Our final home game of the campaign ended in disappointment on Sunday afternoon as Southampton came from behind to take the three points at the Lane.
We took the lead with a fine goal from Heung-Min Son on 16 minutes, only for the Saints to level it up just after the half-hour mark through Steven Davis – and then grab a winner from the same player with 20 minutes remaining.
Mauricio Pochettino made just the one change from Monday’s draw at Chelsea, enforced following Mousa Dembele’s suspension. The Belgian was replaced by Ryan Mason while Son featured again in the attacking trio.
The game opened up amid a fantastic atmosphere inside the Lane as the fans really got behind the team on our last game in N17 of what has been a great campaign and we were on the front foot straight away.
Just five minutes were on the clock when Danny Rose took Toby Alderweireld’s cross-field pass on his chest to get away from Cuco Martina before sending over a low cross which Christian Eriksen poked goalwards, Fraser Forster making an excellent save to deny him. Erik Lamela’s effort from the rebound took a deflection and went out for a corner.
The Saints were certainly making a game of it, though, and went close six minutes later as Sadio Mane threaded a pass to Dusan Tadic down the left channel but his low centre across the face of the goal had too much purchase for Davis in the middle and the danger was cleared.
Our opener followed shortly after and it was all down to Son’s great work. He received a lovely pass from Jan Vertonghen in the centre of the pitch and drove towards goal, laying off to Lamela who played the ball forwards. Son, continuing his run, beat the hesitant Forster to the ball and evaded the challenges of Virgil van Dijk and Jose Fonte before slamming it into an empty net.
Tadic blazed high and wide from 22 yards, Eriksen shot straight at Forster before Ryan Bertrand delivered a low inviting centre across the face of goal which Rose cleared as the game swung from end to end.
The Saints' equaliser came on 31 minutes when Martina played a pass down the right flank for Tadic who crossed for Davis to side-foot past Hugo Lloris.
But we almost regained the lead in stoppage time after Kane displayed great strength and perseverance to get the better of Fonte on the goal-line before advancing towards goal and letting fly with a shot which Forster saved. Eriksen met the rebound on the volley, but the Saints’ England stopper was there again to palm away for a corner and we went in all square at the break.
It was the visitors who had the first sight of goal after the interval. Tadic found space down the left and his cross was met by the head of Shane Long but his effort drifted just wide of the far post. On 63 minutes, Vertonghen’s far post header from Lamela’s corner was flicked over the bar by van Dijk.
Both sides made offensive changes shortly afterwards, Clinton Njie making his first appearance since December 10 when replacing Son, while the Saints swapped Mane for Graziano Pelle. But it was the visitors who grabbed the lead on 72 minutes through that man Davis again. He took control of the ball 20 yards from goal, played a one-two with Tadic and stroked a low shot right into the bottom corner of the net.
We won a free-kick a couple of minutes later after Lamela was upended 25 yards out, he stepped up and took the set-piece himself but it drifted over the crossbar. At the other end, Long clattered into Lloris as he chased a ball over the top before moments later driving a half-volley well over the bar.
We had plenty of possession in the closing stages but were finding it hard to break down the Saints’ massed defence as they looked to protect their lead. There was one last golden chance deep into stoppage time when Eriksen’s free-kick landed at the feet of substitute Nacer Chadli on the edge of the six-yard box, but Forster’s foot deflected the Belgian international’s prodded effort out for a corner. That came to nothing and the final whistle blew seconds later.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Mason (Chadli 76), Lamela, Son (Njie 65), Eriksen, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Davies, Wimmer, Carroll, Winks.
Southampton (4-2-3-1): Forster, Martina, van Dijk, Fonte (c), Bertrand, Wanyama, Clasie (Romeu 58), Tadic (Ward-Prowse 84), Davis, Mane (Pelle 65), Long. Substitutes (not used): Stekelenburg, Soares, Yoshida, Austin.
Goals: Spurs - Son 16; Southampton – Davis 31, 72.
Yellow cards: Southampton – Mane, Romeu, Long.
Referee: Jon Moss.