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Son Heung-min’s mastery of the dark arts adds to his growing Tottenham legend

By Vithushan Ehantharajah
Getty Images

It’s not often Son Heung-min lets the veil slip. But as he walked off on 72 minutes, the usual doe-eyed smile was missing. In its place, an adolescent grimace that had mutated into a resentful snarl by the time he took his spot on the bench.

He was consoled by a member of the Tottenham support staff, then embraced by Antonio Conte, the one who made the call to substitute him, once the game had come to an end. To look at Son’s demeanour, you wouldn’t know that Spurs had thumped Arsenal 3-0 in the North London derby to keep their Champions League hopes alive into final two games of the season, or that Son had been so integral to the rout.

The anger - which Son sold as “disappointment” - was based on his own, personal exploits. His strike at the start of the second half took him to 21 Premier League goals, one behind Mohamed Salah. Having missed a chance that would have drawn him level, he probably anticipated another opportunity to make amends as 10-man Arsenal withered. Instead, he was forced to sit out the last 20.

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