Well…WHAT. A. WIN! Unexpected to say the least as Southampton ran out 2-1 winners over top-four hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur, putting a major dent in the challenge for Champions League football next season and putting a major boost in our challenge for remaining in the Premier League.
In all honesty, the first half just wasn’t good enough from the hosts. The gulf in class was clear to see for the entire first 45 with Harry Kane, Dele Ali and Christian Eriksen all proving nuisances for the Saints defence.
Spurs could’ve taken the lead on two occasions as Maya Yoshida was lucky to see his interference not lead to an own-goal and Christian Eriksen rattled Angus Gunn’s crossbar from a free-kick.
However, Harry Kane got his usual goal against Southampton after controlling a ball from Dele Ali delightfully and calmly slotting past Gunn in goal. There were suggestions of offside but it was what both sides deserved.
When half-time came I think it’s fair to say that all Saints fans in the ground were relieved to technically still be in the game at 1-0. A gutless performance in the first period saw Hasenhuttl take the risk of introducing both Josh Sims and Shane Long at half-time and boy did it pay off!
Sims, making his first appearance of the season for Southampton after an unsuccessful loan spell at nearby Reading, made a major impact from the off. The 21-year old proved that he hadn’t changed from the exciting youngster who made his debut at 19 under Claude Puel with forward balls and shrewd runs.
However, it was substitute Stuart Armstrong who proved to have the final touch necessary as his ball across the box was missed by Danny Rose and buried into the net by Yan Valery for his second goal in as many games.
With the stadium rocking, the game was in Southampton’s hands and, just five minutes later, they took the lead.
Kyle Walker-Peters should’ve been sent off for his challenge on Stuart Armstrong who led a Southampton counter-attack and was fouled, with the fullback preventing a goal-scoring opportunity and only seeing yellow, one of many poor decisions from referee Kevin Friend.
Nonetheless, it was Ward-Prowse territory and the midfielder curled in a free-kick replica to that of the stunner at Old Trafford just one week prior.
Spurs’ chances were limited for the remainder of the game and could’ve easily had another man sent off with Moussa Sissoko head-butting Nathan Redmond, but it clearly wasn’t seen by Kevin Friend.
Southampton did well to hold on to the lead for arguably the biggest result of the season which sees the climb up to 16th, however, Cardiff’s win means that we’re still just two points off of the relegation zone.
It’s now a three-week break from competitive action for Southampton as the trip to Watford, which was scheduled for next week, has been postponed given Watford’s progression in the FA Cup as well as a week of international action as England begin their road to the Euros 2020.