The game has two halves and lasts 90 minutes…

…will someone please tell Spurs.

Away to Southampton, Spurs were at it again. A one half performance leading to hanging on at the end and being grateful to come away with the victory and three points.

Another game that could have got away from them when it should have been well out of the reach of the hosts by half-time. Though of course Spurs hadn’t exactly got the best of results at Southampton’s home since their move from The Dell to St. Mary’s. No wins out of five and no goals scored. But that was then and this side is currently one of the league whipping boys, conceding plenty of goals, numbers that on average would have made things a bit more comfortable.

In other words a lead that couldn’t be halved with one shot.

The first half was all Spurs, doing what they should be doing, attacking at pace, getting wide and not letting up. Having Bale back on the left after last week’s absence helped. But one thing was typical, after one Bale run he got close to the byeline, put in an excellent cross between ‘keeper and defence, prime for a tap in – no striker in sight of course – at the the time I Tweeted…

Low and behold it was the first and last time. Why when something works so well do we never see it tried again? It’s not like Southampton did anything to stop it.

On the other side though something was working and was tried a few times. A ball into space down the right wing for Walker to run onto and when he got to it an immediate cut back to about the edge of the box for Defoe. The only problem being Defoe. Three times he had a shot – two in the first half, one in the second – and each one was increasingly further away from the target than the last. I think the last one ended up closer to Portsmouth than the net. On each occasion the ‘keeper had to do nothing.

With no striker on the bench – Adebayor apparently still struggling with injury. Really? – there’s no option but Defoe.

With Demebele still out it looks like AVB has no option than Huddlestone. It was another Huddlestone type performance. Some nice balls around the park but Sandro has a lot of ground to cover. The Hudd though played his part in the opener, a delightful chip back across the box to the advancing Bale, the Welshman’s header curling inside the far post for a goal against his old team.

The second started with a nice run by Lennon, looking one way passing the other he put a great through ball to Defoe. Defoe’s attempt was dribbling towards the goal and should have been cut out but the Southampton defender made a right mess of things and Dempsey bundled it n, for his second away winner for the club. Though again the American didn’t have a particularly inspiring game.

Shortly after Southampton had their best attack of the first half. Typical, two up and cruising thinking the job’s done. Sign of things to come.

It was no surprise that that’s how the second half panned out. Southampton on the front foot, Spurs hanging on and barely stringing two passes together. In an increasingly awful second half display that got worse and worse. No surprise that they were winning every tackle, winning every second ball, no surprise they got a goal back, no surprise that it came from shoddy defending that could have been avoided.

It all came from a free-kick which Friedel decided to come out for and completely missed – is the pressure of Lloris getting to him, can’t say I’ve seen him do that before – Southampton’s defender Yoshida should have scored then. It came from the resulting corner. Seven Spurs players in the 6 yard box, not including Friedel, two from Southampton but from the ‘keeper’s initial save Rodriguez bangs it in.

From then on it was real desperation. Not only did Southampton look likely to equalise it looked like they could do more than that, with neigh on half an hour to go, what with added time.

That they didn’t was largely down to Sandro. When the manager decided to bring on Livermore just after the hour I thought it might be for Sandro, as it was in Maribor on Thursday, luckily it was for Huddlestone. With under a minute of 90 to go after more shambolic defending a pile driver from outside the area was met by Sandro’s head. No Rio Ferdinand poncing out of blocking this goal bound effort. No, knocked off his feet as he got his head on it. No rolling around after, straight up and then pulling his socks up. Saved the three points.

Should have been a cruise to the win, plenty of goals added to the plus column.

Another three points, up to fourth with things not being perfect. Most the games have been a one half performance. Haven’t seen the best of Dempsey or Sigurdsson. No current alternative to Defoe’s numerous chances per goal. Some flaky defending. But still fourth. Sort those all out and…

Plenty of talk before the weekend’s fixtures and after those games about diving. Now as I’ve posted here before the foreigners didn’t bring diving with them. Players were doing it well before the mass influx.

What they did bring with them is what we saw at the weekend.

Torres was fouled by Evans. The defender caught Torres’ right leg. But why did that cause Torres left leg to immediate fold up at the knee. That’s what they’ve brought. Going down straight away when they could carry on, even if they stumble on a bit. Also going down while screaming their head off at the slightest touch. Again Torres guilty of this, along with the likes of Suarez.

Now was the first example of this on English pitches that ARSEnal hard man Patrick Vieira, who always went down with the biggest girly scream at the slightest touch.

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