Late penalty ensures progress from Saints replay
Spurs 3-2 Southampton
Wed 05 February 2020, 21:51|Tottenham Hotspur
Heung-Min Son struck a late penalty as we came from behind to win a dramatic and entertaining FA Cup fourth round replay against Southampton on Wednesday evening.
The South Korean showed nerves of steel to tuck home the 88th-minute spot-kick to put us 3-2 in front at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after he himself had been fouled by Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn, turning the game on its head after we had trailed 2-1 with 18 minutes remaining.
We'd taken the lead in the game after 12 minutes when Tanguy Ndombele’s effort deflected off Jack Stephens and went in, but the visitors hit back through Shane Long on 34 minutes. They then went in front when Danny Ings scored a fine goal and our cup run was teetering on the brink. But we were able to hit back quickly, levelling it up just six minutes later when Lucas capped a fine move with a drive from the edge of the area. And we took full advantage of the momentum swing, the penalty proving conclusive as we took the lead and held onto it for the closing minutes to book a fifth round tie at home to Norwich City.
The game opened up in a lively fashion with opportunities at both ends. Just four minutes in and Ryan Sessegnon fired straight at Gunn, at the other end Nathan Redmond found Ings with a cross-field ball, the Saints striker cutting inside Jan Vertonghen but firing straight at Hugo Lloris and five minutes later our skipper used his legs to clear Redmond’s low right-footed angled shot.
But while the visitors had enjoyed good possession in those early stages, we grabbed the lead 12 minutes in. Harry Winks clipped a ball over the Saints defence for Sessegnon to chase, Stephens did well to slide in and clear but the loose ball fell to Ndombele, whose low shot hit the grounded Stephens and diverted past Gunn into the net. We had a big let-off seven minutes later when James Ward-Prowse’s ball from half-way down the right flank found Ings, Lloris chose to stay on his line allowing the Saints striker a free shot at goal but he lifted it too much and it cracked against the crossbar to safety.
There was no reprise in the 34th minute though as the Saints drew level. We were playing mostly on the counter but hadn’t been able to test Gunn, while the visitors were showing more of a cutting edge and eventually made it pay. Sofiane Boufal’s neat pass into the area found Redmond, who swivelled and drilled a low shot which Lloris could only parry as far as Long, who slotted into the empty net. It was mostly counter-attacking football from our side which almost created openings twice in the lead up to half-time, but we just couldn’t find the right pass while some excellent last-ditch defending from the visitors also denied our path to goal.
The scores were level at the break and it was Southampton with early chances at the start of the second half as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg headed Oriol Romeu’s cross over before Boufal side-footed wide from 15 yards with just Lloris to beat. At the other end Sessegnon’s ball down the line released Son but Lucas could only head his centre wide from the edge of the six-yard box. We made a couple of substitutions with Gedson and Dele replacing Vertonghen and Ndombele, but it was the Saints who went close again when their substitute Jannik Vestergaard got up highest to meet Bertrand’s corner, only for Lloris to superbly tip the header over the bar.
After a couple of corners for us came to nothing, the Saints launched a counter of their own to take the lead. Redmond picked the ball up deep inside his own half and weaved his way past a couple of players before finding Ings 25 yards from goal, the striker cutting onto his right foot and curling into the far corner.
Six minutes later, though, we were level thanks to a well-worked goal. Lucas collected the ball mid-way inside the Saints' half and played forwards to Dele before continuing his run. Dele returned the pass, allowing the Brazilian to advance into the area, shift onto his right foot and slide a perfectly-placed shot past Gunn.
And with just two minutes left on the clock, we grabbed the lead in dramatic style. A wonderful driving run from Gedson through the heart of Southampton’s midfield created the space, he then found Dele on the right and the midfielder sent a perfect curling pass behind the defence for Son, who took a touch and was sent sprawling by the onrushing Gunn. Referee David Coote pointed straight to the spot, VAR agreed with the decision and up stepped Son to send a right-foot penalty into the back of the net. Despite five minutes added on, we didn’t really have any scares and managed to see out the time to secure the victory to the delight of the majority inside the stadium.
When you win a cup tie with an 88th-minute penalty, there can only be one key moment! Having levelled the game up, we were enjoying a good spell and pushing for the winner when Gedson and Dele combined to release Son, who was clever with his touch past Gunn and the keeper could only bring him down. The South Korean showed great composure under pressure, beating Gunn to his right even though he dived the correct way. Job done!
Jose Mourinho said: "We've a very small group of players with so many problems we’re having, and everyone is giving absolutely everything. I’m so, so pleased for the boys because to lose after giving so much would be painful. I’m so happy for them. They were phenomenal. The way they reacted was fantastic, showed incredible heart and connection with the crowd. I think the best team lost - but we deserved to win."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Spurs 3-2 Southampton
Spurs (3-5-2): Lloris (c), Tanganga, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (Gedson 54), Aurier, Dier, Ndombele (Dele 61), Winks, Sessegnon (Sanchez 90), Son, Lucas. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Cirkin, Skipp, Parrott.
Saints (4-4-2): Gunn, Ward-Prowse (Vestergaard 40), Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand, Redmond, Romeu, Hojbjerg (c), Boufal (Armstrong 67), Ings, Long (Adams 81). Substitutes (not used): Lewis, Vokins, Smallbone, Obafemi.
Goals: Spurs – Stephens (OG) 12, Lucas 78, Son 88 (pen); Southampton – Long 34, Ings 72.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Gedson; Southampton – Bednarek, Romeu, Adams, Gunn.
Referee: David Coote.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, light winds, six degrees.