Heartbreaking cup exit for Saints

By SFC Media time Wed 05 Feb Spurs v Saints
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Wed 05 Feb 7.45PM
English FA Cup
Tottenham Hotspur
Stephens (og) [12'] Moura [78'] Heung-Min [87']
Long [34'] Ings [72']
Fernandes (59')
yellow card
Bednarek (55') Romeu (84') Adams (85') Gunn (86')
Referee: David Coote | Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium | Attendance: 56,046

Southampton’s FA Cup run came to a cruel end as they were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham Hotspur in a gripping fourth-round replay in north London.

Saints looked to be on course for the last 16 when Danny Ings fired them into a late 2-1 lead, after goals from Tanguy Ndombele and Shane Long had made it 1-1 in the first-half, but there was still enough time for Spurs to turn the game on its head through a Lucas Moura strike and a Son Heung-min penalty.

It was harsh on Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men, who had the better of much of the match and could reflect on another impressive performance away from home this season.

Hasenhüttl made two changes from the side that had faced Liverpool a few days earlier – one enforced and one by choice.

Moussa Djenepo missed out through illness, which resulted in a start for Sofiane Boufal, whose late goal in the first game had forced a replay, while the Saints boss opted to stick with Angus Gunn in goal for the cup, with Alex McCarthy rested at home.

Gunn was straight into action, saving from Ryan Sessegnon in the fourth minute after Son had laid the ball back to him inside the area.

Saints then got on the front foot themselves, coming close to an opener less than a minute later, as they broke forward through Nathan Redmond down the left. He spotted Ings making a run on the opposite side, angling a ball into his path 18 yards out, with Ings’s first touch seeing him cut back inside Jan Vertonghen, only for his left-footed shot to go straight at Hugo Lloris.

It was the start of a positive little spell for Saints, as Boufal flashed a ball right across the face of the area shortly afterwards, before Redmond himself was denied by the feet of Lloris after receiving a pass from Long on the left and driving into the box.

20200205 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FA Cup Replay
Spurs take the lead through Tanguy Ndombele's deflected shot (Photo: Matt Watson)

But, just as it looked as though they were threatening a breakthrough, a moment of ill-fortune cost them, as Spurs took a 12th-minute lead.

Sessegnon burst through the defence, only to be denied by a fantastic Jack Stephens tackle. However, the ball fell into the path of Ndombele, whose first-time shot from the edge of the area hit Stephens as he was getting off the floor, sending the ball spinning past Gunn and into the back of the net.

It was cruel on Saints, but they fashioned a wonderful opportunity of their own to level the match on the 19th minute.

James Ward-Prowse produced a stunning, curling pass from the right touchline, in behind the Spurs defence and perfectly into the path of Ings’s clever run in between the centre-back and full-back. The Saints striker got all the way to the corner of the six-yard box before striking the ball, but sent it high past Lloris and against the crossbar.

A minute later, Saints, roared on by their travelling contingent of 5,690 fans, continued to press, with Ryan Bertrand’s angled shot from distance so nearly pushed into the path of Long by Lloris.

In the 34th minute, though, the Spurs keeper did exactly that.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Shane Long(L) of Southampton scores to make it 1-1 during the FA Cup Fourth Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on February 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Matt Watson/SouthamptonFC via Getty Images)
Shane Long equalises in the first half for Southampton (Photo: Matt Watson)

This time it was from a low Redmond shot back across goal, after he had received a pass from Boufal and spun into a shooting position, and Long gratefully pounced on the loose ball to slot home a well-deserved equaliser.

Four minutes later, however, Saints suffered a significant blow.

Ward-Prowse went in for a challenge with Sessegnon near the touchline, with the Spurs player catching the Saints midfielder, who fell to the ground in significant pain. It ended with Ward-Prowse being carried off on a stretcher, as a worried Hasenhüttl watched on.

It forced the Saints boss into a change, as Jannik Vestergaard was sent on to partner Jan Bednarek in the heart of defence, and Stephens, who had been outstanding at centre-back, moved to the right of the back four.

