Tottenham Hotspur Home Won 2 – 1
Southampton remained unchanged for the third successive game (a record for recent years?) but the first half performance at home to Spurs was nothing like the encouraging display last time out, at Old Trafford. Twice within the opening five minutes Kane missed two very presentable chances and by the time 23 minutes had elapsed the frame of the home goal had been struck twice, firstly by Yoshida trying to clear, and then from a free kick by Eriksson. With very little to occupy them at the other end, Tottenham’s goal was well overdue by the time it arrived when Kane survived a marginal offside decision. Ralph clearly had to change things and despite evidence that the centre backs were being undone by balls dinked over the top, his move was to introduce both Sims (a forgotten figure!) and Long, then Armstrong once Long succumbed to injury. The fresh legs didn’t seem to offer much more than a willingness to run at opponents, but it gave Spurs something to think about and our opponents didn’t expect anything like that – not after a midweek win in Dortmund and our own ineptitude in the opening period. Saints actually created some passable opportunities for an equaliser, but still Spurs remained in a complacent stupor and when Valery bundled in Armstrong’s low cross, the level scoreline wasn’t as unexpected as it had been at the break. And at 1-1, why not a winner as well? That would have been in Ward-Prowse’s mind as he stepped up for an 81st minute free kick conceded to prevent what could have been a scoring opportunity for Armstrong; and why wouldn’t he be confident, having beaten DeGea with his last such attempt? Maybe that will make Lloris feel better as he became the latest to pick a JW-P drive out of his net. Saints appeared to start playing for time from around 88 minutes, which seemed early for those expecting a sizeable chunk of added time… as it was, a mere four minutes had to be endured, successfully so against opponents who had suddenly become as bemused as Saints had been earlier.
LSSC Man of the Match: James Ward-Prowse, edging out Redmond.