Southampton 2-1 Tottenham: Stunning quickfire double eases Saints relegation concerns
Highlights and report as Tottenham's top-four hopes come under threat after no win in four
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 10/03/19 7:27am
Southampton stunned Tottenham with two quickfire goals in the second half as they won 2-1 at St Mary's to ease their relegation concerns.
Having been 1-0 down with 13 minutes remaining, Danny Rose's error allowed Yan Valery to equalise (77), before James Ward-Prowse curled in a fine free-kick to complete the turnaround (81).
After dominating early on and hitting the woodwork twice, Tottenham took the lead through Harry Kane's 200th goal for club and country, a neat finish into the bottom corner from 10 yards after Dele Alli's superb through ball (26), but no win in four in the Premier League means their top-four hopes are under threat.
Southampton: Gunn (6), Valery (7), Yoshida (6), Vestegaard (7), Bednarek (6), Bertrand (7), Romeu (5), Hojbjerg (6), Remond (5), Ward-Prowse (8), Austin (5)
Subs: Sims (8), Long (6), Armstrong (7)
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker-Peters (5), Vertonghen (6), Sanchez (6), Rose (4), Sissoko (6), Dier (5), Eriksen (6), Alli (6), Lucas (7), Kane (7)
Subs: Son (5), Davies (NA), Llorente (NA)
Man of the match: Josh Sims
The result means Southampton are 16th, two points clear of the drop zone, while Spurs stay third, just four points ahead of fifth-place Arsenal, who host Manchester United on Super Sunday.
Former Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino was in the stands serving the first of a two-match touchline ban, and he'd have liked what he saw in the first half.
Saints' three-man defence struggled to deal with Spurs' attack as they were left thin time after time; the visitors hit the post twice in two minutes as Kane's cross hit Maya Yoshida and then the post, before Christian Eriksen hit the bar with a fine curling free-kick.
Southampton were unchanged following their 3-2 defeat at Manchester United last Saturday.
Spurs made five changes following the 1-0 win in Dortmund in midweek; Walker-Peters, Rose, Dier, Alli and Lucas came in, replacing Alderweireld, Aurier, Winks, Davies and Son.
But Spurs got their goal on 26 minutes as the returning Alli found Kane at the back post with a deft ball behind the line, and the striker finished off into the bottom left corner.
Saints made a double change at the break, bringing on Josh Sims and Shane Long, and instantly looked better for it as Spurs lived to rue their missed chances in the first half.
Nathan Redmond missed two clear opportunities, first hitting the side-netting from an angle before turning wide from close range at the near post, but they got a deserved leveller as Spurs fell asleep.
|Distance covered (team)||109km||107.3km|
|Distance covered (player)||Ward-Prowse: 12.03km||Eriksen: 11.3km|
Ryan Bertrand slipped sub Stuart Armstrong brilliantly in at the left byline, and his centre was left by Rose, thinking nobody was behind him, only for Valery to arrive and scoop home eight yards out.
Saints broke forward minutes later and wanted a red card after Kyle Walker-Peters brought down Armstrong on the edge as he looked to be through on goal. Kevin Friend gave a yellow, but Ward-Prowse curled home the resulting free-kick into the top left corner for a stunning winner.
Ralf Hasenhuttl: "The second goal was unbelievable. I think maybe closer than last week, maybe more difficult, but his technique is gorgeous. It's not so nice for the 'keeper to stand there while Prowsey steps up to take a free-kick, but he made a fantastic game, he was everywhere fighting for every ball. To decide this game is fantastic for him."
Mauricio Pochettino: "We didn't respect too much the opponent, and in football first of all you must first respect, then fight, then play football and show your better quality than the opponent. I am a little bit worried about this change from the first half to the second half - it's only one thing, it's mental. It's about complacency, it's about arrogance in a bad way.
"You can use the first half as an example of [positive] arrogance, playing with intention, focus, concentration, we matched them in everything and we were much better. And in the second half it's the arrogance in a bad way. We need to blame all of us, the club."
- Southampton picked up their first Premier League win over Spurs since May 2016 (2-1 under Ronald Koeman), having failed to win any of the previous five.
- Spurs have lost three consecutive away games in the Premier League for just the second time under Mauricio Pochettino, previously doing so in November 2017.
- Southampton have now won twice against 'big six' opposition in the Premier League at home under Ralph Hasenhüttl (three games) - they didn't manage any wins against them under Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino and Mark Hughes combined (14 games).
- This was Spurs' second defeat in their last four Premier League games when leading at half-time (also 1-3 v Wolves) - they had only lost one of their previous 51 in the competition when ahead at the break.
- Only Matt Le Tissier (7) has scored more direct free-kick goals for Southampton in the Premier League than James Ward-Prowse (4).
Notes for Gareth Southgate - England squad selected March 13
The England manager will be pleased to have Dele Alli back from injury and assisting Harry Kane; his fine, deft ball to the back post made the opener, but he showed his rustiness in the second half as he dwelled on the ball with options either side of him in the final third.
He'll be less happy with Danny Rose's poor mistake for Saints' equaliser, letting the ball through his legs before Yan Valery netted, while Kyle Walker-Peters arguably should have been sent off in the incident which led to James Ward-Prowse's winner, hauling down Stuart Armstrong on the edge when he was virtually last man.
As far as Saints go, Ward-Prowse's two fine free-kicks in two weekends strengthen his argument for a call-up, but it would still be a shock, while Josh Sims is surely one for the future after his MOTM second-half cameo.
Kane's 200 in stats
A poor result for Spurs, but a remarkable milestone for their striker...
Read the feature HERE
Tottenham's next fixture depends on Crystal Palace's progression in the FA Cup last eight next Saturday against Watford, while Southampton have a fortnight break before going to Brighton on March 30 at 3pm.