Saints 1-1 Spurs - report from St Mary's
Sun 21 January 2018, 17:54|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane's 99th Premier League goal saw us come from 1-0 down, but we couldn't push on to find a winner at a rain-drenched St Mary's on Sunday.
Davinson Sanchez accidentally converted Ryan Bertrand's dangerous cross at the near post as Southampton started brightly, but their lead lasted only three minutes as Kane headed home from a corner with 18 on the watch.
Eric Dier had hit the post in between goals but while Moussa Sissoko and Jack Stephens were off-target before half-time, the potentially decisive chances didn't come until the closing moments of the game.
Young debutant striker Michael Obafemi couldn't connect in front of goal and fellow substitute Sofiane Boufal's shot was heroically blocked six yards out by Sanchez for Southampton before Kane found himself as the spare man as we worked the ball across the 18-yard line and into the box from right to left on 89 minutes, but his left-footed drive arrowed across the face of goal and wide with Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela arriving just too late.
It meant a share of the spoils on the south coast with some tired legs at the end after an energy-sapping contest in the rain.
Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen didn't travel south because of illness so Michel Vorm came in for his first league start of the season between the sticks and Sissoko came into the midfield. Back-up goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was named on the bench on his first return to his former club.
GOAL: SOUTHAMPTON 1-0 SPURS - DAVINSON SANCHEZ (OWN GOAL) - 15mins
Southampton whizzed a couple of dangerous balls across goal in the opening stages before we gifted them a 15th-minute lead. Saints skipper Bertrand sped into space down the left flank and slid the ball across, with a retreating Sanchez accidentally turning into his own net off the near post.
WOODWORK: DIER HITS THE POST
Southampton were looking vulnerable on corners and we almost capitalised on 17 minutes when Ben Davies looped a high one over to the far side of the box where Jan Vertonghen nodded down for Dier to hammer against the foot of the post as he turned onto it.
Above: Ben Davies goes up for a header.
GOAL: SOUTHAMPTON 1-1 SPURS - HARRY KANE - 18mins
Another corner led to the equaliser in short order. Again Davies was the taker, this time with an in-swinger, and Kane got free from his marker to nod past Alex McCarthy. Both teams went close to taking the lead from then until the break with Sissoko diverting Davies' drive just wide of the far post while Stephens' header from a deep James Ward-Prowse free-kick sailed just off-target.
CHANCES: DELE AND LAMELA JUST WIDE - 65-84mins
The second half was an open affair but a combination of a heavy pitch and several fouls given away by both sides prevented us from hitting our stride in attack. Dele was inches wide with a long-range shot on 65 minutes while substitute Lamela nudged just the wrong side of the post after being set up by Sissoko in the six-yard box.
CHANCES: WINNING GOAL EVADES BOTH SIDES - 87-89mins
There was a flurry of opportunities in the last few minutes as both teams began to tire. Obafemi couldn't connect with the ball in front of goal and Boufal found space in the box but was denied by Sanchez before we worked an opening for Kane on the left side of Southampton's area. He struck the ball on his left foot but it was too far in front of the arriving Wanyama and Lamela and slipped wide of the back stick.
MAURICIO POCHETTINO SAID
"It was a tough game and I think a draw was a fair result in the end. It was an even game. It's true it wasn't our best day and there are many reasons (for that) and one was the pitch, which didn't help either team to play well. It was an amazing battle, lots of challenges and in the end the result is fair. This kind of game can happen and now we keep going, look forward and try to win the next game."
BEN DAVIES SAID
"The conditions were tough and it was a bit scrappy at times and we couldn't really get going. We all felt a bit disappointed with a point in the end. Both teams had chances and had the bounce of the ball gone the other way it could have changed the game. Overall, I guess a point each is a fair result but as I said, but we're disappointed with that."
Southampton (4-5-1): McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand (c), Lemina (Davis 79), Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Hojbjerg (Boufal 65), Gabbiadini (Obafemi 82). Substitutes (not used): Forster, Pied, Bednarek, Redmond.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Vorm, Aurier (Trippier 72), Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Wanyama 85), Sissoko, Dele, Son (Lamela 70), Kane (c). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Foyth, Walker-Peters, Llorente.
Goals: Southampton - Sanchez (OG) 15; Spurs - Kane 18.
Yellow cards: Southampton - Stephens 48, Romeu 60; Spurs - Sissoko 57, Dembele 75, Trippier 78.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
We've an intriguing FA Cup fourth round tie to look forward to on Saturday as we head to Rodney Parade to face League Two side Newport County. The Exiles have endured mixed fortunes since former manager and ex-Spur Justin Edinburgh brought them up from non-league in 2013. They're currently ninth in League Two under the management of Mike Flynn, who saved them from relegation at the end of last term. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.