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'Son moves like Messi' - Pochettino heaps praise on Tottenham goal hero

7:29 am AEDT 3/2/19
Son Heung-min Tottenham 2019
The Korea star proved Spurs' saviour once more against Newcastle, prompting his coach to see similarities with Barcelona's magician

Elated Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino compared Heung-min Son to Barcelona wizard Lionel Messi after his late winner against Newcastle on Saturday.

Son made the difference at Wembley as Rafael Benitez's team were denied in the final minutes of the Premier League clash.

With just seven minutes left on the clock, the midfielder hit the game's only goal, sending his side into second place ahead of Manchester City, who face Arsenal on Sunday.

The goal also took Son's Premier League tally to 10 for the season, and Pochettino believes it was no less than his star deserved.

"He works so hard, always pushing, never gives up. He tries, tries, tries. He’s like this in his effort with and without the ball, he's very regular and consistent and that is most important," the Argentine said to reporters at the final whistle.

"Sonny is like when you have a battery, you work, work, work and then the battery is gone. He is like this, he gives you everything and when he’s exhausted he says: 'I need to change' or [that he] needs to rest. He's like this.

"Always on the pitch he's 100 percent in every action without or without the ball. That is the most important thing, it's a very good example for everyone, watching him play.

"Of course after the first season, he understood what we expected of him. Now if you see him, he's one of the players who is always moving on the pitch, trying to get the best position in defensive and offensive situations. Always giving options to team-mates, running forward, dropping and then arriving from the second line. He is a very complete player today and we are so happy with his performance."

The former Espanyol boss also drew parallels with his distinguished compatriot, pointing out that how a player runs is just as important as how much distance he covers.

"It's not about the distance, it’s about the quality of the run. You can run 12km but if you don't have sprints or beat your opponent, and depends how you run it's not going to affect the game," Pochettino added.

"The most important thing is how you run and how you affect the game and the capacity and quality. It’s not about distance. It's like if you say Messi ran a lot of distance.

"No, but in the distance he applied the pace, or how powerful he is in the moment which made the difference. Sonny is similar, the quality is top because he has a lot of quality in his movement."