Great Britain

Southampton 2 Tottenham 5: Son Heung-min scores four on the south coast to cancel out Danny Ings’ opener

THE prodigal son’s return was toasted by FOUR goals from… Son.

A knee injury meant Gareth Bale was not involved here following his season-long loan from Real Madrid, seven years after first leaving Spurs.

But the Welshman will have been licking his lips at the prospect of joining Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane in Jose Mourinho’s lethal front three.

Four of Spurs’ five strikes may have come from Son - and teed up by Kane - but the manner in which they scored was reminiscent of vintage Bale.

A blistering counter-attack, a run from out wide and a devastating finish… Spurs’ South Korean star could have been Bale in disguise as he blitzed Saints’ high line time and again.

It left Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side - who had taken the lead through Tottenham target Danny Ings - shellshocked as Kane made it five.

Ings hit a late penalty but it did not mask the hosts’ embarrassment.

While Spurs supporters will be dreaming that Mourinho may just be the man to deliver them silverware at long last, now he has the tools he wants at his disposal.

The stunning second-half display of the Portuguese’s team shows the power a stellar new signing can have.

Kane and Son looked visibly lifted and back to their clinical best after a drab opening-day display against Everton.

One man who was nowhere to be seen though was Dele Alli, left out of the squad altogether for the second successive game following his no-show against Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

The England star had no injury - instead, Tottenham’s hectic schedule was given as the official reason.

It thrust Alli’s future into further doubt and now a move before the window closes is conceivable.

And there will be no shortage of takers, if Hasenhuttl’s pre-game assertion that “every team wants to have a Dele Alli” is anything to go by. 

Every team except Mourinho’s Tottenham, it would seem.

Spurs thought they had made the perfect start as Kane beautifully volleyed in Matt Doherty’s header inside three minutes - but VAR found Son to be offside in the build-up.

There were multiple subplots beyond Bale and Alli in this game, including players facing the clubs who had sold them this summer.

One of those was Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg, who was given a crunching welcome back tackle early on by old Saints’ midfield pal Oriol Romeu that earned a yellow card.

It was then the hosts’ turn to have a goal ruled out as Che Adams, shortly after being denied by a stunning stop from Hugo Lloris, set away Ings.

Lloris raced out and got a head to the ball which flicked up off the elbow of the Three Lions striker, who then turned it in but the goal was eventually chalked off for handball.

Tottenham got away with one when Moussa Djenepo smashed the post shortly afterwards.

But their luck was out when Kyle Walker-Peters - whom they had sold for £12m to Saints this summer - clipped a delightful pass over Eric Dier to Ings in the 32nd minute.

The ex-Liverpool man’s confidence is sky-high after 22 league goals last season, which led to Spurs making an approach last week which was quickly rebuffed.

Ings got his campaign up and running here by controlling the dropping ball and exquisitely smashing it into the far corner.

Saints looked set to go into the break one up - but moments before the half-time whistle the game turned on its head with the first of Son’s four replicant goals.

Kane crossed from the left and found his forward partner, who somehow squeezed a shot past Alex McCarthy, leaving Hasenhuttl kicking the advertising hoardings in frustration.

Two minutes after the interval, Son hit his second in his biggest tribute to Bale, rushing from off the right onto Kane’s ball and blasting into the corner with his left foot.

The pair combined identically again for two more before Kane finally got himself on the scoresheet, tapping in a rebound after Erik Lamela had struck a post.

Ings did reduce the deficit from the spot after VAR adjudged Doherty to have handled.

But it did nothing to take away the headline from this stunning display from Bale’s new side at the club who made him in Southampton.

Whether the 31-year-old, who left boyhood club Saints for Spurs in 2007, can reproduce anything like the form he showed the last time he played for Tottenham remains to be seen.

Yet Kane and Son’s performances proved that he will not have to do it all on his own like he did the first time round.

Bale has taken the No9 shirt on his return to North London.

Perfect timing as master-provider Kane is looking like a world-class No10.

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