Tottenham returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s. First half goals from Harry Kane and Dele Alli put Southampton to the sword, helping Spurs to leapfrog Manchester United into 4th place, where they will remain over Christmas.
Tottenham fans were expecting a quick response from their side following last Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle and draws with Chelsea and West Brom prior to that; and with today’s display, they certainly got the response they were hoping for.
The game started off all Southampton’s way, with the hosts looking strong going forward, along with Tottenham being rather careless in possession. Southampton’s two danger men, Saido Mané and Graziano Pellè both caused Tottenham a lot of problems in the opening 20 minutes, as the two worked well to create a hatful of chances for the South Coast club. The first real chance of the game fell to Saido Mané in the 8th minute, however his effort from close range was superbly kept out by Hugo Lloris, the Senegalese international went on to spurn a further two chances, both blocked by Spurs’ centre backs. Tottenham then went on to control proceedings as they put their foot on the gas and finally started to find their rhythm in the game, leaving Southampton to rue their missed opportunities.
In the 40th minute Harry Kane marked his 100th appearance for Tottenham Hotspur with a goal to give his side a 1-0 lead. Kane had been made to wait patiently for his goal as he had been well contained by Southampton’s back-four up until the goal. The goal came from Erik Lamela winning the ball just inside Southampton’s half, Alli then managed to roll the ball through on to Harry Kane who bulldozed his way through three Saints defenders to convert past Paulo Gazzaniga.
Two minutes on from Kane’s opener, Alli doubled Spurs’ lead, scoring his 4th Premier League goal of the season. Kyle Walker played a ball across the face of the Southampton goal to the unmarked Alli who had time to take a touch and cooly dispatch it from a few yards out. The second goal completely demoralised Ronald Koeman’s side, who were unable to force themselves back into the game.
Both sides had limited opportunities to score the game’s third goal in the second-half, with Tottenham appearing content with their two goal lead and Southampton looking as though they’d given up on getting a result. The only real opportunities of the second half came in the final 10 minutes, Heung-Min Son pressed well to force a mistake in the Southampton defence but was unable to score the opportunity which followed. Tottenham then had a strong shout for a penalty turned down by the referee after Lamela was brought down inside the area following a poor challenge from Virgil van Dijk. The final chance of the game fell to Southampton, as James Ward-Prowse saw his low struck effort denied by a truly world class stop from Hugo Lloris.
The three points see Tottenham move up into fourth place, level on points with Manchester United and Crystal Palace but with a better goal difference. Tottenham next play on Boxing Day against Norwich City at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.