Antonio Conte hails ‘fantastic’ Heung-min Son after match-winning display against Leicester

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 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Antonio Conte praised “fantastic” Heung-min Son after the forward scored twice in Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Leicester - but warned that individual quality will count for little if his side do not finish in the top four.

Spurs moved back ahead of Arsenal, albeit possibly temporarily, after Son scored twice in the second half, including a stunning effort into the top corner, against a much-changed Leicester.

The South Korean’s first-half corner was headed home by Harry Kane — his 18th goal in 17 appearances against his former loan club — and he twice finished passes from substitute Dejan Kulusevski after the break.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored a stoppage-time consolation for the Foxes, who made eight changes ahead of their visit to Roma for Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final decider.

“I gave him a big hug because after an amazing goal my question was, ‘Which is his favourite foot, right or left?’” Conte said of Son, who scored both goals his his supposedly weaker left foot.

“He scored a fantastic goal and three minutes before, when I spoke with him, I said, ‘Go for five or six minutes and then I have to make a change’.

“So [after the game] I said to him, ‘You listened that I wanted to make a change and you decide to score this amazing goal!’

“We are talking about a great player, a fantastic player.

“But it’s important at the end of the season to celebrate a big achievement with the team. Otherwise it remains only a personal success to score these types of goals.”

Spurs moved a point clear of Arsenal, with Conte’s side facing Liverpool at Anfield next weekend and Arsenal playing Leeds, before they meet in a potentially decisive north London derby on May 12.

Conte added: “It was a good performance against a really good team.

“The game wasn’t easy and we knew very well that despite them making eight changes from the last game against Roma you can see the quality, you can see the squad that Leicester has.

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

“For sure we got three points in an important moment of the season especially because in the next games we are going to face first Liverpool and then Arsenal.

“Today it was vital to get three points. There is only one result and a lot of pressure, but I said to my players to live this moment, to enjoy this moment because we deserved it after really great work that we did in these six months.

“I think no one at the start of the season could imagine Tottenham challenging for a place in the Champions League, especially in November when there was a change [of manager] and for this reason we have to be satisfied that we stay in this position to fight for a big achievement.”

Conte also hailed Cristian Romero, who was imperious on the right of Spurs’ back three and helped create their all-important second goal - a close range finish from Son.

The Argentine won the ball in a crunching 50-50 with Caglar Soyuncu before Kulusevski slipped in Son.

“He played a good game,” the Spurs head coach said.

“I think every single player played very well. For us it’s very important to do well with the whole team if we want to get three points. It’s no good to play with one, two or three players playing good. We need the whole team playing well and to find a good balance. When this happens we can win the game.”

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