And Spurs are back where they started

Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Southampton - Premier League - December 5th, 2018

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After the “disaster” of Sunday’s defeat, Spurs are back where they were on Saturday, third in the league, following the midweek fixtures.

It was all doom and gloom on Sunday as Spurs dropped out of the top four following their North London derby defeat, along with a Chelsea victory. But a win against Southampton, with Woolwich drawing and Chelsea losing meant that after the first midweek fixtures of the season Spurs are back where they were on Saturday, third in the league.

Was it the best time to meet Southampton? Mark Hughes finally gone but the new manager not in charge yet. There could be a new manager bounce but unlikely with an interim. It would have been worse if Hasenhuttl had been in charge, they call him an Austrian Klopp, watching him in the Bundesliga he reminds me more of Tim Sherwood, but there’s a bit of both. He seems the sort that can ra-ra-ra a team into life – he’s certainly more lively than the coaches they’ve had down there recently.

It was a real shame and possibly the only real downer on the night that this wasn’t the game that got Mark Hughes sacked. Though it is good to see the back of that fraud from the game, maybe it would have been better for Spurs if he had still been their boss as doing over Stoke under Hughes was a regular thing for Pochettino’s side.

They could have done the post-Hughes Saints over but took their foot off the gas once the game seemed beyond the visitors. I do wish they’d go on to kill teams off, not give ’em a sniff, and Southampton are a team crying out to be annihilated.

The pattern of Spurs early dominance started early. The third minute when Dier pinged a ball from the left back position, cross-field to Trippier on the right wing, his header fell right on Son’s right foot, the ball unfortunately cannoned off the post. A cracking attempt and unusual in that Son usual scores these hard chances.

That cross-field ball to Trippier as on all night, they just couldn’t capitalise on it. Trippier making a mess or turning back too much. That was the main problem, too much fannying about in possession.

It didn’t take much long after that to open the scoring. A ball up the left found Moura in acres of space, he won a corner. From that Trippier took a quick short one to Eriksen, he put a hard cross into the box, which Kane ran through without hindrance or even being noticed to knock it in at the near post. Kane has an amazing ability to find space and the ball in a crowded area.

For all the dominance Southampton could very well have been equal fifteen minutes later. Toby let a long ball go over his head, caught out in a manner that would have seen Foyth being given dogs abuse as on Sunday. Played back it took a cracking save from Hugo and an offside miss to keep the lead. Wasn’t the last time he’d save the day

Spurs were peppering the Southampton goal but they went in at the break just one to the good. It was ten minutes into the second half when the lead was doubled. Again from a corner, follow a save from Eriksen’s free-kick. Trippier’s corner wasn’t that good but it found Moura and at the second attempt he found the back of the net.

Son was flying as he has been overt the last few games. He killed the game off a few minutes later. Eriksen’s ball down the right channel was cut out but Trippier blocked the clearance into Kane’s path, his perfectly curled cross cut out the defenders to find Son in front of goal for a well taken finish.

From there they took the foot of the gas and left Southampton into the game. The visitors were having all of the ball and having a number of good chances. Hugo was having to make saves and when he wasn’t the woodwork was coming to Spurs rescue.

Hugo was eventually beaten deep into added time. Charlie Austin obviously didn’t have a post match meltdown about the fact that VAR is not in use as it would have chalked his goal off for being offside.

So a bad week that ended as a good week. Yes they’ve lost points on the top two and are closer to the two below them than they could have been. I just wish they would go for the jugular, really do a team like this, low on confidence and there for the taking. make a statement. Still, can’t have everything. Three points will have to do. Just a shame we didn’t get to see Mark Hughes’ miserable phizog one last time.

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