37 goals that made Son and Kane Premier League legends
With a long cross and two touches of the ball on Saturday, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane secured their legacy as the greatest goal scoring partnership the Premier League has ever seen.
Saturday’s goal — scored by Son to round off a big 4-0 Tottenham Hotspur win over Leeds United — was No. 37 for the pair, officially beating Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard for the most Premier League goal combinations ever.
The record, which Son and Kane are likely to hold for some time, is the second the two have set together. Last year, the Spurs duo set the Premier League record for the most goals scored in a single season, at 14.
Although they’ve only scored three together so far this season, Saturday’s performance suggests there is still plenty of magic left in the partnership.
Son Heung-min joined Spurs in August 2015, joining Kane who has played for the London club since he was eleven years old.
Son had a quiet debut year, making 28 appearances — a lot of them from the bench — and scoring just four goals. The 2016-17 season was a very different story, with Son scoring 14 goals and quickly establishing himself as a key starting player and fan favorite.
The 2016-17 season was also when the Son-Kane partnership started to see some serious results.
Son and Kane’s very first goal together came against Stoke City on Sept. 10, 2016. With the box packed, Son passed the ball across the goalmouth to Kane, who slotted it past the keeper. Spurs went on to win that game 4-0, with Son also picking up two goals of his own.
With the floodgates now open, Son and Kane quickly started racking up an impressive joint scorecard.
Goal No. 2 also went to Kane, against Swansea on Dec. 16, 2016, with Son scoring four more to round off the season — against Manchester City on Jan. 21, 2017, Bournemouth on April 15 and two against Leicester City on May 18.
Rounding off their first season as a playmaking partnership with six goals together, Son and Kane returned on even more explosive form in the 2017-18 season, combining for a total of seven goals.
This time it was Son that started things off, netting the duo’s seventh goal together on Oct. 22, 2017, against Liverpool. The next two goals went to Kane — against Southampton on Dec. 26 and Everton on Jan. 13, 2018 — before Son added one of his own against Huddersfield on March 3.
That Huddersfield goal kicked off a busy end to the season for the Spurs pair, with Kane scoring against Brighton on April 14 and Newcastle on May 9, before Son rounded off the season a few days later with a goal against Southampton on May 12.
The quiet years
Injury problems plagued the Son-Kane partnership over the following two seasons, combining with the decline of the Mauricio Pochettino era to put a serious dent in their goal tally.
The pair only combined for three goals in the 2018-19 season, and all three of them came within a two-week period — Kane against Everton on Dec. 23, 2018, Kane against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Dec. 29 and Son against Cardiff on Jan. 1, 2019.
A recurring ankle injury took Kane out of action for much of the rest of that season, leaving Son to score 11 of his 12 goals that season without his playmaking partner.
The 2019-20 season was also interrupted by health problems, with Kane suffering a hamstring injury and Son a fractured arm. The duo combined for a total of four goals, all four of them scored by Kane — against Leicester on Sept. 21, 2019, Burnley on Dec. 7, West Ham on June 23, 2020, and Sheffield on July 2.
After two quiet seasons, Son and Kane burst back on the scene in the 2020-21 season, combining for a record-breaking 14 goals. As if that wasn’t enough, the pair managed the feat in just eight games.
Son and Kane got off to a blistering start, combining for four goals in a historic 5-2 win over Southampton on Sept. 20, 2020.
All four of the combined goals were scored by Son, making him only the 28th player in Premier League history to score four goals in one match and Kane only the seventh player to pick up four assists. Kane also scored the fifth goal of the game, although he did that one without Son.
Son and Kane continued that momentum a couple of weeks later, combining on one goal each against Manchester United on Oct. 4, and then did it again against West Ham on Oct. 18, giving the pair eight combined goals across three games.
Goal No. 9 for the season and No. 29 of all time came on Oct. 26 against Burnley, when Kane was once again the one with the assist, this one a double header as Kane headed the ball to Son, who headed it into the net.
The pair again picked up one goal each against Arsenal on Dec. 6, before combining on one more goal against for Kane against Crystal Palace on Dec. 13, rounding off 2020 with a huge 14 goals.
Things quieted down at the start of the new year, with Son scoring against Leeds on Feb. 1, 2021, and Kane against Crystal Palace on March 7 to round off the season with 14 goals.
More to come?
External factors appear to have impacted the Son-Kane partnership over the last year, with a rotating door or managers at Tottenham hitting the club’s performance in general.
Kane’s abortive efforts to leave Spurs also took a very clear toll on his ability on the pitch, and a recent muscle injury left Son on the sidelines at the start of this year.
Despite those factors, the duo have still combined on three goals this season — Son against Newcastle on Oct. 17, 2021, Kane against Manchester United on Feb. 19 and Son against Leeds over the weekend — and the arrival of Antonio Conte as Spurs manager seems to have settled the team down.
Although this is a quieter season, the future still looks bright for Son and Kane. Their goal scoring partnership is remarkably equitable — Son has 19 goals to Kane’s 18 — so neither has anything to lose by continuing to work together as they have been.
With both under contract with Spurs for at least two more seasons, that record-breaking goal number looks likely to continue to climb.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]