Spurs 3-2 Saints
Report from the Lane
23 March 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored an injury time winner as we produced a magnificent fightback to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Southampton and snatch victory in the dying seconds at the Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The Icelandic midfielder, on as a half-time substitute, hit a delightful low 25-yard drive in the 92nd minute to beat Artur Boruc and cap a fantastic match as we showed great character and mentality having trailed by two goals inside half an hour.
Saints took a 19th-minute lead through Jay Rodriguez and doubled their advantage nine minutes later when Adam Lallana tucked home past Hugo Lloris. But a brace from Christian Eriksen drew us level as he reduced the deficit on 31 minutes and equalised less than 60 seconds after the interval, before Sigurdsson’s late, late show won us the points and moved us back into fifth in the Premier League.
Tim Sherwood brought back the likes of Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Mousa Dembele, all of whom missed Thursday’s draw in Benfica, and it was one of those who had our first effort on target after just three minutes, Kaboul sending a header straight at Artur Boruc.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net on eight minutes, but Rodriguez was flagged for a clear offside, however 11 minutes later they scored a goal which did stand as they grabbed the lead. Boruc’s clearance bounced over Kyle Naughton, allowing Rodriguez a clear run on goal and he curled a low right-foot shot past Lloris and into the far corner.
The Saints made a very bright start to the game and Lallana brought a save out of Lloris with a low shot after good work from Rickie Lambert, while on 25 minutes James Ward-Prowse found Luke Shaw pushing forward and his shot deflected off Dembele and flew just past the far upright.
And they were rewarded for their endeavours with a second goal three minutes later following another mistake from the unfortunate Naughton. Shaw flicked the ball to edge of the area after Kaboul headed away Ward-Prowse’s free-kick, Naughton’s mis-control handed the ball to Lambert who laid into Lallana’s path and he slotted past Lloris.
We needed a spark and it came on 31 minutes, just after Nabil Bentaleb’s 30-yard drive went just wide of the target. Again it was a defensive error, this time Nathaniel Clyne failing to clear Naughton’s cross and the ball fell kindly to Christian Eriksen who smashed home to give us a foothold in the game.
Lloris made a smart save from Lallana’s eight-yard blast and we almost drew level three minutes before the break following a well worked move. Chadli whipped in a cross, Roberto Soldado’s delightful touch fell into the path of Eriksen, who hurdled the joint challenge of Dejan Lovren and Jose Fonte but just couldn’t poke the ball past Boruc.
And when the Dane tested Boruc on the stroke of half-time with a drilled free-kick from out wide on the right, the Saints keeper palmed it up and over the bar and we went in behind at the break.
Not for long though, as we drew level just 46 seconds into the second half! Soldado outmuscled Lovren as the Saints defender tried to let the ball trickle out for a goal-kick, advanced into the area and drilled in a low cross which Eriksen tapped home from two yards out at the far post.
That ensured an already fast-paced tempo went up a notch as both teams looked to gain the advantage and we went close again on 56 minutes. Soldado chested the ball into Eriksen on halfway, he clipped it over the top to Chadli who strode into the area before bringing a fine save out of Boruc. And Eriksen lashed an effort into the side-netting shortly after as we started to get on top.
It was that man again on 69 minutes who almost completed his hat-trick as he latched on to Vertonghen’s long ball, closed in on goal and hit a shot which substitute Calum Chambers did well to slide across and block for a corner.
It was mostly one-way traffic in our favour in terms of possession, but Saints were always capable on the break and Lambert saw a header deflected over for a corner from Lallana’s centre.
As the game entered the closing stages, Soldado drilled well wide from Chadli’s flick on, while at the other end Gaston Ramirez’s effort was blocked by Rose before Lambert fizzed his 20-yard drive wide.
Then the late drama. A deep free-kick from Lloris was headed away by Fonte, only as far as Eriksen who touched the ball square to Sigurdsson and he drilled a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner to send the Lane into raptures.
What a comeback!
Spurs: Lloris, Naughton, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Rose, Lennon (Townsend 72), Dembele (Sigurdsson 45), Bentaleb, Eriksen, Chadli, Soldado. Substitutes (not used): Friedel, Fryers, Dawson, Paulinho, Kane.
Southampton: Boruc, Clyne (Chambers 45), Lovren, Fonte, Shaw, Davis, Cork, Ward-Prowse, Rodriguez (Ramirez 64), Lallana, Lambert (Gallagher 90). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Reed.
Goals: Spurs – Eriksen 31, 46, Sigurdsson 90+2; Saints – Rodriguez 19, Lallana 28.
Yellows: Spurs – Bentaleb; Saints – Lovren, Cork.
Referee: Mr Andrew Taylor.