Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Southampton
It’s been a whirlwind few days in N17 – Mourinho sent packing – Super League backtracking. So what next? The comeback, that’s what!
Ryan Mason taking the helm of a ship sailing in particularly choppy seas. The 29-year-old was excited about taking the role on an interim basis. His first task, selecting a side – minus the injured Harry Kane – to see off Southampton.
As it turns out, Gareth Bale isn’t too shabby a replacement, although early plaudits went to stopper, Hugo Lloris who produced an incredible double-save within the first two minutes to deny Mohammed Salisu and Che Adams – the latter, visibly stunned by the Frenchman’s stunning agility.
Giovani Lo Celso was unable to direct goalwards after the hosts had seized on a defensive lapse from Salisu, meanwhile, Lloris again saved the day after Kyle Walker-Peters found himself with a clear sight of goal.
Indeed, the Saints had started the brighter and just before the half-hour mark they gave the rookie chief a conundrum. Danny Ings guided a pin-point James Ward-Prowse flag-kick beyond the extended Lloris and in via an upright.
Spurs had created very little and were missing the services of their talisman. But what of the Welshman? A left-footed attempt which fizzed and dipped, but ultimately did little to test Alex McCarthy. Must do better – And on the hour, he did – picking up the pieces to curl home from an angle after Lucas Moura’s initial attempt had been blocked.
Salisu’s intervention denied Bale a swift second, while Heung Min-Son’s deflected strike, finishing a move involving Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon was chalked off after referee, David Coote was invited to look at the monitor.
Enter VAR again – Moussa Djenepo was late on Region, the foul initially given outside the box – Stockley Park had other ideas – Son dispatching the resulting spot-kick with aplomb.
The win moved Spurs within two points of the top four – They now turn their attention to the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, April 25 where they face Manchester City (4:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Sergio Reguilón, Giovani Lo Celso (Erik Lamela 79’), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele (Harry Winks 73’), Lucas Moura, Heung-Min Son, Gareth Bale (Steven Bergwijn 83’) Subs nots used: Davinson Sánchez, Joe Hart (GK), Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, Japhet Tanganga, Carlos Vinicius
Booked: Tanguy Ndombele (foul), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (foul)
Goals: Gareth Bale 60’, Heung Min-Son 90’ (penalty)
Southampton: Alex McCarthy, Kyle Walker-Peters, Jan Bednarek, Jannik Vestergaard, Mohammed Salisu, Theo Walcott (Moussa Djenepo 67’), James Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Tella (Nathan Redmond 84’), Che Adams, Danny Ings (Ibrahima Diallo 57’) Subs not used: Jack Stephens, Takumi Minamino, Dan N’Lundulu, Fraser Forster (GK), Will Ferry, Alex Jankewitz
Booked: Moussa Djenepo (foul)
Goals: Danny Ings 29’
Referee: David Coote
Assistants: Adam Nunn and Nick Hopton
Fourth Official: Darren England
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Assistant VAR: Marc Perry