Son Heung-min's terrific form: Why Tottenham Hotspur will win the Uefa Champions League

The South Korean has stepped up in absence of Harry Kane but is suspended for the first leg of Spurs' semi-final against Dutch club Ajax

TOPSHOT - Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min celebrates at the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League quarter final second leg football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on April 17, 2019. The match ended 4-4, but Tottenham progress to the semi finals on goal difference. / AFP / Anthony Devlin

Tottenham Hotspur are the name you were probably not expecting to see in the last four of this season's Uefa Champions League.

Given they only had one point after three group games it has been quite a journey for Mauricio Pochettino's side.

After finishing as runner-up in their group - securing a point against Barcelona at Camp Nou in their final game to edge out Inter Milan - Spurs saw off Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 and then advanced on away goals against Manchester City in one of the great quarter-final ties to set-up a semi-final showdown against Ajax.

The North London club have not won a trophy since 2008, and not since Steve Perryman hoisted aloft the 1984 Uefa Cup have they won a European trophy.

Spurs have only ever contested one European Cup semi-final, losing 4-3 on aggregate to eventual winners Benfica.

Come June 1, they could be champions of Europe. Here's how.

Son Heung-min's terrific form

Every team has had a player they can look to for inspiration at key moments. Tottenham fans may have thought they had lost that when Harry Kane limped off against Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final.

In his absence, up stepped Son Heung-min. The South Korean scored the only goal as Spurs beat City in their quarter-final first leg in London and struck twice at the Etihad Stadium as Spurs lost 4-3 but advanced on away goals.

They were excellent finishes too and Tottenham will need more of the same from Son against Ajax.

It is just not his scoring that impresses: Son's pace and movement in the forward line causes problems for even the best defences. He could be the difference maker for his side and fire them to a first Champions League title in Madrid on June 1.

Pochettino's progression

There is a reason both Manchester United and Real Madrid have been heavily linked with Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine has done an extraordinary job at Tottenham since taking chrge in May 2014 and now stands three matches away from the greatest success in the club's history.

Pochettino has developed one of the best sides in Europe over the past five years, who with a little more experience could have even been Premier League champions in 2016 and 2017.

There is a resilience to Tottenham, they recover from setbacks - not many sides go to Manchester City and score twice after conceding in the first minute. Tottenham did and that belief comes from their manager.

Tottenham need some big performances but with Pochettino at the helm are well capable of achieving them.

The former Southampton manager has transformed top six contenders into regular qualifiers for the Champions League. Securing a major trophy is the logical progression for the Argentine.

Full-back threats

Tottenham cause opposition teams plenty of problems with the width of their play. Some of that comes from the forward line in Kieran Trippier and Danny Rose they have full-backs committed to bombing forward to join in the attack.

Both are quick and Trippier in particular has excellent delivery on crosses. Pochettino will look for his full-backs to get behind the Ajax backline and fire in a steady suplly of chances for the likes of Son, Lucas Moura and Christian Eriksen.

It helps that both are excellent defenders too, which they will need to be against Ajax. But it is what they can do at the other end that could help their team reach the final.

New stadium syndrome

Tottenham's perfect record at their new home is no more after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to West Ham United.

But there is no doubt that the 62,000 Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has galvanised the players and fans.

The atmosphere for their first-leg victory against City was superb and the supporters are sure to be in good voice for the visit of Ajax that is one of the biggest in the North London club's history.

The wait too move back home was long but it has proven worth the wait. A Champions League semi-final as the sixth game at the venue is something pretty special.

This is a great opportunity for Tottenham and playing it at their own stadium, rather than at the soulless Wembley Stadium, is important. It helped them against City and it can be an inspiration for giving them an advantage to take to Amsterdam for the second leg.

If they reach the final they will be playing in Madrid, not at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. But there is a buzz and belief around the club that was not there in March. Another strong showing at home on Tuesday could be the spark that carries them to something remarkable.

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