Tottenham Hotspur Away Won 2 – 3
Back to League action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and a more familiar Southampton line-up; an adventurous one too, with both Adams and Broja included – what a fine decision that turned out to be! Adams should have had his team ahead in the opening minutes but we’ve often had positive beginnings that come to nothing, and when Spurs get their swift passing game together, they are hard to stop. Reguilón was only foiled by the considerable bulk of Forster from just such a move, then, on 18 minutes, another slick break ended with Bednarek adding to his o.g. tally, under pressure from Son, who was originally credited. Spurs had put the ball in the net earlier, although clearly offside, but even so Saints were unfortunate to be behind, a situation that prevailed for just five minutes before Broja stabbed home the equaliser amid home defending that was to be characteristic of the night. Southampton going ahead always looked likely, especially when Broja broke clear, only to fire wide, and then Perraud struck the bar as half time approached. You felt that not just could Spurs only get better, but Saints could only get worse, given how well they had played in the first 45, and the game had become more difficult after the turn-around. Southampton were still very much in it, though, and when manager Conte hooked Højbjerg to try out the first of his January signings, we began to get on top again. The game seemed to have turned against the visitors on 70 minutes when Broja appeared to be fouled on the half way line, only for the referee to play on and allow Lucas Moura to cross for Son Heung-Min to put his team back in front. Although replacing Højbjerg had done his side no favours, Conte went to his expensive bench again, this time removing the always dangerous, Moura, and within a few minutes Saints were level: Elyounoussi scored with a fine, if unexpected, header from Ward-Prowse’s delivery. Two minutes later, it was déjà vu for home defenders, this time marking themselves rather than Adams who headed in another Ward-Prowse cross. In their best performance of the season, Saints held out until the game was into six minutes of added time, when Bergwijn found the net from close range. I was still kicking the safe standing pillar in frustration when your web site editor raised expectations by proclaiming that referee Coote had disallowed the goal; he hadn’t, of course… not yet anyway… not until VAR had found Bergwijn coming back from an offside position, and after a pulsating 96 minutes, the points all belonged to Southampton.
LSSC Man of the Match: Oriel Romeu, emerging on top of a whole host of other worthy candidates: Forster for a solid display; Perraud and Elyounossi for making our left side uncomfortable for Spurs in the first half; Salisu for marking England’s number 9 out of the game; Ward-Prowse for a brace of assists.