Spurs slay the Saints
Written By: Robert Halter
After Mark Hughes left his managerial position at Southampton, it was left to Kelvin Davis to take temporary charge of the Saints for their encounter with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley stadium beginning of December, while watching on from the stands was their new manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl. In the third minute from an Eric Dier delivery, and header on from Kieran Trippier, a first time strike by Heung-Min Son, clattered against the foot of the right post. Within two minutes, the Saints responded as Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong, opened up space for Cedric Soares, who drove the ball past the left hand face of the goal. But it was the Lilywhites that opened their account in the ninth minute, when Trippier took a short corner with Christian Eriksen, who put the ball into the box and Harry Kane, struck a right footed shot into the left side of the net. The Saints went close to an equaliser in the twenty fifth minute, when Manolo Gabbiadini’s pass across was cracked onto the right post with a fierce shot from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Hugo Lloris got his finger tips to his strike, before Armstrong miscued the follow up in an offside position. Three minutes later, Son surged forward before finding Kane, whose soft shot rolled into the Saints shot stopper, Alex McCarthy. In the thirty first minute, a long range pass by Eriksen supplied Son, whose snap shot was pushed over by McCarthy. In the next minute, Trippier played a one two with Eriksen from a short corner, before Dier missed with a header out to the right. On thirty nine minutes, Lucas Moura combined with Son, which followed with Eriksen driving the ball straight at McCarthy. Three minutes into the second half, from an Eriksen corner, a well timed header by Toby Alderweireld, was palmed away from McCarthy, with a flick of his wrist. In the fiftieth minute, Saints captain, Steven Davis was penalised for treading on the foot of Eriksen, whose free kick was kept out at full stretch by McCarthy, as he dived to his right to turn the ball behind for a corner, which Trippier took, and after Moura’s first time shot cannoned back off Jack Stephens, lapping up the rebound, Moura thumped the ball into the left corner of the goal. On fifty five minutes, when Trippier struck the ball against Matt Targett, it rebounded back to Kane, whose low cross was driven in by Son, into the top right corner, giving Spurs a three goal cushion. In the proceeding two minutes, after Soares scrambled the ball back to Gabbiadini, he in turn found Redmond, whose curling strike crashed against the top of the woodwork. After Danny Rose appended Redmond, a bending free kick from James Ward-Prowse, was hooked back off the line by Juan Foyth into his own keeper, Lloris, in the sixty second minute. The Saints later replaced Gabbiadini with Charlie Austin. In the seventieth minute, from a Ward-Prowse corner, a header by Hojbjerg, sailed out to the right. Spurs soon brought on Moussa Sissoko for Moura. In the seventy fifth minute, from an assist by Austin, a strong strike by Hojbjerg rebounded back off Lloris to Ward-Prowse, and Lloris made another save to stop the Saints from scoring. Southampton then carved another opening in the following minute, when Redmond’s cross, was drilled towards the right by Austin, and Lloris made a full length save, to turn the ball behind at the bottom right corner. Following a Ward-Prowse corner, another Hojbjerg header went out wide to the right, on seventy six minutes. The Lilywhites made another change by replacing Eriksen with Dele Alli, before the Saints brought on Mohamed Elyounoussi for Armstrong. Spurs soon took off Trippier for Oliver Skipp and Southampton switched Hojbjerg with Oriol Romeu. In stoppage time the Saints pressed, first from a Ward-Prowse corner, as a Maya Yoshida header missed to the right. Then from another Ward-Prowse corner and knock on by Yoshida, as a header by Austin hit the top of the right crossbar. At the end Austin rammed in a Southampton consolation goal into the bottom left corner from Davis’s through ball, for a 3-1 loss.