Saints 2-2 Spurs
Alderweireld recovered from injury to face Spurs, but was still selected in his midfield role. To be fair, he’s becoming quite effective when used that way, but we miss his presence at the back. With the best will in the world, he’s no Victor Wanyama either, and the Kenyan’s presence was missed as the visitors grabbed the game by the neck early on. They didn’t create an acceptable chance in this time and as so often happens, Saints got themselves back into the game.
The catalyst was a set of decent set piece deliveries by Ward-Prowse, preferred to Tadić, but the first goal came from open play, and as a result of some awful Tottenham defending: firstly Mason was caught in possession in the confusion of Southampton appeals for a free kick, and then Davies was out-thought by Pellè when he seemed to be in control of the loose ball – and it was Pellè who eventually poked it home.
Saints were then looking the more likely to score, as they did for most of the afternoon, but Spurs levelled just before the break, with Lamela knowing little about the touch that sent the ball past Kelvin Davis’s desperate claw.
Steven Davis then became the focus of attention at the start of the second period, and there was disappointment when he sent an early effort wide, and something approaching incredulity when he did the same with a very, very scoreable chance.
The time was right to introduce Long, although some tampering with Alderweireld’s role might have been better than sacrificing Ward-Prowse. To start with, though, it seemed a stroke of genius as Long produced a fine cross that was even bettered by Pellè’s header into the net, causing favourable comparisons with no less a figure than Ron Davies.
It wasn’t enough to secure a vital win because Yoshida was beaten by Chadli who turned a hopeful channel ball past both the defender and Kelvin Davis – surely Alderweireld would have done better? Despite being out-possessed, Saints kept pressing and almost won it right at the end when Fonte threw himself at a corner and ended up sending the ball narrowly over off his shoulder.
LSSC Man of the Match: Graziano Pellè – amazing what a difference a bit of confidence can make.