Tottenham 3-2 Frankfurt: Five things learned as Son puts on masterclass but Dier struggles


Tottenham got a much-needed win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday night as a double from Son Heung-min and a Harry Kane penalty saw them to a 3-2 victory after Daichi Kamada had given the German visitors an early lead and Faride Alidou scored a late header. Spurs are now in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, and will secure their passage through Group D if they beat Sporting Lisbon at home in two weeks.

Here are five things Express Sport learned from an entertaining evening in north London…

Son is officially back

Son Heung-min’s recent quickfire hat-trick against Leicester offered us a tantalising taste of what we know the South Korean can do following his extremely quiet start to the season. And he was well and truly back to his best tonight with two trademark strikes showing why he is still considered one of the very best around. 

His second in particular was an absolute beauty, as he struck a venemous volley from a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cross to leave the goalkeeper with no chance. His first touch still often leaves something to be desired, but with finishing this good, Spurs fans won’t mind too much. 

Kane displays masterclass once again

We are at the point now where we are almost in danger of taking Harry Kane from granted, such is the consistency of his brilliance. After a quiet start, the England hero sprung into life by playing a wonderful through ball for Son to open the scoring.

But better was still to come, as he did all the work for the second, winning a penalty following a brilliant mazy run into the box before converting it himself. He did blaze a spot-kick over the bar late on, but by then the damage had been done.

With Erling Haaland hogging the headlines, Kane has still quietly been going about his business, and seems to be hitting peak form just in time for the World Cup.

Here’s hoping…

Dier reminds us of limitations

Eric Dier has been in outstanding form for around 12 months now – so much so that he seems to be favoured by England manager Gareth Southgate again after, for a time, there looked to be no way back for the former Sporting Lisbon centre-back.

Yet tonight Dier showed that he is still far from perfect, with an erratic display that brought back bad memories of his struggles from a few years ago. The 28-year-old started the night woefully in north London, earning a rash booking and costing his team the first goal with an awful touch in his own box to allow the German side to pounce for the opener.

True, he did calm down after that, but his few minutes of madness will still come as a worry. Neither Spurs, nor England, can afford such slackness in their hugely important matches going forward. 

Conte’s bizarre Royal loyalty goes on

Antonio Conte simply must see something the rest of us can’t when it comes to Emerson Royal. The Brazilian wing-back was once again reinstated to the starting line-up tonight, despite Matt Doherty’s fine showing against Brighton at the weekend in his place.

And once again Royal looked far from convincing, ruining promising-looking attacks from the right hand side on more than one occasion and once more looking clumsy on the ball.

He will miss Spurs’ next two Premier League games through suspension, and Doherty must feel he has a a great chance to show Conte he should be starting permanently because, quite simply, Emerson just does not have what it takes at this level – according to everyone but Conte, it seems. 

Things looking rosy again for Spurs

Despite their strong start to the season, there was something of an air of doom and gloom after the 3-1 defeat to bitter rivals Arsenal and the dull 0-0 draw with Frankfurt in Germany. Fans were getting impatient with the safety-first style of football, and there was a worry that all the good work in the first few months of the campaign was in danger of being undone.

Yet the consequent win against Brighton and the victory tonight shows how quickly things can change in football. Spurs remain just four points behind the Gunners in the Premier League, and are now just three points away from confirming their progression to the Champions League knockout stages.

With winnable home games coming up against Everton and Newcastle sandwiched by a mouthwatering trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United, the picture could be looking very rosy indeed in a few weeks if Spurs play as well as they did tonight, and Conte’s side could be in a very good position by the time the World Cup break rolls around. 


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