|DATE||Saturday 19th December 2015|
|VENUE||St. Marys Stadium|
|PREVIEW||No preview prepared.|
|PREDICTION||Southampton 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
|Last season's corresponding fixture|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :|
|SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS :|
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Southampton 0 (0)
Saturday 19th December 2015
St. Marys Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (2)
Kick off 15:00
Kane 39m 32s
Alli 42m 22s
Fonte (foul on Alli) 40
Alli (foul on Juanmi) 72
|Crowd : 31,636||Weather : Mild|
|Referee : Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. D. Cann; Mr. M. Wilkes|
|Fourth Official : Oliver Langford||-|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Northam stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 5 minutes.|
|Southampton :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
11 Dosan TADIC
(20 JUANMI 78)
Hugo LLORIS (c)
Tom CARROLL 79)
10 Harry KANE ( 7 Heung-Min SON 90)
|Manager : Ronald Koeman||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : Veho||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
Noisy Saints fans were reduced to wide open red spaces, like their team's defence, as they vacated the seats early having seen Spurs score two goals in three minutes to allow them to coast through the remainder of the match. Shocking defending which has been the downfall of the Southampton team in recent weeks reared its ugly head to allow Harry Kane and Dele Alli clear sights of goal that they gratefully converted to help Spurs to a seventh away Premier League game unbeaten.
Tottenham welcomed back Mousa Dembele in a defensive midfield role, with Dele Alli playing alongside Eriksen and Lamela in the attacking three behind Kane. Dier was in the defensive pair and the back four were the same except Ben Davies filled in at left back in front of Hugo. The home team were mostly unchanged from their previous defeat at Crystal Palace, but Pelle replaced Shane Long in the starting line-up, Tadic started instead of Yoshida, while Clasie came in for Romeu. The idea was probably to stiffen up the midfield and in the early stages, the Southampton players were flying into tackles, which was something they were come to regret later in the half.
The quick start by the Saints was meant to catch Tottenham out, after their loss to Newcastle at home last week. However, Spurs proved quite resistant to Southampton's attacks. The early shooting chances seemed to fall to Sadio Mane, but his lack of clinical finishing in front of goal cost Southampton an early lead. Five minutes in, he was on the right side of the box, but his cross-shot was blocked by Alderweireld's outstretched leg, then he had a long shot that Vertonghen took the sting out of before his best shot from just inside the box on eight minutes was placed a little too close to Lloris, who went right to get down to block it close to his body. Dier was quick to read the play and deny Pelle, as he brought the ball down and looked to shoot.
From the fifteenth minute on, Tottenham started to boss the match. Walker broke up the right and passed on to Eriksen, but the Dane's shot from the right side of the box flew across goal and went wide. The ball was being played around the edge of the Southampton box, with a couple of corners coming from it, as well as a cross from the right by Walker that was volleyed back to him from the far post by Lamela and Alli had a shot that he dragged wide. A double foul on Alli and Dembele won Spurs a free-kick halfway inside the Saints half and Eriksen played it in and the clearance fell to Walker. His cross picked out Alderweireld, but his header landed on the top of the net. Kane got closer with 35 minutes gone, with an angled drive from the right which forced Gazzaniga to save.
When a Southampton attack broke up in the Spurs half, the ball was nudged forward to Lamela, who poked it on to Alli, who just got the ball forward to Kane before he was hit very late by a tackle from Fonte. The defenders rashness took him out of the game and as Kane snaked between two defenders, he was faced by Virgil van Dijk 25 yards out. For some reason, the former Celtic centre-half took a swing at the ball and completely missed, leaving Harry through on Gazzaniga. When the striker reached the box, the keeper went one way early and Kane opened up to curl the ball past the keeper's left and into the bottom corner of the net to hand Tottenham a lead. It was a finish that was familiar last season, so pleasing to see it come with confidence and Harry notched his 47th goal in his 100th Spurs appearance.
