UEFA Champions League CSKA Moscow 0 Tottenham 1: In-form Son hits late winner

Son Heung-min scored his fifth goal of the season to give Tottenham a crucial 1-0 win away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

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Son Heung-min scored his fifth goal of the season to give Tottenham a crucial 1-0 win away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Dele Alli hit the crossbar as Spurs came closest to finding a breakthrough in the first half.

Despite enjoying more of the ball, it looked as if Mauricio Pochettino's side would have to settle for a point in Russia, only for the in-form Son – who scored twice in Saturday's victory over Middlesbrough – to force a late effort past Igor Akinfeev.

That goal proved to be enough for victory, with the South Korea international's five strikes from as many matches in 2016-17 the same tally he managed from his previous 37 club appearances.

A strong response was crucial for Spurs after their home defeat to Monaco in their opening Group E game and the result puts them second in the table, one point behind the Ligue 1 side at the top.        

CSKA, meanwhile, are bottom of the group with one point from two games and have now only won three of their last 20 Champions League matches.

Tottenham controlled the early possession, but neither side were able to create a clear chance in an opening 30 minutes devoid of goalmouth action.

However, the first competitive meeting between the two teams livened up in a frantic spell prior to half-time.

CSKA squandered a golden opportunity when neat play down the left resulted in Jan Vertonghen's headed clearance landing at the feet of Zoran Tosic, the winger unable to test Hugo Lloris with his curling shot from a good position inside the box.

Roman Eremenko then had a strike kept out by Lloris at his near post before Alli came close to finding a breakthrough at the other end.

Persistent work from Christian Eriksen ended when Pontus Wernbloom challenged him, but the England midfielder latched on to the loose ball and struck a brilliant effort against the bar from the edge of the area.

Vincent Janssen had a goal correctly disallowed for offside, while Toby Alderweireld headed a decent chance straight at Akinfeev as the visitors finished the opening period strongly.

The two teams came out firing after the break, with Son brilliantly denied by a last-ditch block from Georgy Schennikov shortly before he whipped another effort just wide.

But CSKA were posing a threat on the counter and Tosic saw an shot deflect narrowly over after a strong run from Lacina Traore created the chance.

Janssen – continuing to fill in for the injured Harry Kane – was struggling to get involved and he scuffed a poor effort wide following Ben Davies' cross.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou replaced the Netherlands striker as Pochettino searched for a vital goal, which eventually arrived on 71 minutes.

A neat passing move concluded when Erik Lamela – back in the team as one of two changes for Spurs – slipped a throughball to Son, who beat CSKA's offside trap and fired a shot towards goal which Akinfeev failed to keep out despite getting down to the ball.

The hosts attempted to respond when Lloris had to save Eremenko's fierce long-range drive at the second attempt and Mario Fernandes' late cross-shot evaded Traore as Spurs held on for a valuable victory.


Key Opta stats:

- Son Heung-min has scored five goals in five games for Spurs in all comps this season, as many as he did in his last 37 games of the 2015/16 campaign.
- CSKA Moscow have failed to stop English opponents scoring in their last nine games.
- Erik Lamela has provided six assists in his last seven games in all competitions for Spurs.

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