Usually it’s Harry Kane’s goals that capture the headlines but, this time around, it was playmaker Harry Kane at St Mary’s this afternoon that helped Tottenham Hotspur to three points. Son Heung-Min hit four clinical finishes, assisted by the England captain, as Jose Mourinho’s decision to omit Dele Alli raised eyebrows but ultimately was proven to be the right decision. There was even time for Kane himself to get his well-deserved goal.
Harry Kane Pulls the Strings and Son Heung-Min Nets the Goals
A Game of Two Halves
Spurs thought that they had struck first after just two minutes through, Kane but VAR adjudged that Son was marginally offside.
Danny Ings then thought he had broken the deadlock for the hosts as Hugo Lloris rushed out and got his head to the ball, only for Ings to score. It was clear that the ball hit the striker’s hand, though so another goal was chalked off.
Tottenham struggled in the first half to get control in midfield and some of the passing was lamentable. Long balls looking for Kane went nowhere and everyone, as against Everton in the first game of the season, looked lost. There was little talking to each other and the body language was languid and tired.
The game changed on the stroke of half-time, though, when Kane played in Son to level.
In the second half, Mourinho took off Tanguy Ndombele who had been one of Spurs’ better players in the first half, bringing on Giovani Lo Celso.
Tottenham went on the counter-attack in the second hald and Son soon made it 2-1 with his second of the afternoon.
Kane dropped deeper and deeper and displayed excellent vision with long passes towards Son, who grabbed his hat-trick and his fourth.
Kane then got a deserved goal to make it five before a late Ings penalty reduced the arrears slightly.
In the first half, Southampton could have put Tottenham to the sword – they certainly had the chances to do so.
Where Southampton were profligate, though, Tottenham were clinical. In the second half, the Saints were like statues at the back. When you play against the likes of Kane and Son you cannot defend so poorly. Kane was afforded a lot of space and Son’s speed was too much for the Saints’ backline.
Spurs’ Busy Schedule
A good second-half performance sets up Tottenham for a busy schedule. On Tuesday they have Leyton Orient in the League Cup, they travel abroad on Thursday for the Europa League before coming back to the Premier League next Sunday against Newcastle United.