Southampton 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Spirited second half saves the Saints
Ward Prowse Celebrates: Source: Catherine Ivill

A superb second half from Southampton earned the Saints a first home win in six against Tottenham Hotspur and lifted them further from the relegation zone.

Goals from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse and a first-half goal from Harry Kane decided the points. 

Story of the game

Despite the tremendous atmosphere created at St Mary’s, the game offered a slow start, with both teams failing to make an impact on proceedings.  

As the game went on, Spurs began to take control of things, creating chances and causing Southampton trouble. Harry Kane went close around the ten-minute mark, when a delightful ball from newly returning b alerted Angus Gunn – the Saints keeper comfortable saved Kane’s shot. 

Moments later, and Saints were handed their first real scare of the game thanks to Maya Yoshida. Kane got the better of Bertrand out wide, firing a low cross across the box which was latched onto by Yoshida. The defender hit the post with a sliding block, and to the relief of the Saints, Gunn was there to fix things.  

Midway through the first half, Southampton began to grow into the game. It seemed as though Bertrand had put through Charlie Austin to score, however his miss became on the regret, as just as confidence built, Spurs countered and scored.  

It was the combination of Alli and Kane that made the difference in the first half, with the Englishmen orchestrating a potent counter attack to put the visitors ahead. Alli’s lofted ball from the left side found Kane at the far post, who controlled the ball well and slotted home the first goal of the afternoon.  

Southampton started the second half with a new lease of life, rejuvenated by their two half time substitutions Shane Long and Josh Sims. The duo combined minutes into the second half, with Sims crossing the ball in from the right after beating Danny Rose. His cross found the head of Long in the box, who scuffed his effort, which was collected by Lloris. 

One thing that hadn’t changed after the interval was the trouble that Kane was causing the hosts. This time, the Englishman drifted in from the left, beating two defenders in the process before curling a shot towards goal, Gunn pulled off a brilliant save to deny the striker.  

Southampton seemed to be alerted by Tottenham’s miss, and moments later almost scored themselves. It was again the substitute Long that provided new energy in attack, as he darted down the right flank with Redmond breaking too through the middle. Long’s cross found Redmond, who brought the ball down brilliantly, but his hesitation to shoot killed the pace of the break, causing him to shoot wide.  

After a tough battle in the second half to get back into the game, Southampton got their goal with 15 minutes to go. Valery added to his tally, getting on the end of Stuart Armstrong’s cross in the box. St Mary’s erupted after a dull first half.  

The stadium erupted far louder moments later, as Ward-Prowse converted a beautifully curled free kick with ten minutes to play. After Eric Dier’s foul on the edge of the box, the home supporters were furious not to see a red card, however, Ward-Prowse turned frustration to elation seconds later.  

Takeaways from the game 

Josh Sims deserves more game time at Southampton. The midfielder made a real impact after coming off the bench at half time, giving life to the non-existent Saints attack in the first half.  

Harry Kane is magnificent. Perhaps not a surprising statement, however the maturity and dominance of the striker’s performance was admirable.