Gutsy 10 men secure home win over Saints
Spurs 2-1 Southampton
Sat 28 September 2019, 16:56|Tottenham Hotspur
A battling performance saw us return to winning ways in the Premier League as we held on with 10 men to beat Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
We led through Tanguy Ndombele’s second goal in our colours on 24 minutes but then had Serge Aurier dismissed for a second yellow card just eight minutes later. And when Danny Ings dispossessed Hugo Lloris inside the six-yard box to level it up, it looked like it was going to be a tough afternoon.
But Harry Kane put the finishing touch to a fine, flowing counter-attack two minutes before half-time to restore our advantage and we held firm in the second period despite spells of sustained Southampton pressure. Our French skipper more than made amends for his error on the Saints' goal by producing two outstanding second-half saves from James Ward-Prowse and Maya Yoshida to help us secure three well-earned points.
At that stage, we were starting to take control but suffered a setback on 32 minutes. Hojbjerg controlled the ball on his chest right on the far touchline with a number of our players appealing that the ball had gone out for a throw, but play went on and Ryan Bertrand was released down the flank only for Aurier, already on a yellow card, to haul him back. Referee Graham Scott had little choice but to show him another yellow, followed by the red card.
A change in formation saw Moussa Sissoko slot in admirably at right-back and Kane almost doubled our lead with an audacious attempt from half-way which just went over the crossbar with Gunn struggling to get back. But we handed the Saints an equaliser on 39 minutes. Lloris played a goal-kick out to Toby Alderweireld who returned the ball to his keeper, Ings closed him down as he went to clear and as Lloris tried to dribble away, the Saints forward got enough of a touch on the ball to send it creeping over the line. That wasn’t the end of the first-half drama though as we regained the lead two minutes before the break. Somehow, despite the man advantage, the visitors found themselves three-v-three as we hit them on the counter-attack. Son found Eriksen in midfield and continued his surge forwards, the Dane finding him out wide. Son then touched the ball inside to Eriksen, who laid off to Kane inside the area and he took a touch before driving into the bottom corner.
As expected, the second period began with the visitors gaining more control of the contest, using their advantage by moving the ball quicker and stretching the play while we tried to stay compact and break whenever the opportunity arose. In truth, we needed two superb saves from Lloris to preserve our lead, both times the skipper moving quickly across his goal to push away first Ward-Prowse’s 30-yard free-kick and then Yoshida’s close-range header from a corner.
As the half progressed our 10-men certainly grew in confidence with Southampton committing a number of fouls which was allowing us to slow the game down. We almost added a third too in the 85th minute, Kane producing some great movement to drift away from two players, beat Jan Bednarek down the left channel of the area and fire a shot which just missed Gunn’s far post. The closing minutes weren’t quite the onslaught we might have expected and we were able to see them out, climbing up to fourth in the table.
While Lloris did make a number of good saves in the second half, including those two excellent ones, the key moment can only be Kane’s winner. The Saints will be kicking themselves that they were caught on the counter despite having a man extra following Aurier’s red card, but we took full advantage of the moment with Kane slamming home his ninth Premier League goal against the Saints for what proved to be the decisive goal.
Mauricio Pochettino told us afterwards: "We started well and scored but the sending off changed the atmosphere and the emotions. We conceded but it was an unbelievable response from the team, scoring the goal with 10 men and then fighting all together, keeping a clean sheet in the second half. It’s an amazing victory for us. That’s what we needed."
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Spurs 2-1 Southampton
Spurs (4-4-2): Lloris (c), Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Ndombele (Dier 78), Winks (Wanyama 90+2), Eriksen, Sissoko, Son (Lamela 64), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Davies, Dele, Lucas.
Saints (3-5-2): Gunn, Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard (Armstrong 79), Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg (c), Boufal (Long 88), Bertrand, Ings (Obafemi 83), Redmond. Substitutes (not used): Lewis, Valery, Danso.
Goals: Spurs – Ndombele 24, Kane 43; Southampton – Ings 39.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Aurier; Saints – Yoshida, Bednarek.
Red card: Spurs – Aurier.
Referee: Graham Scott.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Light cloud, moderate breeze, 19 degrees.