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    Southampton 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report


    By Tom Regan
    regantalkssport.com
    @TomRegan29

    Tottenham Hotspur put the disappointment of the Newcastle defeat behind them and took maximum points back to N17 following an important 2-0 win at Southampton. Manchester United’s surprise 2-1 home defeat to Norwich saw Spurs take fourth place from Louis Van Gaal’s side on goal difference.
    Moussa Dembele’s presence had been sorely missed in recent weeks, so his return to the starting XI was much welcomed by the travelling fans. Danny Rose was ruled out due to illness, so Ben Davies got his first Premier League nod since 4th October at Swansea. Dembele sat in alongside Eric Dier, and Dele Alli played between Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.

    The alertness of Hugo Lloris was tested early on, but he was up to the challenge as he came well off his line to take the ball off Sadio Mane’s head. Shortly after, Mane received a ball from the right, and his effort was deflected for a corner.
    Mane was proving to be a nuisance, and Dusan Tadic provided the Senegalese international with another opportunity on 7 minutes, but Lloris produced a wonderful save with Graziano Pelle following up.

    It took nearly 15 minutes for the north Londoners to get a foothold in the game. Some slick football between Dembele, Lamela and Harry Kane saw the visitors win a corner through Eriksen. The Saints attacked again, but Pochettino’s side responded as Eriksen fired in a cross/shot from the right which drifted across the face of the goal.
    On the half hour mark, Eriksen had a free kick blocked and former Saint Toby Alderweireld’s long range header landed on the roof of the net. Kane hit a good effort from the right, but Paulo Gazzaniga saved well, giving the Lilywhites a corner.

    After some excellent refereeing, Kane scored a very neat goal on the 100th appearance for his club. Kevin Friend waved play-on at least twice as several Tottenham players were taken out. Alli was able to find Kane, who took it on and nonchalantly slotted past the helpless Gazzaniga.

    Just three minutes later, Spurs doubled their lead. The ball ran to the advancing Kyle Walker who had bags of space on the right. He hit a delightful ball behind the defence, and Dele Alli could not believe how much time and space he was allowed as he tapped in from close range.
    Moments into the second half, Dier played a great ball to Walker, who passed inside to Kane. Harry showed fine skill and determination to take the ball on before firing a shot which drifted harmlessly past the back post.

    Dembele was growing in stature as the game went on, dominating the midfield battle against fellow heavyweight Victor Wanayama. The Belgian released Alli down the right with a lovely ball, and Eriksen’s shot won a corner.
    Ronald Koeman decided it was time for a change on 64 minutes as he withdrew Davis and Tadic, and Juanmi and Shane Long entered the fray.

    Not for the first time this term, Alli received another booking, and as a precaution he was replaced by Tom Carroll with 11 minutes remaining.
    After some crisp passing, Carroll fed Eriksen, whose shot from distance was held by Gazzaniga. Strong play from Lamela on the right allowed Carroll a good chance, but his shot was too weak and the keeper comfortably saved.

    French number one and Lilywhites Captain Lloris showed why he is a fans favourite, producing a superb save low to his left from James Ward-Prowse in added time.
    There were initial concerns when Kane took a knock making a challenge near the end of the game. He was replaced by Son, but looked ok as he left the pitch. The north Londoners have a full week to prepare for the Boxing Day encounter with Norwich, who stunned Man Utd at Old Trafford.

    It has been a fascinating season, and who would have thought Leicester City would be top of the pile with 38 points from 17 games. A draw would the best outcome for Tottenham when Man City visit the Emirates on Monday night. One thing remains certain, the rest of the season is going to be enthralling.
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    Item Reviewed: Southampton 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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