Saints second best to Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Tottenham Hotspur had lost only one of their last eight Premier League fixtures with Southampton. In the fourth minute following an infringement on Nathan Redmond by Moussa Sissoko, from a Ryan Bertrand free kick, the ball was ballooned over through a header by Maya Yoshida. The Saints pressed again, as Danny Ings wedged his shot out of play, following an assist by Jannik Vestergaard. From a looping delivery by Toby Alderweireld, in trying to find Heung-Min Son, a decisive interception was made by Jan Bednarek, in the eighth minute. But within the next couple of minutes, a low cross on the right by Redmond, was connected to from Saints captain, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, which was saved by Hugo Lloris, as he dived towards the bottom left corner. The Lilywhites response was a neat touch by Son, but Angus Gunn, smothered the ball to keep out the threat of Harry Kane. In the seventeenth minute, from Vestergaard’s pass, a snap shot by Sofiane Boufal, was parried away from Lloris. After a foul by James Ward-Prowse on Christian Eriksen, the Danish play makers’ free kick deflected over off Ings, and Kane tumbled to the floor, as he was unable to get his shot away, in the eighteenth minute. During the twenty second minute, as Tanguy Ndombele combined with Son, from the proceeding cross, Ndombele’s strike flew over, against a block by Hojbjerg, and from Eriksen’s corner, the ball spun off Son’s head, and Gunn used quick reflexes to push the ball away. But within two minutes, Spurs opened the scoring, as Son pulled the back to Ndombele, whose decisive left footed strike, blasted the back of the net. Serge Aurier got his first yellow card for a crunching tackle on Boufal, and after pushing over Bertrand in the thirty first minute, Aurier was cautioned again, as he received a red card from referee Graham Scott, reducing Spurs to ten men. From the free kick by Ward-Prowse, the Lilywhites failed to clear their lines, and Hojbjerg fired over. In the thirty seventh minute, as Ndombele won possession, a speculative long range strike by Kane, went high over the upright. After playing a one two with Boufal, the ball was bent past the right post from Redmond, two minutes later. But Spurs were then guilty of their own downfall, as from Alderweireld’s back pass, Lloris was tackled by Ings, who robbed him of the ball, and scored on the goal line, in the thirty ninth minute. However, Tottenham made amends in the forty third minute, as Son and Eriksen linked play, before on the turn, Kane found a gap in the bottom left corner, to restore the Spurs advantage. After Son tripped Boufal, a well struck free kick by Ward-Prowse in the fifty seventh minute, was theatrically tipped over by Lloris, towards the top right corner. Then from Bertrand’s corner, a strike by Hojbjerg, went over to the right. In the sixty second minute, from a Ward-Prowse corner, a well timed header by Yoshida, produced a flying save by Lloris, before Danny Rose cleared. It soon followed with Ings supplying Redmond, who blazed the ball over, before Spurs replaced Son with Erik Lamela. On sixty four minutes, a cross by Rose, went past an out stretched Kane. The next yellow card went to Yoshida for a reckless challenge on Ndombele. Later on, the Lilywhites took off Ndombele for Eric Dier, before the Saints replaced Vestergaard with Stuart Armstrong. A booking went to Bednarek for barging over Kane, before Southampton brought on Michael Obafemi in favour of Ings. On eighty four minutes, from Lamela’s pass, the ball was struck past the far right post by Kane. In the following three minutes, Eriksen found Dier, whose right footed shot was stopped by Gunn, at the bottom right corner. Southampton responded, through Redmond, as Armstrong’s strike was saved by Lloris at the foot of his near left post. Near the end, the Saints Shane Long appeared for Boufal, and after Winks took a tumble, he went off for Victor Wanyama, as ten men Spurs edged the Saints by 2-1.