Spurs Home Drew 1 – 1
Saints were missing Long for the fixture against Spurs on a wet Sunday evening, Shane ruled out by a mystery illness which meant a recall for Gabbiadini who has just as much trouble finding the net as his colleague. Although Long’s willingness was missed, a more crucial absentee due to lurgi was the influential Eriksson, and Southampton took the game to a lack lustre visiting team in the opening stages. On 15 minutes they went ahead courtesy of their opponents when Tadić sent Bertrand away and the stand-in captain’s low cross was turned into his own net by Sánchez – a rather neat finish off the inside of the post, thank you very much. Saints soon returned the compliment when Stephens lost Kane from a corner and the England man headed home from close range. Dier had hit the post in between the two strikes and a second Tottenham goal could well have been fatal to home morale; it didn’t come, though, so a fairly even half ended all square, with Stephens heading a set piece just over, and the possibility of more scoring to come. That never happened either, with 1-1 proving to be the eventual result and it was notable how many of the high total of 27 combined recorded shots, six on target, were from distance. True, Alli sent one of the off target efforts just past the post and in the dying moments Kane dragged a better opportunity wide of the other upright, but Saints were very much in the game as well and as usual made adventurous substitutions, including Boufal and 82nd minute debutant Obefemi. I suspect Obefemi’s inclusion shows that the squad is not as deep as it should be, and he was to miss out when set up nicely by Tadić for what could have been a headline grabbing winner. To be fair, Gabbiadini had fluffed something similar early on in the piece, and Boufal will rue taking an additional touch for an even later opportunity, again after good work by Tadić.
- LSSC Man of the Match: Dušan Tadić. Not always (or often) my favourite, but better finishing by his colleagues could have given him a hat trick of assists. At least Davinson Sánchez gave him half an assist, behind Bertrand’s cross.