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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton

Tuesday, 26th December 2017

Match Report 
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Boufal scored Saints first goal & had a good game

Match Report

IBO Reporter : channonite


This is another difficult one. My son-in-law is a Spurs fan and we made an agreement not to tell each other the score, whatever and then sit down to watch the recording over breakfast. Unfortunately I left my phone on charge and the text alerts came through as regular as clockwork. I didn't even look, just feared the worst. Beeep...beep....beep...beep...beep....beep....beep. Sounded like Massacre of the Innocents (a famous painting by Bruegal, if you are interested.).

When we sat down to watch it, my worst fears were confirmed, Kane on 22' and again on 39', but what's this? It was half time and the score was only 2-0. There was endless fuss about Harry Kane passing Alan Shearer's record of 36 goals in a season, which had stood since 1995. So much so, that I began to wonder if Spurs were the only team on the pitch. Funny thing was that Saints were not too bad, until Kane scored, then the heads went down and there was only going to be one team in it.

Hopes were not too high before the game without Charlie Austin (3 match ban, but probably out injured for the rest of the season). Instead we had Shane Long, who hasn't scored since before the '14-'18 war at least. The only front runner that looked good was Boufal. In the absence of both full backs, we had Stephens at right back and Targett at left back. The former is a star in the making, but not in this current team, while the latter looked understandably ring-rusty. In the centre of defence were Yoshida and Hoedt, who ought to be a good pairing, but looked alarmingly awful. The midfield comprised of Romeu, Højbjerg and Lemina, who again should in theory be very strong, but again looked poor. As for the goalkeeper and the only other outfield player I haven't mentioned (Redmond), the less said about them the better.

Anyway, we got to half-time, with the score only 2-0. That lasted for four minutes of the second half, before Alli scored with a shot from outside the area. He then set up a great chance for Son Heung-min two minutes later, to make it 4-0 and it was duly converted.

Time to hang out the white flags? Actually, no. Mauricio Pellegrino then made a double substitution, taking off Lemina and Redmond, replacing them with Gabbiadini and Tadić. Praise be, it made a difference and almost immediately Boufal scored. But the home team were not finished scoring and Kane completed his hat-trick and Spurs fifth on 67'.

Targett had to go off, being replaced by McQueen, he was clearly finished and looked distinctly in need of more game time.

The game limped towards it's conclusion, but there was still time for Tadić to get another goal for Saints. Yes, I know - two goals for Saints in one game!

I thought Saints looked distinctly second best, but if you look at the game stats, it was surprisingly even - except in goals scored. Maybe, it really is as simple as getting a new goal scorer, someone like Pellè, who can hold up the ball, as well as get on the end of those crosses. Not something that you could accuse Charlie Austin of doing. Not that we will be able to rely on him again this season anyway.

The problems for the club seem to mount almost daily, let's hope the January window brings some joy, as it seems that the manager has completely run out of ideas what to do now.


Man of the Match


In spite of the scoreline, I am going to award a Saints MoM, as Sofiane Boufal is now starting to show the promise that we all knew he had and that it can be translated to performance on the pitch and on a regular basis as well. Good game, good goal and let's have more of them.


Teams 
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Oh, how we miss him . . . . . .

Tottenham


1 Lloris

24 Aurier

6 Sánchez

5 Vertonghen

3 Rose

15 Dier

19 Dembélé (Sissoko 54')

23 Eriksen

20 Alli (Winks 84')

7 Son Heung-min (Lamela 76')

10 Kane


Substitutes


2 Trippier

11 Lamela

13 Vorm

17 Sissoko

18 Llorente

29 Winks

33 Davies



Southampton


44 Forster

5 Stephens

3 Yoshida

6 Hoedt

33 Targett (McQueen 77')

14 Romeu

19 Boufal

23 Højbjerg - Booked 21'

18 Lemina (Gabbiadini 63')

22 Redmond (Tadić 63')

7 Long - Booked 58'


Substitutes


8 Davis

11 Tadic

13 McCarthy

16 Ward-Prowse

20 Gabbiadini

26 Pied

38 McQueen



PREMIER LEAGUE
Season 2017-18

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Tottenham 5

  • Kane 22', 39', 67'
  • Alli 49'
  • Son Heung-min 51'

Southampton 2

  • Boufal 64'
  • Tadic 82'

HT 2-0


Referee : Graham Scott

Attendance : 55,412


Possession


  • Tottenham Hotspur 57%
  • Southampton 43%

Shots


  • Tottenham Hotspur 16
  • Southampton 16

Shots on Target


  • Tottenham Hotspur 7
  • Southampton 6

Corners


  • Tottenham Hotspur 3
  • Southampton 8

Fouls


  • Tottenham Hotspur 8
  • Southampton 15

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Boufal was a rare beacon for Saints