Son Heung-min suffered nasty eye injury in win over Marseille but was was able to celebrate with his Spurs team-mates… with forward joining Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski on the injury list and sparking South Korean World Cup fears
- Son Heung-min suffered a head injury in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Marseille
- The South Korean star shuffled unsteadily off the pitch during the first half
- It is another Spurs striker that has joined the injury list for Antonio Conte
- South Korea will also be sweating on Son’s injury ahead of the Qatar World Cup
- REPORT: Hojbjerg hammers home injury-time stunner to seal Group D top spot
Son Heung-min shuffled unsteadily from the scene and concern rippled out of Marseille.
The uppermost was for Son and his immediate wellbeing. Having been caught a solid blow across his left cheekbone, he had required lengthy treatment while flat on his back.
Then, when he climbed to his feet gingerly, clearly shaken, swelling had appeared on the side of his face. Chancel Mbemba had crashed into him as they competed for an aerial ball and made contact with his shoulder. At least the correct protocol for a head injury was undertaken.
Son Heung-min suffered a head injury in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Marseille on Tuesday night
Around the world, South Korean fears turned to the World Cup. Suddenly another of the world’s star players is praying for a speedy recovery before the tournament starts. Son will not be the last in this situation.
Up in the stands, on the eve of his first anniversary at the club, Antonio Conte looked on without expression.
Liverpool visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday and another striker is on the injury list, where Richarlison has spent the last two and a half weeks, where Dejan Kulusevski has been for considerably longer, and where Lucas Moura spent two months earlier this season.
This time it was Son, Golden Boot winner and Conte’s main threat behind Marseille on the counter, at least in theory.
Swelling had appeared on the side of Son’s face after being caught by Chancel Mbemba
Things had not panned out quite the way the Spurs boss had hoped when he bid farewell to his players and took his seat.
When the teams met in London in September, Igor Tudor’s team had started equally well.
Then Son cracked the contest open when his extreme pace tempted Mbemba into a rash tackle for which he was sent off.
Spurs took control against 10 men that night. Here, they would have to find another way to salvage their Champions League future.
The South Korea talisman is visibly upset after being subbed off with the nasty-looking injury
Son is escorted down the tunnel before half-time after suffering a head injury in Marseille
The only consolation was that the lengthy stoppage helped draw some of the sting from Marseille, who started well, roared on by a passionate home crowd determined to do whatever they could to help their team into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2011.
Marseille fans set to work early, with the pyrotechnic faction lighting fuses on their first fireworks at 1.30am outside Tottenham’s swish hotel, on the Port du Prado, south of the city centre. They were back for another session at 4.30am.
‘We slept very well,’ said assistant manager Cristian Stellini drily, standing in for pre-match duties because the boss was serving a one-match ban for a red card last week against Sporting Lisbon. ‘We enjoyed the fireworks but they were a bit short.’
Spurs were soon looking far from fresh, however, unable to escape their own half of the pitch and unable to link up enough passes to alleviate the pressure from Marseille.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg blasted home with the final kick of the game to seal a 2-1 comeback win
Tottenham players celebrate Champions League progression after beating Marseille
They caught a breather as Son received treatment and almost made it to the sanctuary of half-time, but two minutes into the seven added for the stoppage, Mbemba powered a thumping header past Hugo Lloris from a corner.
Up went the volume. Had Conte been on the touchline, he would have barely been able to hear himself think, let alone make himself heard.
Fortunately, in the still of half-time, some messages hit the mark. Stellini made the necessary changes and Spurs were much improved. Clement Lenglet and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg swung them back into the competition. But still the concerns for Son lingered on.
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