TOTTENHAM IN 5TH AFTER 4-1 WIN AT ST. MARY’S

Dele Alli bagged a brace for Tottenham Hotspur

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR ARE IN FIFTH ON PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE AFTER 4-1 AGAINST SOUTHAMPTON

Premier League: Southampton 1 - 4 Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs fans were treated to a wonderfully entertaining festive holiday match as Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino’s side sent out a red flag warning to their EPL rivals that they are still league title contenders as they soundly defeated Southampton away at St. Mary’s Stadium with goals from Dele Alli 19 min, Harry Kane min 52, Heung-Min Son min 85, and Dele Alli min 87. Southampton’s only goal by Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring at 2 min.

The pressure was on the Spurs away at St Mary’s on Wednesday night after top of the table titan clubs Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United had all won their EPL matches over Christmas. and now it was Tottenham’s turn against Southampton, a club with only one home loss ahead of Wednesday night's encounter.

In the end a fit Tottenham 11 man squad beat a 10-man Southampton side as Dele Alli hit a double to lead fightback along with Harry Kane and Heung-Man Son.

Squads

Southampton

Forster, Cedric, Fonte, van Dijk, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Davis, Redmond, Rodriguez, Boufal. Subs: Yoshida, Long, Tadic, Martina, Reed, Hojbjerg, Taylor. 

Tottenham Hotspur

Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Dembele, Wanyama, Sissoko, Alli, Eriksen, Kane. Subs: Son, Janssen, Vorm, Nkoudou, Wimmer, Winks, Davies. 

Referee: Jon Moss

Tottenham began the match at St Mary’s aware that defeat would all but end their hope of winning the EPL title this campaign and leave them in fifth place in the Premier League, four points behind rivals Arsenal, who currently sit in the final Champions League spot. Southampton began the game in eighth going into Wednesday’s game on the back of their pre-Christmas win against Bournemouth. Saints defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu is available again after picking up five yellow cards. Tottenham, were looking to make it three wins on the bounce after victories over Burnley and Hull City.

After Tottenham's victory over Southampton, they are sitting in 5th place with 36 points. Chelsea are in first place on the Premier League Table with 46 points, Liverpool is in second with 40 points, Manchester City are in third with 39 points, Arsenal are in fourth with 37 points, and Manchester United are in sixth place with 33 points behind Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur were able to recover from going a goal behind inside two minutes to run out 4-1 winners.

Kenyan international midfielder Victor Wanyama enjoyed making a winning return to Southampton as he reflected on the Spurs’ 4-1 triumph at St Mary’s. Wanyama joined Tottenham last summer after three years with the Saints and has started every Premier League game since the start of the season.


Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring for Southampton inside 85 seconds. Dele Alli headed the Spurs back level. In the second half, Spurs turned the screw as Harry Kane’s header made it 2-1. Kane missed a penalty after Nathan Redmond was sent off, before late goals from substitute Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli sealed a memorable victory in Tottenham’s  first post-Christmas outing.

“It was a bit emotional for me today, it was a little bit difficult but as the game went on I was confident. It’s even more difficult but for me, the fans in the stands don’t get into my head. I am focused on the players on the pitch and on doing my job and today I think we played well as a team. I’m really glad that we came here to a tough place and took maximum points,” said Victor Wanyama about his first return to Southampton and mixed reception from the Saints fans. “We know what we can do – we always push each other. We knew we had to get back to our game after they scored very early but we kept our cool, moved the ball well, got our goal and from there we took control of the game. We are all strong in the team. If one of us has a chance and misses it, we know we are going to create another one or that we can do better the next time and you could see that with Harry today – he missed the penalty but he kept going and he was hungry for more. Now it’s important to keep on doing what we are doing and also to keep going game by game as well. Hopefully it can be the same as today, getting maximum points – that’s our aim. We can recover and be ready for the game.”

Christian Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur

Christian Eriksen talked about the Spurs powerful comeback.

“We had to come back on track after the start, we know we are better than that. We started so poorly, they scored after one-and-a-half minutes and it needed some extra work to come back but we had a little bit of luck with all the reflections and at the end of the day, we did well,” said Christian Eriksen. “After we missed the penalty they got a bit of confidence. With the three substitutions they did try to get something back, they had a few small chances but not really big ones but again, when the game is that open, they’re going for it and they’re behind, it makes more space for us.”

The Spurs superstar goalkeeper, Hugo lloris talked after the game about Tottenham’s tough turnaround.

“We know it’s a tough place to come and a tough place to deal with and for sure, they will get points against the top teams in this league,” said Lloris. “The way the game turned for us was fantastic because we rose our levels all together. We could have made the difference earlier in the game but at the end it’s a great result with four goals for the goal difference as well. That’s important too – you never know what will happen. It was a great performance and a great result.”

Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane was asked if there was a lot of pressure to win the match and ahow he felt about it.