The referee added insult to injury, but quite rightly went back to book Fonte. With a couple of minutes, there was even more punishment for poor defending, with Walker having a great deal of space after being set free by Alderweireld and he pinged a low cross into the penalty area. This seemed to confound the Saints defence, who saw Harry Kane run into an offside position, but he ran ahead of the ball and was deemed not to be interfering, so, when the ball ran through to the back stick, the red and white shirts were not intent on picking up Dele Alli ghosting in to take a touch and then slide past Gazzaniga from close in. When you saw the replays, it was a little too close for comfort, but as the ball found the back of the net, it allowed Dele to kung fu kick the corner flag in celebration for netting the second Tottenham goal.
Having changed around two goals to the good, Southampton made the expected charge to get back in the game after losing their previous four matches. The forward forays were met with staunch defending, getting in the way of efforts on goal or forcing a hurried cross that failed to find its target. Pelle looked like he might be in a position to cause a problem, but he had to dig out his shot and he could not find the top corner, only causing Lloris to pluck his shot out as it went centrally and high at the goal. Pelle also had a header that went wide from Cedric's cross, but after fifteen minutes, Tottenham started controlling play. They moved the ball well and started to push Southampton back towards their own goal. While the possession failed to create many clear chances, they did keep the ball in the correct half as far as they were concerned. It caused the home players to lose their composure and conceded a string of free-kicks, which the St. Mary's crowd seemed to object to, but by this stage they had little to shout about. From one on the right, Erik Lamela tried his luck, but the ball hit the wall and went out for a corner.
The Saints had a five minute spell of pressure, with Spurs giving away a corner which Lloris punched out and then Tottenham sprang into attack. Winning one more free-kick, Christian bent it in and Kane just failed to get on the end of it and then with ten minutes left, Eriksen fired in a low shot that the keeper had time to dive and get behind. Lamela then did well to take the ball off Bertrand outside his own area and drove on, taking it around the left back before pulling it back low to substitute Tom Carroll, but he failed to get enough behind his shot to test the keeper more than the simple pick up he had to make.
Kane got injured sliding in on Wanyama and catching his knee on the midfielder's boot, so Harry needed treatment, but continued for a short while before he went off to be replaced by Son. The Korean almost made an impact by charging down a clearance by Gazzaniga, but the ball ran kindly for the keeper, who picked it up. But it was the keeper at the other end who made the most telling contribution in added time, with a sharp save down to his left at the foot of the post. Bertrand had got away down the Southampton left and put in a low ball that Pelle completely missed, leaving it to run on to James Ward-Prowse, who had entered as a substitute, but the low drive wasn't strong enough to beat Hugo.
While it looked unlikely that Spurs would score in the first quarter of the game, having been gifted two gilt-edged chances, they took them and the rest of the game saw struggling Southampton look like the goal-shy outfit they have become of late. While Lloris had to make a couple of very good stops, Gazzaniga was the busier goalie, allowing Tottenham to dictate the game with passing to make Southampton players chase the ball ... or in some cases, not even do that too hard. The confidence of being back in the lead spread through the side and Dembele's presence allowed the team to use him as a pivot, swapping between defensive and attacking midfield.
It must have been a pleasing result for Pochettino, returning to the ground where Spurs took him from, but also in getting the team to bounce back after losing to Newcastle last week. The win took Spurs to fourth place with other results going our way. With the busy Christmas period coming up, Tottenham need to capitalise on the situation and with Norwich City, Watford and Everton coming up, they must regain the consistency they showed in the first part of the season to keep their place in the elite.
Southampton are nicknamed
The Saints, as they were originally based around a musical group of
the late 19th Century who made a revival in the punk era of the late
|Match ball sponsors||-|
|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Manchester United||1||Norwich City||2||Saturday|
|Newcastle United||1||Aston Villa||1||Saturday|
|Stoke City||1||Crystal Palace||2||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||Bournemouth||2||Saturday|
|Swansea City||0||West Ham United||0||Sunday|
|8||West Ham United||17||6||7||4||25||21||25||+4|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||17||5||5||7||16||23||20||-7|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 4th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone will think so.
Back to homepage