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Saints escape with the points - match report and reaction

Spurs 2-3 Southampton

Wed 09 February 2022, 21:41|Tottenham Hotspur

Two goals in the final 10 minutes completed a dramatic turnaround for Southampton as they took all three points at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Leading 2-1 thanks to a 70th-minute goal from Heung-Min Son, we looked set for another crucial victory as the game entered its final stages, only for the visitors to hit us with a quick-fire double through Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams.

It was real end-to-end stuff for the opening 25 minutes with both sides creating genuine goalscoring chances and we took the lead on 18 minutes when Jan Bednarek prodded Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s cross into his own net. But the visitors drew level five minutes later through Armando Broja and then went on to dominate the remainder of the half, missing a number of big chances.

That looked like it might cost the Saints when we regained the lead with 20 minutes left thanks to a well-worked move, Son converting Lucas Moura’s low cross, but they hit back with two goals in three minutes. Both were headers from James Ward-Prowse crosses, the first scored by Elyounoussi on 80 minutes with Che Adams finding the target shortly after.

Substitute Steven Bergwijn looked to have saved the day again deep into stoppage time but his close-range finish was ruled out for offside following a VAR check, leaving us to reflect on a disappointing night all round.

No home comforts on league return

This was our first Premier League match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since our 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, but we were left with little to write home about after Southampton’s late revival. Our performance was decent enough in patches, particularly in the opening stages and a spell in the second half and, to be fair, we scored during both of those periods. But outside of those, we were on the back foot for much of the time and statistics showing Southampton had 23 shots, 10 on target, tell much of the story.

It really was a frantic first half. Hugo Lloris made a close-range save from Adams, Harry Kane tested Fraser Forster with a 30-yard drive and Cristian Romero had the ball in the net from Son’s free-kick but it was ruled out for offside. Then a glorious chance came our way as Lucas and Son combined to set Kane away down the right, he squared for Sergio Reguilon steaming in from the opposite flank in acres of space but Forster stood tall to deny him. And that was all inside the opening 16 minutes!

Two minutes later, we opened the scoring when Lucas played a wonderful reverse pass to Hojbjerg, whose low cross was turned into his net by Bednarek, under pressure from Son. But the visitors responded well and after Lloris had denied Broja at his near post and then made a superb diving save to keep out Ward-Prowse’s fizzing drive from 22 yards, they levelled it up in the 23rd minute. Ben Davies slipped when attempting to clear, Davinson Sanchez also failed to get the ball away and it ended up with Romain Perraud and his cross was side-footed home by Broja.

The rest of the half belonged to the visitors as we just couldn’t get any noteworthy possession. Fortunately though, the Saints were profligate with their chances – Stuart Armstrong’s downward header saved by Lloris, Broja dragged a shot horribly wide with only Lloris to beat and Perraud cracked a 20-yard drive against the crossbar three minutes before the break.

It took a while for the second period to ignite, Kane seeing an early chance go begging when his header at the back post bounced down and over the bar. But, after Davies had blocked a Ward-Prowse rocket with his head, we regained the lead when Kane picked up the ball and set Lucas away down the right and his first time cross was converted by Son. Again though, we couldn’t push on from there and it was the visitors who finished the game the stronger of the teams. Broja had just missed another good chance, blazing over after Harry Winks had slipped in possession, when they hit us with a double whammy. The goals were almost identical, Ward-Prowse having time to send over two tempting crosses and Elyounoussi and Adams snaffled up their opportunities. By this stage, we’d brought on Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski for their Premier League debuts and we went in search of an equaliser. We thought we had it when Bergwijn put the ball in the net in the 93rd minute, but it wasn’t to be this time.

Team news saw Head Coach Antonio Conte field an unchanged starting XI from the team that defeated Brighton in the FA Cup on Saturday and the bench was also the same.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'Big disappointment'

Antonio told Spurs TV after the match: "There is big disappointment, a tough game, this league is very difficult and we have to know that we are a team that to win a game, we have to give every time 120 per cent. Today, the effort of the players was maximum. In the first half we struggled a bit because we made too many mistakes in possession. I think sometimes when you make mistakes in possession, this can create a bit of mental instability. In the second half we started to play, we played a good second half. For sure, when you score and there are 15, 20 minutes to go, you need to pay a bit more attention. Don’t forget we won a game at Leicester in this way. Now, we lost a game against Southampton in the same way."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Spurs 2-3 Southampton

Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Romero, Davies, Royal, Winks, Hojbjerg (Bentancur 60), Reguilon (Bergwijn 83), Lucas (Kulusevski 76), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Doherty, Rodon, Sessegnon, White, Scarlett.

Saints (4-4-2): Forster, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud, Elyounoussi (Diallo 90+7), Romeu, Ward-Prowse, S Armstrong, Broja (Walcott 90), Adams (Long 88). Substitutes (not used): Caballero, Stephens, A Armstrong, Djenepo, Smallbone, Valery.

Match data

Goals: Spurs – Bednarek 18 (OG), Son 70; Saints – Broja 23, Elyounoussi 80, Adams 83.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Sanchez, Romero; Saints – Perraud, Romeu, Forster.

Referee: David Coote.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light cloud, light winds, nine degrees.

Attendance: 54,012.