Tottenham bounce back from derby defeat with Southampton win to move up to third
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Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Southampton 1
Spurs started their road to redemption after losing Sunday’s north London derby by putting Southampton to the sword at Wembley Stadium to secure a comfortable 3-1 win in the Premier League this evening.
Harry Kane’s ninth-minute goal put Mauricio Pochettino’s team in control and early efforts in the second half by Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son wrapped up the points and the result in front of a low crowd in Brent.
It was a satisfactory night for Tottenham Hotspur in the end with Arsenal dropping points away to Manchester United and Chelsea suffering a shock loss on the road – two results which helped the Lilywhites move back up to third in the standings.
Pochettino made five changes to the team which lost in disappointing fashion away to the Gunners on Sunday.
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Jan Vertonghen missed out through suspension while Serge Aurier, Ben Davies, Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli dropped to the bench.
Replacing the fivesome was Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Harry Winks and Moura.
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For Trippier and Rose, it was a first return to the starting XI since they suffered groin injuries at the start of November and October respectively.
There was also a place on the bench for young 18-year-old midfielder Oliver Skipp, who made his debut in the League Cup win at West Ham United on Halloween.
Former Southampton captain and goalkeeper Kelvin Davis took charge of the team with ex-RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl officially starting his role on Thursday.
After last weekend’s frustrating 4-2 defeat at Emirates Stadium, the Lilywhites were after a response, but with plenty of red seats visible in the Wembley crowd, it would be a night for the players to take the lead and get the home supporters on their feet.
Tottenham, to their credit, made a strong start with Son hitting the base of the post in the third minute.
Eric Dier’s accurate long ball was headed down by Trippier and the South Korean let fly on the half volley and saw his effort hit the woodwork before Southampton cleared the second ball.
It had been an encouraging start by the hosts and good play between Rose and Moura in the ninth minute earned Tottenham the first corner of the game.
Christian Eriksen and Trippier combined before the former got the ball back and although his ball was far from vintage, it was good enough to produce the opener.
Kane ghosted away from Matt Targett and was on hand to tap in at the near post for his 13th goal of the campaign and ninth in this season’s Premier League.
After the defeat to Arsenal, it was the perfect start for Pochettino’s men, but they knew it had to be more than just that.
Soon after the goal a brief stoppage occurred when Southampton defender Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg needed treatment, but in the 17th minute he was able to continue.
Tottenham wasted two decent openings after with first Moura trying an ambitious effort in the 19th minute from inside his own half when he should have really ran at the backtracking Saints defence.
Less than 60 seconds later and Kane found Son, but with Trippier making a perfect overlapping run, the through ball to the England international was too weak and the Saints were able to thwart the danger through Targett.
Five minutes later and Southampton threatened from nowhere and it almost produced an equaliser.
Manolo Gabbiadini chased after a long ball and held it up well from Alderweireld before he teed up Hojbjerg.
The Saints midfielder let fly with a 30-yard curler and Hugo Lloris needed to be alert to get the faintest of touches to tip it onto the post.
It was a stunning save and even though the ball dropped for Stuart Armstrong, he was offside and sliced wide with the goal gapping.
Southampton took confidence from the effort, but Spurs were still looking a threat on the break and particularly Son.
In the 29th minute the South Korean dribbled at the visitors defence before he played in Kane, but his placed effort was easy for international colleague Alex McCarthy.
McCarthy was forced into a more strenuous save with over half an hour played when Son cut inside and drilled towards goal, but the Saints stopper tipped over.
From the resulting set-piece, another short corner was taken, but this time Trippier put the ball into the area and Dier could only flick wide while off balance.
After Southampton had began to establish a slight foothold in the game, Spurs’ flurry of chances helped restore order as Tottenham again dictated play in the middle of the park in search of a crucial second goal.
The Lilywhites forced a succession of corners before the half was out, but they came to nothing and after a minute of stoppage time, the first 45 drew to a close.
It had been comfortable for Pochettino’s team against his former side, but he would have been well aware the job was only half complete.
An early goal would have been high on his list of priorities heading out for the second period at Wembley.
