Ten-man Spurs see-off stubborn Saints
Harry Kane nets winner against Southampton after Tottenham survive Serge Aurier's sending off to secure 2-1 victory
30 September, 2019 — By Paul Cowling
TOTTENHAM 2 (Ndombele 24, Aurier Sent Off 31, Kane 43)
SOUTHAMPTON 1 (Ings 39)
AHEAD of Tuesday’s titanic Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, Spurs gave themselves a much-needed boost by beating Southampton on Saturday.
Tottenham had dropped 10 points from their last six matches, and they made hard work of seeing off the Saints in this compelling, competitive tussle.
The north Londoners were forced to play over an hour of the match with ten men after Serge Aurier was controversially sent off after a second yellow card.
But once again, they had talisman Harry Kane to thank for the three points after he scored what proved to be the winning goal just before half time.
Spurs had already taken the lead in the 24th minute when Tanguy Ndombele met Heung-Min Son’s toe-poked cross and thumped the ball over the despairing Angus Gunn in the visitors’ goal.
The home side were good value for the lead, but they suffered a set back on the half hour mark when Aurier received his marching orders.
The Ivorian had just been booked for a clumsy challenge on Nathan Redmond when he then clattered into Ryan Bertrand on the touchline, and that was enough for referee Graham Scott to show him a second yellow. Spurs fans and players were incensed as it looked as if the ball had just gone out of play.
Saints became sinners from then on, as every time a Southampton player made the slightest of challenges the home fans bayed for a red card to even the numbers up.
After the match Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino said his side “needed to work on a lot with 10 men”. He added: “We showed our spirit, and that is the way we need to work together.”
Things went from bad to worse for Tottenham when a Hugo Lloris howler presented Southampton with a gift of an equaliser.
The Spurs captain took too long to clear a back pass, and he was left red-faced as Danny Ings was able to block his clearance and bundle the ball in on the goal line.
But Spurs rallied and retook the the lead. And it was that man Kane who swept the ball into the net after being set up by want-away Dane Christian Eriksen, who had returned to the starting line-up.
It seemed inevitable, though that Southampton would make their extra man count as they peppered the Spurs defence with pot shots and probing, and dominated possession.
Lloris redeemed for his earlier mistake with two stunning saves to deny what would have been a well-deserved point for the visitors.
In the 56th minute, the Spurs shot-stopper saved spectacularly from a goal-bound James Ward-Prowse free kick, and then five minutes later, Maya Yoshida thought he had scored but Lloris somehow kept the Japanese international’s bullet header out.
Spurs were able to hold on, but Pochettino was still left a little frustrated by the performance and the club’s stuttering start to the season.
“We have worked very hard for five years to put this club in the level that no one expected, and that’s why some of our results were not in the way that people expected,” reasoned the Argentine.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Sissoko, Winks (Wanyama, 90+3), Ndombele (Dier, 78), Eriksen, Kane, Son (Lamela, 64)
Substitutes not used: Gazzaniga, Davies, Alli, Lucas Moura
SOUTHAMPTON: Gunn, Bertrand, Bednarek, Yoshida, Vestergaard (Armstrong, 79), Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg, Boufal (Long, 88), Redmond, Ings (Obafemi, 83)
Substitutes not used: Danso, Lewis, Valery