Tottenham recover from early setback to march past Southampton
Maurico Pochettino's side won 4-1 this evening at St Mary's21:54 Wednesday 28 December 2016, 21:54 28 Dec 2016
Dele Alli scored twice during his 50th Premier League appearance as Tottenham came from behind to beat Southampton 4-1 at St Mary's.
The Saints took an early lead thanks to a fine Virgil van Dijk header, but were unable to hold onto their advantage for long. The England midfielder pulled Spurs back into the game with a header of his own, getting on the end of a deflected cross and rising above van Dijk to nod home off the crossbar.
Both sides went into the game boasting impressive defensive records - Tottenham had conceded only two goals in their last four games, while Claude Puel's side hadn't conceded a goal at home in the league in their last three fixtures.
Southampton started the brighter of the sides, pressing Tottenham high up the pitch and making it almost impossible to play out from defence.
But as their high tempo game began to slow, the visitors were able to implement their own style on the game and used their full backs to good effect in attacking areas.
Harry Kane took his scoring tally into double figures for the season after the break. The England striker got on the end of an out-swinging corner and nodded past Fraser Forster.
Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's second goal of the game. Image: Andrew Matthews / EMPICS Sport
He had a wonderful opportunity to kill off the game shortly after. Spurs picked up the ball on the break and as it was slipped through for Alli to go one-on-one, he was pulled from behind by Nathan Redmond, forcing him to shoot wide.
Redmond, for his trouble, was shown a red card and Mike Dean awarded Mauricio Pochettino's side a penalty. Kane stepped up to try and double his own tally and put the game to bed. Instead, he fired high over the bar.
Replays appeared to show that the turf he placed his standing foot on during the shot moved causing the ball to shift position and balloon off target.
In any case, with the game now firmly within Tottenham's grasp, they squandered another chance to finish Southampton. Christian Eriksen struck the bar in the final quarter of the game, while Danny Rose put his effort well wide after being played into the Saints' box.
Puel decided to throw the dice and used all three substitutions and switching to a more attacking formation. Shane Long was one of those to come off the bench, but his impact was minimal.
Tottenham finally sealed the win in the dying minutes of the game after a wonderful pass from Eriksen found Son Heung-min and the South Korean kept his finish low to wrap up the points.
Alli made absolutely sure of the result just moments later with a beautiful curling effort to round off the scoring and put the icing on an important away result for Tottenham.
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