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Tottenham 1 Southampton 2: Davis double boosts Saints´ European hopes

Steven Davis boosted Southampton’s European hopes with a goal in either half as the the visitors came from a goal down to beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.

The Northern Ireland international produced a fine winning goal in the closing 20 minutes to seal all three points and move Ronald Koeman’s side above West Ham and into the final Europa League place.

Spurs – who are in danger of losing their grip on second spot – went into the game having seen their title aspirations ended by Chelsea last time out, but they started well and were ahead early on through Son Heung-min.

Davis pegged them back with a simple finish that Hugo Lloris should have done better with, while Shane Long missed an early second-half chance to put the visitors ahead.

It mattered little, though, as Davis placed a low effort beyond Lloris to complete their comeback and deliver another blow to Spurs’ chances of surpassing their best Premier League points total of 72.

Defeat means Mauricio Pochettino’s side need to beat Newcastle United on the final day to move on to 73 points and guarantee their place in the top three, without having to rely on other results.

With plenty on the line for both sides the game began at a frantic pace and the impressive Christian Eriksen was immediately to the fore, the Denmark international testing Fraser Forster in the fifth minute.

Having soaked up the early Spurs pressure, Southampton – unchanged from their win over Manchester City – enjoyed success on the counter-attack, with Dusan Tadic and Ryan Bertrand flashing low crosses across Lloris’ goal.

It was the hosts who broke the deadlock, though, as Son collected Eriksen’s pass before dancing around Forster and two defenders to tap into an unguarded goal in the 16th minute for Spurs’ 68th of the season – their most in a single Premier League season.

Harry Kane and Eriksen both wasted chances to double Spurs’ advantage and they were made to pay as Davis levelled just after the half hour, the midfielder converting Tadic’s pass from close range.

The home side – who recalled Ryan Mason for the suspended Mousa Dembele – should have been back in front by the break, but Forster was on hand to deny Kane in stoppage time.

Long was presented with a glorious chance from Tadic’s pinpoint cross nine minutes after the restart as the Republic of Ireland international rose above Danny Rose, but failed to get enough on his header.

After a water break in the 69th minute due to the soaring temperatures, Southampton caught their hosts napping with the winning goal.

Davis exchanged passes with Tadic on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, jinked away from one defender and found the bottom corner with a precise finish.

Pochettino’s men pushed for an equaliser in the closing minutes, but Kane and Erik Lamela were wasteful and Nacer Chadli was brilliantly denied by Forster as Southampton clung on for the win, moving them onto 60 points – equalling their club record set last season.


Key Opta Stats:

– Tottenham have lost more points when leading (20) and won more points when trailing (19) than any other Premier League side this season

– Only Leicester City (41) have won more Premier League points in 2016 than Southampton (36).

– Dusan Tadic has been involved in eight goals in his last four Premier League games (scored 2, assisted 6).

– Son Heung-min has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time.

Sun 8 May, 2016
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