Southampton have produced quite an upset in the English Premier League this week. Despite being heavy underdogs entering Saturday’s match against Tottenham, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men did not give up on their quest to secure three vital points at home and ended producing a huge upset thanks to a 2-1 win at St. Mary’s Stadium. Harry Kane had opened the score for the Spurs, but second-half strikes from Yann Valery and James Ward-Prowse flipped the script for the Saints.
Tottenham began on top in this match, though. Southampton couldn’t cope with the Spurs’ intensity and the best example was that they received two yellow cards before the 25th minute mark. Tottenham created some decent chances over that span as well, with the clearest one being a free kick from Christian Eriksen that rattled the crossbar when Angus Gunn was absolutely beaten.
It seemed the goal was close to arrive when the Spurs broke the deadlock in the 26th minute thanks to Harry Kane. The towering striker took advantage of a perfect cross from Dele Alli and, acknowledging he had space inside the box, he coolly put the ball into the back of the net. It was Kane’s 200th goal for club and country. And it allowed the Spurs to secure a 1-0 lead that would last until half time.
Saints’ different attitude changed the course of the game
Southampton needed to turn things around, and they came out of the break with a different attitude. Even though Kane continued to pose a threat upfront, the Saints slowly began to take control of the match. Nathan Redmond played a huge part in Southampton’s turnaround, as the winger created two clear scoring chances in a 10-minute span that meant business for the hosts. They never gave up, and ended equalizing the score with less than 15 minutes left on the clock.
The equalizer came through Yann Valery. The French defender took advantage of a great ball from Stuart Armstong, and the 20-year-old fired an absolute rocket that went straight past Hugo Lloris and into the back of the net. But Southampton were not done, and only needed five more minutes to complete their comeback. This time, it was James Ward-Prowse who gave the Saints the edge with a stunning free kick that went over the ball. The Englishman had scored a similar strike against Manchester United recently, and once again proved why he can be a menace from set-piece situations.
Ward-Prowse certainly deserves praise and not just for scoring the winning goal, but because of the impressive form he’s shown in 2019. During this calendar year, the attacking midfielder has six goals in his last nine Premier League matches. He’s also scored in three consecutive matches, and has emerged as a vital piece on Hasenhüttl’s 3-4-1-2 system.
The Spurs tried to even things up in the final minutes, but Southampton closed things out with relative ease. It was a huge win for the Saints, as they avoided falling into the red zone with these three points and knowing Cardiff won their match as well. While Tottenham should feel disappointed with this result. It was a defeat that wasn’t on anyone’s plans, and it might have been the nail in the coffin for their title pursuit since they’re now 10 points behind the top spot with eight games left.
Southampton: Gunn (6); Bednarek (6), Yoshida (5), Vestergaard (5); Valery (6), Oriol Romeu (4) (Long (5), 46’) (Armstrong (7), 73’), Højbjerg (7), Bertrand (6); Ward-Prowse (7), Redmond (6); Austin (5) (Sims (5), 46’)
Bench: McCarthy (GK), Stephens, Targett, Slattery
Tottenham: Lloris (4); Walker-Peters (6), Sanchez (5), Vertonghen (5), Rose (6) (Davies (-), 82’); Sissoko (5), Dier (5), Eriksen (7); Alli (6) (Llorente (-), 82’); Kane (7), Lucas Moura (5) (Son (5), 72’)
Bench: Gazzaniga (GK), Foyth, Lamela, Wanyama
Goals: Kane (0-1, 26’), Valery (1-1, 76’), Ward-Prowse (2-1, 81’)
Referee: Kevin Friend
Yellow Cards: Oriol Romeu, Valery, Højbjerg, Redmond (SOU); Walker-Peters, Sissoko (TOT)
Red Cards: None
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