Spurs lose another lead as Southampton come from behind to triumph at White Hart Lane
Steven Davis scored twice as Southampton came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 in the Lilywhites’ final home game of the season.
Spurs took the lead in the 16th minute as Heung-Min Son scored for the second game in a row - but Davis levelled before the break and then struck a 72nd-minute winner.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have now thrown away seven points from winning positions in their last three matches, having also lost leads in their draws against West Bromwich Albion (1-1) and Chelsea (2-2).
Tottenham would essentially have cemented a top-two place and a spot above arch-rivals Arsenal if they had beaten the Saints, due to their far superior goal difference.
But now they must wait to see what happens when the third-placed Gunners visit fourth-placed Manchester City later this afternoon, to see what the situation will be ahead of next Sunday’s final round of fixtures.
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Spurs were missing the suspended Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli, who had both been charged with violent conduct for infractions in Spurs’ preview two games, so Ryan Mason came into the side to replace Dembele, while Son deputised for Alli again.
The Lilywhites fans sang Dembele’s name in the opening minute and the hosts made a strong start.
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Christian Eriksen met Danny Rose’s low cross to force a reaction save from Fraser Forster and, although Dusan Tadic shot across goal at the other end – ignoring the fact that Davis was free in the centre – Spurs took the lead in the 16th minute.
Son exchanged passes with the lively Erik Lamela and, although the ball initially seemed to be too far ahead of him, the offside Harry Kane intelligently left it alone, creating confusion that allowed Son to win his race with the pedestrian Forster. The South Korean then went around the visiting goalkeeper on the by-line and continued to keep his cool, dribbling into the middle of a busy penalty box before finishing.
Tottenham continued to threaten and Kane fired high and wide of the near post from Kyle Walker’s low cross before Eriksen played a one-two with Lamela and prodded the ball at Forster.
Yet Spurs were arguably enjoying themselves too much. Rose unnecessarily turned back into trouble inside his own box and Kane, possibly eyeing the golden boot, shot wide from 20 yards instead of finding the unmarked Lamela on the left side.
If there was any sense of complacency or arrogance, it was duly punished as Southampton came back into the game.
Ryan Bertrand sent a dangerous low cross in front of the goalmouth just before the half-hour mark and the Saints levelled soon after.
A chipped ball down the right side of Spurs’ defence found Tadic and he turned it inside to Davis, whose low effort at the near post squirmed past Lloris.
They nearly regained their advantage just before the interval as Kane chased down a lost cause on the by-line and won the ball, but he was then denied by Forster inside the six-yard box and the sides headed into the break on level terms.
Shane Long headed wide from Tadic’s cross after half-time, while Jan Vertonghen’s header was deflected over the crossbar by Virgil van Dijk and Walker saw a powerful shot blocked.
Clinton N’Jie replaced Son, making his first appearance since December after a long absence due to a knee injury - but it was the Saints who went ahead with just under 20 minutes to go, Davis playing a one-two with Tadic on the edge of the box and accurately finding the bottom right corner.
Long then volleyed over and James Ward-Prowse sent a drive high and wide of the top left corner, but Spurs had a golden opportunity to equalise deep into the five minutes of added time.
Lame’a free kick was deflected and fell to substitute Nacer Chadli, who seemed certain to score, but Forster saved with his legs to secure all three points for the visitors.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Mason (Chadli 75), Lamela, Eriksen, Son (N’Jie 64), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs