|OPPONENTS||Southampton at St. Mary's|
|DATE||Wednesday 1st January 2019|
No preview produced.
|PREDICTION||Southampton 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS : -
SOUTHAMPTON TEAM NEWS : -
|Premier League||Kick off 15:00|
Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0)
Ings 16m 53s
|Crowd : 30,976||Weather : Drizzle, getting heavier as the game went on; chilly|
|Referee : Mike Dean (Wirral)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Ian Hussin; ; Mr. Dan Robothan|
|Fourth Official : Keith Stroud|
|Video Assistant Referee : Anthony Taylor||Video Assistant Referee Assistant : Harry Lennard|
|Southampton kicked off and played towards the Chapel Stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 10 minutes.|
Djnepo (foul on Lo Celso) 53
Bednarek (foul on Kane) 68
Ward-Prowse (foul on Lo Celso) 71
Lo Celso (asking for a yellow card) 34
Sissoko (foul on Ings) 61
Aurier (foul on Long) 70
Mourinho (entering opposition technical area) 75
Eriksen (dissent) 90+2
|Southampton :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
2 Cedric SOARES
Oriel ROMEU 90)
10 Harry KANE (c) (11 Erik LAMELA 75)
|Manager : Ralf Hasselhutl||Manager : Jose Mourinho|
|Sponsor : Virgin Media||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Nike|
A deflating 0-1 defeat at Southampton ensured it wasn't a Happy New Year for Spurs and with injuries to Kane and Ndombele, that looks like it might continue. Southampton had what must be one of their easiest home games for quite a while and while they can't keep a clean sheet at home, Tottenham's performance ensured there was no stain on it this time out, despite two changes to our side from the one that turned out at Norwich.
The Spurs defence was exposed inside the first two minutes, when a left wing cross from Bertrand picked out Cedric in loads of space at the far post and he headed won, but weakly wide when he really should have got it on target. Spurs countered with Kane firing in a blocked shot and then another that was deflected wide, when maybe he should have played in Sissoko to his right in a lot of space.
It was quite an open game, with both teams spreading the ball around, but when Dele took Vertonghen's pass in the box and went down, referee Mke Dean (without using the review system) decided it wasn't a penalty. The home team then crafted a chance, with Redmond turning in the box to make a yard to shoot low at goal and Gazzaniga got behind it, but couldn't hold it, leaving Toby Alderweireld to put the loose ball out of play.
When Spurs lost the ball in midfield, it was quickly played up to Danny Ings in the right hand channel. He touched the ball over Alderweireld's head and then waited for the ball to come down to fire into the net to the keeper's left from ten yards out. It was a goal out of nothing and made for himself by Ings, but our defence was once more too open and too weak to stop a goal. With clean sheets a rarity these days, the defence need to be tightening up. When Armstrong broke through the middle soon after the goal, it was only Ndombele's foot that prevented him getting a clean strike on the ball and when the corner came in and was cleared, it was the Southampton midfielder who put it wide without any help this time. It was Tanguy's last involvement, as he limped away to be replaced by Giovani Lo Celso.
Harry Kane set up Lo Celso with a chance to shoot and it was deflected wide. The first corner didn't beat the first man and the second went straight into McCarthy's hands. When Southampton had the ball in defence or midfield, their plan was to put a quick ball through to use the pace of Djnepo and Redmond. It meant that Tottenham were having to be quick on the turn or win the first ball to prevent the goal coming under threat again. When Armstrong kept a bal in on the right wing, his low ball into the near post was met by Redmond and Toby had to get a boot in the way to take it wide for a corner. The home side were winning most of the ball in midfield and that put pressure on our defence. Losing Ndombele, who Southampton weren't slow to make a contact with him.
Spurs started to get geed up by the decision that were going against them and Dele burst into the box and the ball came out via a Southampton boot to Harry Kane, who struck a low effort at goal that McCarthy got behind, but it came off him and Dele followed it in. The ball went wide as McCarthy recovered his position, with VAR looking at it for a penalty, but it never was. From the corner, the bal came off a Southampton defender at the near post and it hit Dele just in front of the keeper but ran through to Jan at the far post. Coming to him quickly, he stretched for it and knocked it over the bar from close range.
VAR came into play again, when Ings swung an elbow into Sessegnon's face, but decided it was nothing, despite the blood coming from the teenager's mouth. Tottenham started to move the ball a little quicker and when it was worked to Lo Celso, he couldn't get a decent swing on it and the ball squirted wide off his foot. Just before half-time, Sissoko swung a ball into the box from the right with his left foot and the defensive header dropped for Lucas Moura, but he could not put his shot on target, dragging it wide.
It had been a lethargic performance from Spurs, which is typifying our play lately. Mourinho has had to turn these sort of performances around with his work at half-time, with us going behind too often to have to come from behind to get anything from matches. The players needed to match Southampton's work-rate and use the ball simply and sensibly to ensure that they troubled Southampton more and kept the pressure on them, rather than the other way around.
There was little sign of the Spurs team being more alert as Redmond met a right wing cross with a volley, but he didn't keep it down, as a goal then might well have sealed the result for the Saints. There was even more worry when a cross from Bertrand struck Alderweireld on the arm in the box, with VAR looking at the incident again. It was deemed not to be a penalty, but could easily have gone against Tottenham, but it also had the added benefit for Southampton as Spurs had looked to take a quick free-kick, but were delayed by the VAR review.
Lucas won the ball by being stronger in the tackle in his own half, then breaking forward with Spurs out-numbering the home defence for a change. He played it to Dele on his left, but the ball aimed at Kane never had the weight on it to find the Spurs captain, so the opportunity evaporated. The pressure Southampton were putting Spurs under saw the ball constantly given away, with sides working out how to play against us. While Lo Celso looked keen to get on with the game, he had few options when on the ball, while other players were playing short passes to concede possession. Eriksen had looked particularly weak on the ball today, with others looking less than willing to make the effort to be first to the ball.
Mid-way through the second half, Tottenham enjoyed some possession and some pressure on the home goal, without creating anything from it. The press we were so noted for was absent, as we looked heavy-legged and the running wasn't in the legs of the players. Jan got a header from a free-kick on target, but he was looking away from it when it hit his head, so wasn't met with any force. Bookings were swapped as the rain continued to fall and VAR held up play after Ward-Prowse cynically brought down Lo Celso. From the free-kick, Kane put the ball into the net from Eriksen's ball in, but he was ruled offside and then had to limp off with what looked like a hamstring pull. Was there much lese that could go against us ?
Lamela came on in Kane's place as VAR looked at the offside again, before it was ruled that his arm was offside. It is getting a bit of a joke that the game is being disrupted time and time again for no result. Most of the time, the players are just as non-plussed as the crowd. Off the pitch, Mourinho got a yellow card for going over to the home bench to speak to one of the Southampton coaching staff. Almost every decision went in Southampton's favour, so it was a poor performance and we need to find ways of winning when things aren't going our way. While Dean was quick enough to book Lo Celso for asking for a booking, he let Redmond get away with kicking the ball away to waste time after a free-kick had been given against his side.
It was too little too late, but Sessegnon and Lo Celso worked well on the left to put the ball into the box and it came out to Moura, whose shot was blocked, but he reacted well to have another go, this time hitting Bertrand and spinning off the defender to leave McCarthy helpless, but it was wide of the goal. VAR looked at it for a handball, but it was close to the Southampton man, who also had his arm close to his body. It was never going to be a handball, so why did it need looking at ?
Late pressure putting balls into the box made it look like Spurs had the chance of an equaliser, but they lacked conviction, making easy to defend. Southampton were looking to put the ball way upfield when they had it in defence and Spurs' last chance went when Aurier skied a cross way over the goal.
Too often we played the wrong pass, as opponents were swarming around us and we didn't use the space that should have created to open Saints up. Few players looked like they wanted to put their foot on the ball, as there were not players moving off the ball to receive it. Basic things, like moving off the player to receive a throw-in, it did look as though nobody wanted the ball.
Sessegnon was signed to be the pacy winger we needed on the left and whether the instructions he had been given is preventing him doing so, he looks shackled and Dele had a shocker after his recent return to top form. Kane had little service and while we had opportunities, few were clear cut nor troubled McCarthy unduly. Whether this was a game too far over the Christmas/New Year period or whether it was just another game we didn't turn up for, it is worrying that we didn't even cause Southampton much of a concern when they hadn't kept a clean sheet at St. Mary's in a year. Eriksen misplaced too many passes to get Spurs moving forward and the distribution from the back was also poor.
With performances like this European football will be out of the question for next season and that will not help in recruitment, with talk about Sporting Lisbon's Bruno Fernando interested, but would he come if there was no Champions League ? And why Leicester or Wolves players would consider joining us at the moment, let alone Real Madrid or Napoli players.
With Middlesbrough hitting a bit of home form the FA Cup tie won't be the straightforward game it seemed a week or so ago. The team need to put in a performance with Liverpool visiting the Tottenham Hotspur stadium on the horizon.
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|How the players did|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||Not much to do other than pick the ball out of the net, which seems to be the story lately. Could have come out quicker once the ball went over Toby's head to close Ings down, but a good finish.|
|Serge Aurier||Not one thing or the other today. Didn't make any glaring errors, but his passing and crossing were poor..|
|Toby Alderweireld||Caught on turn by Ings for the goal and his passing wasn't picking out our forward players today.|
|Jan Vertonghen||Got roughed up by Long when he came on ,as usual, but not looking confident today, as Southampton attacked down his side.|
|Ryan Sessegnon||Not sure what he is told to do, but his attacking instincts seem to be reined in. Did OK defensively, but needs to toughen up in challenges.|
|Moussa Sissoko||Decent enough game and made good room when Kane had an early shot, looking to receive the ball. Crowded midfield meant that a lot of time, he didn't have much space to operate.|
|Tanguy Ndombele||Looked good at the start, strong and moving the ball, but clashed knees with Djnepo and carried on for a bit before limping off. Not sure when we will see him again.|
|Christian Eriksen||Not up to his display against Norwich, his passes failed to find their target and looked heavy-legged.|
|Lucas Moura||Run into traffic time and time again, as Saints packed the midfield. Needed to get wide and then come in, but Spurs played quite a narrow midfield today.|
|Dele Alli||Dropping from the highs of recent weeks, nothing Dele tried came off, but should have had a first half penalty.|
|Harry Kane||Lack of opportunities are making Harry shoot without looking at other options. They don't occur often, but when team-mates are in better positions, he needs to use them, as we are not creating that many openings of late. His injury rubbed salt into the wound of losing, but a rest against Boro might have been on the cards anyway.|
|Giovani Lo Celso||Early sub for Ndombele, Gio looked positive in what he was trying to do, but too often fouled when he was in a position to do some damage.|
|Erik Lamela||Little opportunity to get involved, but did look forward when he had the ball.|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this round of matches :|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||1||Chelsea||1||Wednesday|
|Newcastle United||0||Leicester City||3||Wednesday|
|Norwich City||1||Crystal Palace||1||Wednesday|
|West Ham United London||4||Bournemouth||0||Wednesday|
|League Table 2019-20|
|4||Frank Lampard's Chelsea||21||11||3||8||36||29||36||+7|
|14||Brighton & Hove Albion||21||6||6||9||25||29||24||-4|
|16||West Ham United London||20||6||4||10||25||32||22||-7|
Position before match :
Position after match : 6th
Position after this round of games :
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