his first goal.
Another wrote: ‘Finally get to see Son’s goal celebration.’
While another also chose to focus on his celebration, writing: ‘Cold celebration from Son.’
‘Pitch perfect goal celebration from Son Heung-min,’ another wrote.
Son’s first goals of the season take him above Richarlison and to one behind Harry Kane in Tottenham’s scoring charts
One other added: ‘Son’s celebration said everything.’
Another jokingly noted in reference to Son’s first two goals, both of which were efforts from outside the 18-yard box: ‘Yeah see that was the problem, Son was shooting from inside the box before. No good.’
Meanwhile, Son after the game admitted to being ‘disappointed’ with his current level of performance while the team, in his view, was performing ‘really, really well’.
He told Sky Sports: ‘It was a top performance and I was really frustrated as well. The way I play I can do much better than I have been. I have been disappointed, the team has been doing really, really good but I was disappointed with my performance.
His third saw him squirm the ball under a hapless Danny Ward before he was forced to wait for VAR
‘It was a tough game at 3-2 and you never know in the Premier League. I wanted to do my best for the team. I will always try to do that when I play. I tried to help the team on the bench. I’m glad we won the game before the international break,’ he added.
‘My finishing has been poor this season. I’ve also been a little bit unlucky with an own goal, two offside goals and hitting the crossbar. I knew goals were coming and I wasn’t worried. I’ve always had great supporters, team-mates and coaches behind me.
‘I like to shoot from outside the box – I’ve practiced that since I was a kid. Even now after training, if I have time, I try to practice from that position and hitting the top corner. I’m really glad the ball finally went in!
The forward cut a relived figure after the game as he departed the pitch with the match ball
‘I was pretty sure I was onside for the hat-trick! I’m glad I’ve been able to help the team, that is really important and I can go to national duty with renewed energy.
‘I’m getting emotional [about the support] to be honest. There has been amazing support and I’ve always felt like I’ve disappointed my team-mates and fans with my performances. They have always been supporting me.’
The result takes Tottenham above their north London rivals Arsenal, who play away at Brentford on Sunday, into second level on points with leaders Manchester City.
They travel to Arsenal in their first fixture after the forthcoming international break.