TOTTENHAM Step up to maintain their challenge for a Champions League spot after coming back from 1-0 to beat 10 man Southampton 4-1.
It was a poor start for Spurs when after only 2 minutes they conceded from another set piece. The free kick was swung in by James Ward-Prowse and perfectly met with the head of Virgil Van Dijk who guided it in to give the home side an early lead. This is the 13th goal Tottenham have conceded in the league this season and 8 of them were without their centre-half Toby Alderweireld. He had shaken off his minor back problem but was left out the squad due to a virus.
After 15 minutes the visitors began to come into the game after The Saints great start and took their chance after 19 minutes to level the game. A great build up in play lead to the ball being out wide with Moussa Sissoko who’s deflected cross was headed in by Dele Alli to the delight of the Spurs fans. This seemed undeserved at the time considering the lively start the home side had made.
As the first half drew to a close Christian Eriksen had a chance to put Tottenham into the lead at half time but fired his shot over the bar. Ex-Southampton manager, now Spurs boss reflected on the start that Tottenham made and believed they were unlucky to concede as early as they did.
“It was a difficult game from the start. It was hard to settle but we prepared in the way we wanted to in order to play against Southampton. It was unlucky for us to concede early in the first half but after 10-15 minutes we started to come into the game and push a little harder.”
Spurs started the second half a lot better than the first and it didn’t take long before they took the lead through their number 10 Harry Kane. The man in-form Christian Eriksen whipped in a corner of which Kane rised above The Saints defence to place a beautiful header past Fraser Forster. This ended his run of 3 league games without scoring.
The visitors should have extended their lead moments after when they were awarded a penalty as Nathan Redmond brought down Dele Alli who was through on goal. Redmond also, saw red and put Southampton down to 10 men. However, Harry Kane couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity given to finish the game off as he fired the resulting penalty over the bar. Southampton manager Claude Puel after the game reflected on this moment which was decisive in the result of the game.
“With the red card it was too difficult to come back and we conceded another two goals. The red card is the end of the game for us. The two players went for the ball, I don’t know I didn’t see the action. This gave Spurs the opportunity to win the game.”
Fortunately for Kane he didn’t pay for the mistake of missing the penalty as with 83 minutes on the clock Heung Min Son put Tottenham 3-1 up. A well picked out long pass from Eriksen landed at the feet of the substitute Son who produced a fine low finish to the right hand side of Forster. The day was made even sweeter for Mauricio Pochettino as Dele Alli’s also, placed a fantastic low shot into the bottom of the net to wrap up a great year for the Lilywhites and make it 4-1. The Tottenham fans were in great voice as usual and boss Pochettino was very happy with the result.
“It was important for Kane and Alli as brilliant offensive players to score goals and I am very pleased with their performances. All the top sides have won over the festive period so it was important for us to keep fighting and after that I think we are in a good position.”
Spurs remain in fifth place in the league but are now 1 point off a Champions League spot and their rivals Arsenal. This Tottenham win also, meant that they have set a new club record in the league claiming 71 points in 2016 the highest ever in a year. They are next in action in the new year when they travel to Watford on Sunday.