Report: Spurs 2-1 Saints
English Barclays Premiership
It was almost too good to believe. Robbie Keane to sign on deadline day and victory over Southampton to go top of the Premiership? Surely something had to go wrong...
Well, no, not this time. Our new Irishman was unveiled to his new adoring public before kick-off and Saints, Glenn Hoddle's former club, just fell short in their role as party poopers.
Injury time was ticking away when our final attack ended with Michael Svensson's arms preventing Steffen Iversen's shot hitting the back of the net.
A penalty was awarded, Svensson was sent off and a couple of minutes later, with a few of his defensive team-mates looking the other way on the half-way line, skipper Teddy Sheringham drove the spot kick sweetly into the bottom corner.
Did we deserve it? Just about, but who cares? It's three wins and a draw in four league games and, come May, when hopefully we're in the UEFA shake-up, it will say in black and white Spurs 2, Southampton 1.
Keane's arrival raised the roof at the Lane and the players rose to it. A bright start, once again with Matty Etherington electric down the left flank, was rewarded after just 10 minutes when Milenko Acimovic's deep corner was headed back into the danger zone by Sheringham and Les Ferdinand swooped to double his tally for the season.
We had five efforts of varying success in the opening 20 minutes but Saints, always pressing, always tidy and prompted by the excellent Fabrice Fernandes, came more and more into the game.
Paul Telfer had already forced Kasey Keller into what turned out to be the save of the game when the vistors levelled after 29 minutes.
Fernandes held off two players, knocked the ball wide to Brett Ormerod and his low cross was agonisingly turned into his own net by Mauricio Taricco. James Beattie would have finished the move without Taricco's intervention, but that was no consolation.
Saints had their best spell as Telfer fizzed one over, Doherty slid in to deny Ormerod and the same player forced another save from Keller but play ended at other end as Paul Jones saved with his feet from Davies only for the midfielder to hit the rebound over.
The second half continued at the same pace as Richards flicked his header inches wide and Jones smoothered well after Sheringham put Davies clear.
It was still to and fro as Keller fingertipped Bridge's 20-yarder, Doherty headed over fronm 10 yards and Ormerod clipped the top of the crossbar.
As time ran out, Davies drove a yard wide and Sheringham headed Etherington's cross over but when the win appeared out of reach, we mustered one final effort.
Jonathan Blondel, on as substitute, found yard of space in the midfield madness and picked out Davies in the area. He controlled and drove across goal where Iversen, another sub, went in for a 50-50 with Jones. The ball was flicked onto the post, Iversen was alert to the rebound only for Svensson to block the goalbound shot with his hands.
Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot - Svensson's red card was harsh - and as the home fans bit their fingernails, Sheringham planted the ball in the bottom left corner.
1min: Burst by Etherington down the left flank, cross was headed out to Acimovic, whose low volley was saved by Jones.
6mins: Acimovic led a break out, Sheringham shot wide from 25 yards.
10mins: GOAL. Acimovic's corner, Sheringham headed back for Ferdinand to slide home from close range. 1-0.
16mins: Redknapp snapshot from 22 yards always rising.
18mins: Acimovic spotted Davies run across the last man but left-foot volley was deflected for a corner.
23mins: SAVE. Deep cross found Telfer sliding in at the far post but Keller produced a magnificent one-handed reaction save to his right.
29mins: OWN GOAL. Fernandes skills keeps hold of the ball under pressure, released Ormorod down the right whose low cross was turned into his own goal by Taricco, under pressure from Beattie. 1-1.
30mins: Thatcher won two 50-50 tackles and low drive forced save out of Jones.
31mins: Telfer thunderbolt from 30 yards just over.
36mins: Superb tackle by Doherty as Ormerod broke into the box.
39mins: Ormorod low shot saved comfortably by Keller.
44mins: Sheringham's knock down picked up by Davies on the edge of the box, Jones saved his first effort with his feet, Davies hit the rebound over from 16 yards.
Half-time: Spurs 1-1 Southampton
46mins: Etherington's hanging cross headed inches wide by Richards.
48mins: Sheringham's lovely lay-off found Davies one-on-one with Jones but the midfielder's Welsh team-mate blocked well.
64mins: SUB. Iversen for Ferdinand.
68mins: PENALTY? Appeals for handball waved away.
70mins: Etherington dash the length of the pitch, deep cross just wide of far post.
71mins: SUB. Bunjevcevic for Taricco.
75mins: Bridge picked up loose ball, carried for 10 yards before shooting low, Keller did well to tip away.
76mins: Acimovic corner headed over by Doherty from 10 yards.
77mins: BAR. Ormerod curler clipped the top of the crossbar.
79mins: SUB. Blondel for Acimovic.
83mins: Bunjevcevic lovely weighted pass to Davies who fired a yard wide from the angle.
86mins: Redknapp fed Etherington, deep cross headed wide by Sheringham.
88mins: Mad scramble from Blondel's corner but wouldn't fall to anyone, Davies eventually poking over.
Injury time: PENALTY. OFF. GOAL. Blondel's delightful pass found Davies, he scuffed shis shot across goal but Iversen forced the ball loose in 50-50 with Jones. The ball hit the post, bounced back to Iversen whose goalbound strike was handled by Michael Svensson. He was sent off. Sheringham, nerveless, tucked ball into corner. 2-1.
Final score: Spurs 2-1 Southampton
Line-ups: Spurs: Keller, Taricco (Bunjevcevic, 71), Sheringham, Doherty, Redknapp, Thatcher, Etherington, Ferdinand (Iversen, 64), Davies, Acimovic (Blondel, 79), Richards. Subs: Hirschfeld, Perry.
Southampton: Jones, Bridge, Marsden, Williams, Beattie, A Svensson, M Svensson, Delap, Fernandes, Telfer, Ormerod. Subs: Niemi, Dodd, Oakley, Pahars, El Kalej.