Saints 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur
Saints had to take on Tottenham fielding their third choice goalkeeper and missing three of the first choice back four.
Recent form suggested that was only evening up the contest as Spurs’ own defensive frailties had resulted in a high profile managerial casualty, and it was stricken Saints who drew first blood, when good work by Fox set up Lallana for a shot into Lloris’s bottom corner.
A spurned opportunity for Rodriguez left the scores level instead of providing clear daylight, and Spurs promptly responded with a goal of their own on the break, Adebayor providing a very good finish to Soldado’s cross.
Southampton were the architects of their own downfall when they first conceded the lead – some indifferent defending allowed Rose to get in an awkward low cross which Gazzaniga might have dealt with more confidently, but he was beaten by Hooiveld’s touch, reminding everyone who is the Premier League’s own goal king.
Saints didn’t stay behind for long, as Cork sent Lallana clear and when the captain took the onrushing Lloris out of the game with a sideways pass, Lambert was left with an easy finish.
Unfortunately parity didn’t last long: Cork was promptly replaced and Spurs took advantage of the resulting disorganisation by fashioning a shot for Adebayor following a throw in, and that was 2-3.
Lovren’s body language showed a clear frustration with his colleagues’ contributions, while Lallana and Hooiveld seemed to be drawn into a slanging match – Saints were, frankly, falling apart, and they could have been a long way behind before they created the next opportunity of their own, but this time Lloris denied Lallana.
The last chance fell to substitute Gallagher, but it was asking too much of the teenager to save the game, and the team’s miserable run continues – but this is Southampton, and you always knew there’d be a return to times like these, didn’t you?
LSSC Man of the Match: Adam Lallana. With a few more performances like his, Saints could have won easily, but too many players were off form.