Saints comeback falls just short

By SFC Media Sun 19 Mar Spurs vs Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | James Ward-Prowse scores
Sun 19 Mar 2.15PM
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur
2
Southampton
1
Eriksen [14'] Alli [33']
Ward-Prowse [52']
Dier (11') Walker (39') Wanyama (61')
Redmond (26') Boufal (81') Romeu (90+4')
Referee: Andre Marriner | Venue: White Hart Lane | Attendance: 31,697

A spirited second-half comeback attempt from Southampton was not enough to prevent them falling to defeat at White Hart Lane.

Claude Puel's team had arrived at Tottenham searching for a third successive Premier League win, all of which would have come away from home.

But they were ultimately undone by two first-half goals from the hosts, as Christian Eriksen's strike and Dele Alli's penalty gave Spurs enough to hold onto.

Saints, who lost Manolo Gabbiadini to injury inside the first half-hour, had looked like they might claim something out of the game when James Ward-Prowse swept home shortly after the interval, but their rally fell just short.

For the fourth game in succession, Puel named an unchanged starting line-up, with his team again opening up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

They were nearly undone inside three minutes, though, as Eriksen’s beautifully-weighted pass from the right wing picked out the run of Heung-Min Son in behind their defence, but Fraser Forster produced a superb one-on-one save at his near post to deny the Spurs forward.

Forster could do nothing in the 14th minute, however, as the hosts did indeed take the lead.

Mousa Dembélé played the ball into Eriksen on the run in a central position, and he stroked a powerful shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Christian Eriksen's shot beats Fraser Forster

Saints went close to levelling three minutes later, as Oriol Romeu hit a blistering half-volley from just outside the box, but it curled agonisingly wide of the far post.

They were then indebted to Forster for keeping the deficit at just one, as he sprung brilliantly to his left in the 24th minute to push away Toby Alderweireld’s firm, downward header, after the former Southampton man had leapt to meet an in-swinging corner six yards out.

Nathan Redmond was the first Saints player to pick up a yellow card, as he was cautioned for pulling back Victor Wanyama, joining Tottenham’s Eric Dier in Andre Marriner’s book, after he was earlier cautioned for a lunge on the Saints forward.

Gabbiadini, who had scored in his first four Southampton appearances, went so close to making it five in a row, as he exchanged passes with Dušan Tadić in a slick move, before firing a first-time snapshot into the side netting from 18 yards.

It would be the Italian striker’s last action of the game, though, as he appeared to tweak a muscle in the process of shooting and was forced off injured.

Manolo Gabbiadini receives treatment before going off

Things went from bad to worse for Southampton before they could even get Shane Long on in his place, as Alli went to ground under Steven Davis’s challenge in the area, with Marriner pointing to the spot.

Alli took the penalty himself, and calmly sent Forster the wrong way to make it 2-0 to Spurs.

Saints then felt they should have had a spot kick of their own, as Tadić was kicked in the area by Ben Davies when he attempted to latch onto a rebound, after Hugo Lloris had parried Cédric’s swerving shot from distance.

On this occasion, though, Marriner gave nothing, meaning Puel’s side headed into the break two goals down.

But it didn’t take them long after the restart to halve the deficit, as Ryan Bertrand sent in a low cross from the left, which Spurs didn’t deal with, allowing the ball to work its way to Ward-Prowse at the back post, and he controlled and struck a left-footed shot past Lloris to make it 2-1.

James Ward-Prowse celebrates with Dušan Tadić

The goal saw Saints gain an element of control on the game, although they were struggling to turn that into additional chances.

With a little more than 20 minutes remaining, Puel made his second change of the day, sending on Sofiane Boufal in place of Tadić.

That was followed ten minutes later by the addition of Jay Rodriguez, with Redmond the player to make way for him, while Boufal saw yellow for a foul on Harry Winks.

It was Boufal who went closest for Saints in the dying stages, but his left-footed strike from 20 yards fizzed just wide, as the hosts held on.

Tottenham Hotspur

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    50
    50
  • Shots
    12
    8
  • Shots on target
    6
    3
  • Corners
    5
    1
  • Passes Complete
    341
    332

Tottenham Hotspur

1
Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)
4
Toby Alderweireld
15
Eric Dier
5
Jan Vertonghen
12
Victor Wanyama
2
Kyle Walker
Kieran Trippier (78′)
33
Ben Davies
19
Mousa Dembélé
23
Christian Eriksen
Vincent Janssen (86′)
7
Son Heung-Min
Harry Winks (75′)
20
Dele Alli
16
Kieran Trippier
27
Kevin Wimmer
29
Harry Winks
9
Vincent Janssen
25
Josh Onomah
13
Michel Vorm
17
Moussa Sissoko

Southampton

1
Fraser Forster (GK)
3
Maya Yoshida
24
Jack Stephens
21
Ryan Bertrand
2
Cédric Soares
22
Nathan Redmond
Jay Rodriguez (80′)
16
James Ward-Prowse
8
Steven Davis (C)
11
Dusan Tadic
Sofiane Boufal (69′)
14
Oriol Romeu
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
Shane Long (32′)
40
Mouez Hassen
19
Sofiane Boufal
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
7
Shane Long
38
Sam McQueen
12
Martín Cáceres
9
Jay Rodriguez
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