Comment and Analysis @PeteFraser_
Mixing with the best
Tottenham Hotspur's ambition is for the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino to return the club to the Premier League's top four. Only time will tell if that becomes reality but the Argentine has shown potential in the past against the big boys
Last Updated: 28/05/14 9:27am
SOUTHAMPTON 3 MANCHESTER CITY 1 - FEBRUARY, 2013
In just his fourth game after succeeding Nigel Adkins at Southampton, Mauricio Pochettino earned his first win in charge to comprehensively silence anyone who had questioned his appointment.
Manchester City were defending Premier League champions at the time but, faced with Pochettino's high energy and intense pressing tactics in high areas of the field, they delivered a shambolic performance which gifted goals to Jason Puncheon and Steve Davis before Gareth Barry's second-half own goal.
Southampton dominated the game, with 13 shots to City's seven, and this was only the seventh time City had conceded three goals (never more) in a league game under then-boss Roberto Mancini. City had also at the time suffered just two defeats in the Premier League which were heavier under Mancini.
SOUTHAMPTON 3 LIVERPOOL 1 - MARCH, 2013
Only a little more than a month after that victory over City, Pochettino's Southampton upset Liverpool by the same scoreline at St Mary's with goals for the home team by Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
Such was the success of Pochettino's tactics in crowding Steven Gerrard in the centre of midfield, as demonstrated in the above graphic, much of the post-match reaction focused on the Liverpool captain's poor performance and why the England international had endured such a poor outing.
Southampton sacrificed a narrow dominance of possession but with 17 efforts at goal they had more than double the total of Liverpool's eight shots. Pochettino said afterwards: "I can assure you my team always go out and play with hunger."
SOUTHAMPTON 2 CHELSEA 1 - MARCH, 2013
Sandwiched either side of an international break, Pochettino stunned Chelsea in Southampton's next game after that win against Liverpool as Rodriguez and Lambert's first-half goals proved enough to earn another surprising win.
Outwitting a side managed by the tactically-skilled Rafa Benitez, then the interim boss of Chelsea, was no simple feat and continued to boost Pochettino's stock at St Mary's. The South American said in his post-match interview: "It is important that we believe we can achieve results as we saw today and we can continue achieving them in the future."
Chelsea had become far from the first team to be shocked by Southampton's intensity and, despite having 24 less points than the visitors at the time of kick-off, Pochettino had again demonstrated he could mix it with superior opposition.
LIVERPOOL 0 SOUTHAMPTON 1 - SEPTEMBER, 2013
At the beginning of the 2013/14 season, Pochettino got his second win in two games against Liverpool. Dejan Lovren's 53rd minute goal meant Southampton would eventually finish the season with Chelsea as the only two teams to win at Anfield in the Premier League in the campaign.
It was only Southampton's third win in 30 visits to the red half of Merseyside and the manner in which the away team pressed their hosts and refused to allow Brendan Rodgers' side to pass their way out from the back was an important factor in the success.
Liverpool were Premier League leaders at the time and it was their first defeat of the season. As well as his goal, Lovren - an £8.5million summer signing just three months earlier - put in an immense defensive display to show Pochettino could also pick defensive talent. Pochettino said following the final whistle: "Overall, we had an amazing game, especially in the second half."
MANCHESTER UNITED 1 SOUTHAMPTON 1 - OCTOBER, 2013
Manchester United were experiencing their worst start to a Premier League season but they had looked on course for a ninth successive win over Southampton before a late equaliser.
It demonstrated the self-belief which Southampton possessed under Pochettino and the visitors had been the more consistent attacking threat throughout the game, as demonstrated by their shots timeline above, while they had 18 efforts at goal compared to their hosts' 12.
Southampton also dominated possession, with 54%, as Pochettino once more showed his ability to take on the established order with confidence. Robin van Persie's opening goal had also been the first Southampton had conceded in almost seven hours in the Premier League.