“Yes, there was and it’s a difficult place to come. Southampton are a great side and they’ve kept a few clean sheets here so to come here and win 4-1 is a great message to send out to everyone,” said Kane. “It was disappointing because we all said that Southampton like to start fast here and they did that. They came out of the blocks and I don’t think we’d touched the ball before we picked it out of the net. That was disappointing but we showed real character, it was a great finish from Dele to get us back in the game and in the second half we really kicked on, got the second goal early and finished the job off.”

Deli Alli, Tottenham Hotspur

Deli Alli felt good about scoring the Spurs equalizer.

“I got a few headed goals at MK Dons and it’s nice to get another for Tottenham. The start was disappointing with them getting a goal so early but it was important we stuck to the plan and we knew if we did that, the chances would come. We showed we’ve got great character and we’ll look to progress from here,” said Alli.

Next up for Spurs is a trip to Watford and an early 1.30pm kick-off on New Year's Day. Buy Watford v Tottenham Hotspur Tickets for New Year's Day!

Season’s Greetings!

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Dele Alli, Vincent Janssen and Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate victory after the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016 in Southampton, England

Dele Alli scores two goals for Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane takes penalty shot for Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs were ahead 2-1 at St Mary's when Dele Alli broke through on goal and was brought down by Nathan Redmond as he shot. Redmond was sent off with a red card and Harry Kane stepped up – but his standing foot slipped, moving the ball slightly as he struck it - and the ball flew skywards, and kept flying toward Row Z. Later goals from Heung-Min Son and Dele's second secured a 4-1 win in a pressure game after Spurs rivals in the top six had all won on Boxing Day or Tuesday.

"Well let’s start with the fact that Dele should have scored in the first place, so we shouldn’t be in this situation! Before the game I saw a new patch of grass on the penalty spot and when I stepped up to take it my left foot sunk into the floor and that put the ball on a tee. Obviously it went a mile over and the keeper went the wrong way as well, that makes it even worse. I’ve been on a good run of penalties, scored quite a few, so that’s disappointing. I sent the keeper the wrong way but put it in Row Z. I’m just happy we won and it didn’t matter in the end," said Harry Kane about his penalty miss.

"I’ve heard Harry talk a lot about American Football so if there were any coaches watching that one I’m sure they’ll be looking at him for a kicker!,” said Dele. "Look, he’s a fantastic striker, he puts them away all the time in training and in the other games so you always back him to put them away and when he doesn’t it’s a surprise and that just shows the player he is – you never expect him to miss. Finally, I’ve got something on him! We’re on a good run and to have gone 1-0 down, it just shows the character we have and we’re looking to build on that and keep progressing. We’ll move onto the next game now and try to win that one."

Harry Kane celebrates scoring his goal for Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Kane scores header for Tottenham Hotspur

Heung-Min Son scores for Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino, manager Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the media ahead of the Spurs visit to Watford on New Year’s Day.

“He trained well today, he’s recovered from the virus that he got one day before the game against Southampton and we hope that he will be available for Watford, but today he is okay,” Pochettino replied when asked about Toby Alderwelreld’s fitness. “Lamela is still recovering from his problem, he is doing well but now we need to wait for him to recover his fitness and his level. There are no other problems.”


Pochettino was asked if he will pick his side against Watford with the upcoming Chelsea game in mind as well.

 
“No because for us the most important game is Watford. It’s important to try to reduce the gap to the top four, or in the end keep the same gap. We need to be focused on Watford because they are the most important now for us.”


What about catching up to Chelsea and new transfers?


“I think that it’s a long way ahead, it will be tough for all the contenders. Chelsea have a very big gap now with second and 10 points with us but I think it’s not decisive. We need to believe, we are fighting to try to reduce the gap and we have a very good opportunity when we play them but first of all we must win against Watford, a very important three points and then we’ll see what happens with the other teams that are against us. It’s a lot of games ahead, it’s nearly the half-way point of the season and it’s a long way to go. I don’t expect to do some business because I am happy with the squad that we have and I think it’s not the right moment. Only if there is the possibility to benefit us, if not, no.”


Mauricio was asked about Dele Alli’s form

 

“Always I was happy with him. The young players need to try to improve every day, to get more experience. I think Dele Alli has big potential to improve but I think it’s impossible to keep the same level. The level that he was playing (last year) was very high for the whole season but there is no doubt that he is and will be one of the best players in the next 10 to 12 years.” 

“It’s up to you how you want to judge the season. It’s difficult to judge. If we compare it with last season, at this point we have four more points than last season but we are fifth and last season we were fourth. In the first period of the season we feel disappointed because we are out of the Champions League and we cannot hide that but I think in the Premier League we are doing well. We can do better, of course, we are ambitious, of course, and we can improve.”

Tottenham Hotspur No. 1 goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris

Spurs goalie Hugo Lloris talked about the match pressure.

“Of course, those teams put a little pressure on us with their good results but with the right mentality you can do great things, like we did against Southampton,” said Hugo. “It’s not easy, we started game in the worst way possible, but we had a great reaction. We took control and showed our quality and skills and made the difference. It was a great performance and a great result. We raised our level all together. We know Southampton is a tough place to come and for sure, they will get points against the top teams in this league.”