Saints sunk by Spurs

By SFC Media time Tue 26 Dec Tottenham v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Maya Yoshida
Tue 26 Dec 12.30PM
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur
5
Southampton
2
Kane [22' 39' 67'] Alli [49'] Heung-Min [51']
goal
Boufal [64'] Tadic [82']
yellow card
Højbjerg (21') Long (58')
Referee: Graham Scott | Venue: Wembley Stadium | Attendance: 57,297

Southampton’s Boxing Day trip to the capital ended in disappointing defeat, as a buoyant Spurs ran out comfortable winners by a three goal margin - directed by another Harry Kane treble.

The striker added to his mounting goal tally with a first-half brace, as well as the completion of his hat-trick in the second period, and the points were further safeguarded with strikes from Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son, who also assisted each other’s efforts.

Sofiane Boufal netted a consolation goal in the 64th minute, with a fulminating left foot strike, beating Hugo Lloris at his near post, but yielding little reward for the travelling Saints, before substitute Dušan Tadić reduced arrears again late on.

Mauricio Pellegrino made four changes to his side, including a consecutive starting berth for young Matt Targett at left-back.

With both Saints’ regular fullbacks, Cédric and Ryan Bertrand, sidelined by persisting injuries, Pellegrino reverted to a back four with Jack Stephens on the right for a second game running.

Six minutes had elapsed before the home side had carved an opening in characteristic style, culminating in a Kane assault on goal. Alli worked the original space, using clever feet and vision to unearth Eriksen’s incisive charge forward.

The Dane fizzed a delivery low in to the path of the onrushing Kane, whose contact sent the ball a comfortable yard wide.

Alli had strayed in to a dangerous position again moments later, lurking ominously at the back post when found by Serge Aurier’s lofted cross-field pass. The forward elected to take the shot on the volley, cushioning the effort with care, but not with the required accuracy.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Tottenham’s Harry Kane scores his second goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on December 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Harry Kane gives Spurs a two-goal lead early on

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg found his way in to the referee’s book in the 20th minute, clipping Danny Rose as the fullback had wriggled free of a series of attempted challenges. The resulting free-kick was delivered meticulously by Eriksen, and dispatched in exemplary fashion by the goal-ravenous Kane, who looked intent on overtaking Alan Shearer's Premier League landmark of 36 goals in a calendar year from the off.

A partnership all too familiar for the Spurs faithful inside Wembley Stadium, Eriksen and Kane had struck a clear understanding from the first whistle, and their combination play proved lethal as the home side edged in front.

A constant threat, Eriksen fizzed a shot narrowly wide on the half-hour mark, as Saints struggled to find any early rhythm, although some joy was being gained down either flank, inhabited by Nathan Redmond and Boufal.

The latter tried his luck from distance midway through the half, getting enough purchase and pace on the shot to force Lloris to parry the effort, rather than hold it. Danny Rose had made a recovery run in order to clean up the spillage, nodding the ball back to his ‘keeper unchallenged, before the Frenchman carelessly allowed it to slip through his gloves before then gathering.

Talismanic Kane, who was fresh from a hat-trick last time out against Burnley, doubled his tally, and Spurs’ lead in the 40th minute. Son, almost operating as an auxiliary striker, found some space down the left before firing a low cross in to the area of indecision between ‘keeper and defender.

Arriving late, the England international made no mistake from six yards, giving the London outfit a commanding lead entering the break.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Southampton’s Shane Long during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley Stadium on December 26, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Shane Long goes close early in the second period

In need of a big second half performance, the visitors were out of the blocks quickest, with Shane Long and Mario Lemina both going close. The Irish international saw his effort well saved, before the woodwork intervened as Lemina’s drive cannoned agonisingly off the crossbar.

A quick-fire double had the hosts back in command soon after, though, as Alli and Son contributed goals to add to Kane’s first-half brace. The architect of most of Spurs’ attacking play, Alli engineered a yard of space and curled an effort inside the far post, before turning provider as Son added a fourth in the 51st minute.

Boufal netted a consolation goal in the 64th minute, but his work was soon undone as Kane completed his hat-trick four minutes later, with an impressive show of strength to hold off his opposition defender before deftly chipping the ball in to the net.

Substitute Tadić reduced the deficit again in the 80th minute, looping a shot over Lloris, but the game had already escaped Saints, who face another difficult away trip in four days time against Manchester United.

Tottenham Hotspur

Head to Head Stats

Southampton
  • Possession (%)
    57
    comparison angle
    43
  • Shots
    16
    comparison angle
    16
  • Shots on target
    7
    comparison angle
    6
  • Corners
    3
    comparison angle
    8
  • Passes Complete
    408
    comparison angle
    265

Tottenham Hotspur

1
Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)
24
Serge Aurier
6
Davinson Sánchez
3
Danny Rose
5
Jan Vertonghen
23
Christian Eriksen
7
Son Heung-Min goal
replace Erik Lamela (76′)
15
Eric Dier
20
Dele Alli goal
replace Harry Winks (84′)
19
Mousa Dembélé
replace Moussa Sissoko (54′)
10
Harry Kane goal goal goal
11
Erik Lamela
2
Kieran Trippier
33
Ben Davies
18
Fernando Llorente
29
Harry Winks
13
Michel Vorm
17
Moussa Sissoko

Southampton

44
Fraser Forster (GK)
3
Maya Yoshida (C)
5
Jack Stephens
6
Wesley Hoedt
33
Matt Targett
replace Sam McQueen (77′)
14
Oriol Romeu
22
Nathan Redmond
replace Dusan Tadic (63′) goal
19
Sofiane Boufal goal
23
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg yellow card
18
Mario Lemina
replace Manolo Gabbiadini (63′)
7
Shane Long yellow card
16
James Ward-Prowse
38
Sam McQueen
8
Steven Davis
26
Jérémy Pied
13
Alex McCarthy
20
Manolo Gabbiadini
11
Dusan Tadic
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