Spurs’ intent from kick-off suggested Pochettino’s message was clear and in the 47th minute McCarthy was called into action again.
Eriksen’s corner was flicked on brilliantly by Alderweireld, but the Southampton ace tipped away from goal.
He was in the thick of things four minutes later too as a free kick from the Denmark playmaker was heading in before the England stopper pushed wide.
From Tottenham seventh corner of the match, they did grab a second with 51 played, but only after a terrible ball into the area.
Trippier’s cross was poor, but Hojbjerg sliced his clearance and although Moura’s initial shot was blocked by Jack Stephens’ hand, he was first to the follow up and fired into the ground and beyond McCarthy for his sixth goal of the campaign.
It was the early goal Spurs wanted and the home fans didn’t have to wait long until a third arrived.
Good work by Trippier saw him block Targett’s clearance and the ball rolled for Kane and he squared for Son to tap home for his fourth goal of the season.
Southampton did nearly reduce the deficit straight away when Nathan Redmond let fly and saw an effort crash against the crossbar.
Six minutes later and the visitors would have been wondering how they didn’t find the net with 62 played.
James Ward-Prowse’s free kick was heading for the bottom corner, but Southampton defender Maya Yoshida inadvertently blocked on the line and Spurs surived.
The crowd of 33,012 were making plenty of noise as Tottenham supporters enjoyed the news filtering through that Chelsea were behind at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Despite the result being a forgone conclusion, Saints and more specifically Ward-Prowse was desperate to get on the scoresheet.
He was denied by a Trippier block in the 68th minute after captain Steven Davis had dribbled into the area too easily after the ball ricocheted off Rose.
Then Ward-Prowse saw another shot deflected wide, this time by Alderweireld with 70 on the clock as Saints chased a consolation for their loyal travelling contingent.
Pochettino reached by introducing Sissoko for Moura with 16 left before the contest briefly turned into the Lloris show.
The World Cup winner had to be alert in the 75th minute as Hojbjerg’s effort from distance was spilled by the Frenchman, but he atoned for his error with a wonderful point-blank stop to deny Ward-Prowse.
Less than a minute later and Lloris was called upon again to produce another excellent save with the final one a diving effort to tip substitute Charlie Austin’s low effort around the post.
In the space of two minutes, the Tottenham captain had made two superb stops to keep his clean sheet intact.
As the seconds ticked away at Wembley more substitutions were made with Alli coming on for Eriksen and then quickly involved in a penalty appeal on Rose, which referee Anthony Taylor waved away.
Then Pochettino had a league debut to youngster Skipp, who came on for Trippier with three minutes remaining after the defender appeared to go down with cramp.
Spurs’ academy graduate was thrush into the action with a header from a corner and then showed his quick-footedness on the stroke of the 90.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added on seconds later and there was time for the away side to go close once again.
Yoshida flicked on Ward-Prowse’s corner, but Mohamed Elyounoussi saw his effort hit the crossbar.
It seemed that would be Southampton’s best chance of finding the net, but the next phase of play saw them grab a deserved consolation.
Targett’s ball over the top was well controlled by Austin and he smashed low into the corner much to the delight of the Saints fans in the away end.
Lloris would have been furious, especially after his two impressive saves earlier in the second half, but it was nothing less than the visitors warranted for their efforts.
The full time whistle followed shortly after and with results elsewhere finishing it saw Tottenham move back up to third in the table.
After Sunday’s frustrating loss to Arsenal, this was exactly the type of result the N17 outfit needed and they will now look to back it up on Saturday at Leicester City.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier (Skipp 87), Alderweireld, Foyth, Rose; Dier, Winks; Son, Eriksen (Alli 79), Moura (Sissoko 74); Kane.
Unused substitutes: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Davies, Llorente.
Southampton: McCarthy; Cédric, Yoshida, Stephens, Targett; Højbjerg (Romeu 88), Davis; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Armstrong (Elyounoussi 81); Gabbiadini (Austin 70).
Unused substitutes: Gunn, Hoedt, Vestergaard, Valery.