Frantic Premier League Match Ends With Southampton Taking All Three Points

Frantic Premier League Match
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The arrival of Southampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium saw the first Spurs home game in the Premier League since Boxing Day, over six weeks ago, and it turned out to be a great advert for English football in what was a frantic Premier League match.

Southampton Emerge Victorious in Frantic Premier League Match

Tottenham Pushed onto Back Foot

Southampton showed great endeavour in their last Premier League outing on January 22, holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw. Such were the levels of the performance, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was disappointed to only take one point from the match and his side were on the front foot in the first five minutes of this match. Che Adams was found with a ball from the left but his volley was saved at point-blank range by Spurs captain Hugo Lloris. The movement and pace from the Saints demonstrated that they had come to have a real go at Tottenham but Spurs were also ready to play with pace.

The front three of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane linked up well with Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal providing plenty of width. Spurs thought they had grabbed the lead when Son whipped in a free-kick from the right and Cristian Romero headed home only to be flagged offside. Southampton play a high line from free-kicks and whilst it’s a tactic that comes with its risks, they are well drilled and the line was perfectly held to ensure the score remained at 0-0.

Forster Stands Tall

Fraser Forster was next to prove his goalkeeping prowess after a quick and sublime Spurs move. Moura fed Son who in turn released Kane on the right who played a perfect pass to the onrushing Reguilon but his shot was blocked by Forster. Both keepers were having to work hard and it was hard to believe that neither side had found the net.

It did not take long for Spurs to take the lead and it was another swift and incisive move from the home side. Moura played a delightful reverse pass to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who slid in a cross intended for Son but the ball was inadvertently prodded past his own keeper by Jan Bednarek.

Southampton quickly dusted themselves off though and were back on terms within five minutes. Both sides looked good going forward but defensively guilty of some unforced errors. Ben Davies had the simplest of tasks to clear the ball but slipped when the ball eventually came to Armando Broja, he gave Lloris no chance and Antonio Conte was left in a rage on the touchline.

Electric Saints 

When the half-time whistle came, Hasenhuttl will have scratched his head as to how his side were not in front. Some of the football was electric and caused Spurs all sorts of problems. Southampton ended the first half with 62% possession, 14 shots, of which five were on target, including Perraud’s left foot drive which rattled the crossbar. Southampton were simply better in every area of the pitch with Conte and Spurs glad to get into the break still on level terms.

Tottenham Lead, Southampton Come Back to Stun Home Side

Whatever Conte said at half-time to his players they came out for the second half pumped up with aggression that they didn’t show in the first. The pressing was more energetic and Kane went close from a Reguilon cross. It was a header that ended up being almost too good. He headed it down into the ground but it skipped up and over the bar. It heated the home fans up and the tide felt like it was changing.

Conte still wanted more from his team and on the hour mark brought one of his new signings in Rodrigo Bentancur on, whose introduction for his Premier League debut was met with a huge ovation. His first involvement was a raking diagonal pass that split the Southampton defence but Moura fluffed his lines when it needed a cool head in the final third. He wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.

Calm and Clinical Son

With twenty minutes left, Harry Winks played the ball to Kane who slipped the ball to Moura and this time his cross was a nightmare for defenders and Son kept the coolest head of all inside the stadium to make it 2-1. The atmosphere was electric and on the touchline as Southampton staff and Conte clashed over the build-up to the goal. Before Winks played the ball to Kane, Royal jumped higher than Broja who fell to the ground. Southampton felt it was a foul and that the game should have been stopped for a head injury. Conte made it clear he disagreed and had to be held back by his colleagues. When Broja eventually got up it was his wrist that he was clutching and the Saints arguments quickly ebbed away.

Game Turns Again

Tottenham needed to manage the game after taking the lead but an incredible game took another twist when Mohamed Elyounoussi headed home. He had the freedom of the Tottenham Hotspur stadium and moments later Che Adams scored with an almost carbon copy to give Southampton a 3-2 lead. Suddenly the stadium that minutes before was deafening was struck into silence. This was a game that was the epitome of a see-saw tie.

VAR Breaks Tottenham Hearts as Frantic Premier League Match Goes in Saints Favour

Having scored two sensational goals to take all three points at Leicester City, Steven Bergwijn was almost the saviour once more but as the home crowd exploded with relief, VAR made the right call as he was offside. Spurs had got themselves back in the game in the second half but the defending will have to be addressed. All three goals had elements of blame with the Spurs defence looking shambolic at times and Conte will know he has to fix that in the summer. For now, it is a huge blow to Spurs’ top-four chances.

 

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