EPL

Son felt he 'disappointed' Spurs team-mates before hat-trick heroics

By Sports Desk September 17, 2022

Son Heung-min felt he had "disappointed" his Tottenham team-mates before opening this season's account with a dazzling hat-trick against Leicester City.

The South Korea international came off the bench in the second half of Saturday's Premier League game to deliver a freewheeling performance in what became a 6-2 rout of the Foxes.

Having been replaced in the starting line-up by Dejan Kulusevski, Son's performance as substitute was a timely reminder of his talent.

In eight previous games this season, including two in the Champions League, Son had failed to score and managed only one assist.

Speaking after a treble that included two stunning long-range finishes, last season's Golden Boot joint-winner said the feat left him emotional, after several weeks of feeling he had let the club down.

"It was a top performance," Son told Sky Sports. "The way I play, I can do much better than I have. I have been disappointed. I wanted to do my best for the team. I will always try to do that when I play.

"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."

Son's feat made him the seventh player in the competition's history to score a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute, and helped push Tottenham joint-top of the table with Manchester City, albeit trailing on goal difference.

With 17 points from seven games and an unbeaten domestic record to boot, Antonio Conte's side have matched their best start to a Premier League season, set in 2016-17 when they finished behind their current boss during his time at Chelsea.

The Italian head coach certainly was happy to see Son turn the page, with Conte saying: "I am really happy for Sonny today, you know what I think of the player.

"I said to him, 'If you're going to score three goals in 30 minutes, maybe we can repeat this experiment', but I was joking.

"I'm lucky, I have a really good group of players, that are really good people. We have to start thinking in a different way if we are going to make the next step."

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