20200205 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FA Cup Replay
James Ward-Prowse receives treatment after being injured (Photo: Matt Watson)

As the clock counted down to half-time, Bednarek on three occasions produced brilliant late interventions to deny a trio of menacing Spurs counter-attacks, meaning the sides went into half-time level at 1-1.

Neither manager made any changes in personnel at the interval, and it was Saints who created the opening chance of the second half, as Oriol Romeu’s cross from a deep position on 49 minutes found Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who looped a header just over.

Moments later, the visitors carved out an even better opportunity.

Ings won the ball just outside the Spurs area, darted into it and showed excellent footwork to work room for a shot. His effort was blocked by Eric Dier, but the ball spun to the right and into the path of an unmarked Boufal, but he dragged his shot back across goal comfortably wide of the far post.

Saints almost paid a big price for the wastefulness in the 53rd minute, as Son’s cross from the right picked out Moura, but he somehow headed wide from six yards out.

Spurs boss José Mourinho then made his first change, as Vertonghen departed to be replaced by Gedson Fernandes.

The game continued to be an open one, and Saints went close on 58 minutes, as Stephens dug out a ball from near the corner flag, with Long flicking just wide at the near post.

Mourinho was then prompted into another change, as goalscorer Ndombele was taken off and Dele Alli sent on.

20200205 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FA Cup Replay
Jannik Vestergaard goes close to heading Saints in front (Photo: Matt Watson)

Still, though, it was Saints who pushed, and they came so close to going ahead in the 64th minute, as Vestergaard got on the end of a Bertrand corner, only for Lloris to tip his header over.

Saints then made their second change, as Boufal was withdrawn from the action and Stuart Armstrong introduced, having recovered from injury to make the bench.

Then, on 72 minutes, Hasenhüttl’s side finally got the second goal they deserved.

It was a sensational one too, as Redmond launched a phenomenal counter, beginning on the corner of his own box, racing up the right touchline, cutting inside two Spurs players, then dancing past another and, finally, as he raced into Tottenham territory, releasing Ings, who drove to the edge of the area, cut onto his right foot and curled an unerring shot into the bottom corner.

20200205 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton FA Cup Replay
Saints celebrate Danny Ings's strike (Photo: Matt Watson)

The lead would last only six minutes, though, as Spurs quickly regained parity through a slick move.

Moura exchanged passes with Alli, then cut past Vestergaard on the edge of the box and hammered a low shot just inside the far post, giving Gunn no chance.

Hasenhüttl then made his final change of the night, on 81 minutes, sending on Ché Adams in place of Long, who appeared to pick up a slight knock shortly before.

It wasn’t to be, though, as Spurs netted the decisive goal with two minutes left.

It came via a spot kick, after Son was judged to have been brought down by Gunn, as he reached an Alli pass, although it was debatable on the replays whether there was much in the way of contact at all. Still, VAR did not overturn referee David Coote’s decision, and Son made no mistake from the penalty, firing low into the corner, to send Saints out of the cup in cruel fashion.

Tottenham Hotspur

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Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)
Toby Alderweireld
Japhet Tanganga
Jan Vertonghen
replace Gedson Fernandes (54′) yellow card
Tanguy Ndombele
replace Dele Alli (61′)
Harry Winks
Serge Aurier
Ryan Sessegnon
replace Davinson Sánchez (90′)
Eric Dier
Son Heung-Min goal
Lucas Moura goal
Gedson Fernandes
Davinson Sánchez
Paulo Gazzaniga
Oliver Skipp
Troy Parrott
Dennis Cirkin
Dele Alli


Angus Gunn (GK) yellow card
Ryan Bertrand
Jack Stephens
Jan Bednarek yellow card
James Ward-Prowse
replace Jannik Vestergaard (40′)
Nathan Redmond
Sofiane Boufal
replace Stuart Armstrong (67′)
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)
Oriol Romeu yellow card
Shane Long goal
replace Che Adams (81′) yellow card
Danny Ings goal
Che Adams
Michael Obafemi
Jake Vokins
Jannik Vestergaard
Stuart Armstrong
William Smallbone
Harry Lewis
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