Southampton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
At half-time this game should have been out of sight for Southampton as Spurs absolutely battered them. Harry Kane scored one but could have had four. Saints defender Maya Yoshida hit his own post and Christian Eriksen rattled the Saint bar with a free kick.
By Marc Gingell
9th March 2019
|09.03. 15:00||St. Mary’s Stadium||ATT: 31,890||Southampton||2||Tottenham||1|
|REF: K Friend||Yan Valery 76′||Harry Kane 26′|
|James Ward-Prowse 81|
Spurs Welcome Back Dele Alli
Southampton started with the same 11 that battled so well against Manchester United last time out whilst Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made five changes from the team that won 1-0 against Dortmund. Back came Dele Alli, after missing six games injured, along with Eric Dyer, Kyle Walker-Peters, Danny Rose, and Lucas Moura.
Pochettino, recently ordered to spend two games in detention after his spat with referee Mike Dean, watched the action from the stands.
Harry Kane’s Two Hundredth Career Goal
Being far from the action didn’t appear to bother Spurs in the first-half as they absolutely battered Southampton. A trio of mannequins might have put up a better show than Saints three central defenders as Kane drifted in and out of pockets whenever he felt like it. Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, and Yoshida all looked like they’d graduated from some kinder garden school of defending.
It was no surprise when Harry Kane, scored his 200th career goal for club and country on 26 minutes when Alli found him, as usual, unmarked in Saints box. Somehow Spurs didn’t find a second and the score remained 1-0 at half-time.
Josh Sims Makes An Impact
For Southampton, the good thing about that appalling first half was that they surely couldn’t get any worse.
Boss Ralph Hasenhüttl made a couple of immediate changes. On came Josh Sims, for Oriol Romeu who’d been booked in the first half, and Shane Long for Charlie Austin.
For Long, four goals in 70 substitute appearances, no one really expects him to score anymore but he has a nuisance value with his headless chicken approach that keeps him running around unsettling defenders.
Sims had Saints first shot of the game in the 46th minute.
After Sims shot it seemed that a light had suddenly been switched on in all the Saints players’ brains. Collectively they had an awakening and began to press. Nathan Redmond had two fine chances. First, on the left, he fired into the side netting. Then he did exactly the same on the right. He should have scored both times and Saints fans must have been wondering about spending the next three weeks in the bottom three with Cardiff winning against West Ham.
With Stuart Armstrong, now on for the injured Long who’d come out worse after one of his characteristic challenges, in space on Saints left he fired a cross into the Spurs six-yard box. Jan Vertonghen missed it and Rose, with time to clear, decided to do Southampton a massive favoured. Rose dummied the ball which left Yan Valery with a simple tap in. Valery, possibly surprised by Rose’s actions, actually topped his shot so the ball looped into the net. A better connection might have given Hugo Lloris more chance of making a save.
Stuart Armstrong – “I Was In Ref!”
Pochettino, with a birds-eye view of Rose’s defending, got on his phone and soon hooked Rose from the action as Saints continued to have the upper hand. Sims, on the right, seemed to be involved in a lot of good Saints moments and he put Redmond flying down the right in the 78th minute. Spurs were backtracking but Armstrong came flying through the middle past Walker-Peters. Redmond played the ball across and Armstrong looked in but he fell after a coming together with Walker-Peters.
Armstrong did his “I was in ref.” But Friend just produced his yellow card.
James Ward-Prowse Territory
Still, Saints had a free kick, central, and just outside the D. In the past Saints fans would have backed their mortgages on Matt Le Tissier hitting the target and now they have another dead-ball specialist in Ward-Prowse. Just as he’d done at Old Trafford he curled it into the top corner.
Saints Hold On
Saints held on and for the first time this season they’ve turned a losing position into a winning one. They’re normally experts at the reverse. For Spurs, it’s three league defeats on the road in a row and they’ve only won two of their last six games. Both against Dortmund.
Southampton: Gunn (6), Valery (7), Yoshida (6), Vestegaard (7), Bednarek (6), Bertrand (7), Romeu (5), Hojbjerg (6), Remond (5), Ward-Prowse (8), Austin (5)
Subs: Sims (8), Long (6), Armstrong (7)
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker-Peters (5), Vertonghen (6), Sanchez (6), Rose (4), Sissoko (6), Dier (5), Eriksen (6), Alli (6), Lucas (7), Kane (7)
Subs: Son (5), Davies (NA), Llorente (NA)
Man of the match: Josh Sims
If you have any questions or comments please follow the links below. And, if you would like to like or share, that would be appreciated. Thank you.