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Saints' winning away run ends at Spurs

All the major talking points came in the first half, as Tanguy Ndombele fired the hosts in front, only for Mauricio Pochettino’s world to be turned upside down by the dismissal of Serge Aurier in the 31st minute for two quick-fire yellow cards.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when Danny Ings followed up his south coast derby heroics by embarrassing Hugo Lloris, as he robbed the goalkeeper in his own six-yard box to bundle the ball home for the equaliser.

But the decisive blow was inflicted by Harry Kane three minutes before the break, as Spurs’ talisman finished off a slick counter-attack to give his side a lead they were not prepared to throw away again.

Saints enjoyed no shortage of second-half pressure, but Lloris made up for his earlier error by making stunning saves to deny James Ward-Prowse’s precise free-kick and Maya Yoshida’s powerful header.

Ralph Hasenhüttl initially made two changes to the Saints team victorious at Fratton Park for the first time in 35 years on Tuesday night.

Both were in attack, as Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal returned at the expense of Ché Adams and Michael Obafemi.

But Hasenhüttl was dealt a blow shortly before kick-off with the news that Cédric had suffered an injury in the warm-up, so Jannik Vestergaard stepped in at late notice with Ward-Prowse operating at right wing-back.

Saints were roared on by a sold-out away end on their first visit to Spurs’ new stadium

The unwanted change of plan did not seem to deter the visitors, who started with real purpose.

Yoshida and Ings both lifted half-chances over the bar in the first five minutes, before Redmond escaped down the right and pulled the ball across the box for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, whose first-time shot was pushed aside by Lloris.

After a very encouraging first ten minutes, Saints began to come under pressure from a Spurs team on a rotten run of one win in their last seven games, including a humbling midweek penalty shoot-out exit from the Carabao Cup at Colchester.

Heung-Min Son was the danger man, constantly finding space down the Spurs left. First, he was halted by a timely covering challenge from Jan Bednarek, before his cushioned side-foot across goal was pounced upon by Angus Gunn in front of Kane.

Then Son was free again, cutting the ball back for Ndombele to shoot over, via a deflection, before Son himself was denied by Gunn with a glancing header from the resulting corner.

Unfortunately, Saints did not heed the warning, as Son found himself in familiar territory midway through the first half, driving into the box from the left and picking out Ndombele, who this time connected sweetly with a powerful strike that flew past Gunn to break the deadlock.

Spurs had their noses in front, but any hopes of a comfortable afternoon’s work for the hosts were soon extinguished, as Aurier picked up two yellow cards in the space of four minutes.

Danny Ings celebrates his bizarre first-half equaliser, profiting on a lapse from Hugo Lloris

After sliding right through the back of Boufal for an obvious booking, the second was slightly more debatable, as he was adjudged to have brought down Ryan Bertrand as the wing-back accelerated down the left flank.

The home crowd felt even more aggrieved by the fact they felt the ball had already gone out of play in the build-up, but the decision stood and Spurs would have to get on with it.

Whether that affected Lloris’s concentration or not, there could be no excuse for the goalkeeper gifting Saints an equaliser eight minutes later.

In fairness to the opportunistic Ings, he has history for this. Having already taken advantage of Adrian’s lapse against Liverpool last month, the striker knew not to give up the chase when Lloris hesitated in his own six-yard box, and got just enough of a toe to the ball to force it over the line.

Spurs had shot themselves in the foot, but Saints were about to do the same just before the interval.

The hosts counter-attacked at deadly speed, as Son and Christian Eriksen combined, with the latter helping the ball into the path of Kane, who duly scored against Saints for the sixth successive match. 

If the man advantage was not necessarily apparent in that 15-minute spell at the end of the first period, it certainly was throughout the second.

Spurs were camped in for much of it, and had first-half villain Lloris to thank for preserving their lead.

When Ward-Prowse eyed up a repeat of last season’s free-kick to beat the Frenchman and win the game at St Mary’s, the Spurs skipper was equal to it, flying through the air to his left and applying fingertips to tip it over, with the ball perfectly placed in the top corner.

Soon after, Lloris was making up ground again, scampering across his line to keep out Yoshida’s goal-bound header with another miraculous stop.

At the other end, typically goal-hungry Kane was only inches away from connecting with Danny Rose’s teasing cross, before Ings suffered the same fate, throwing himself at Boufal’s inviting delivery to no avail.

With 12 minutes to go, Hasenhüttl withdrew Vestergaard, who played for 78 minutes longer than he thought he would at two o’clock, and introduced Stuart Armstrong in a bid to unlock the door.

The explosive Michael Obafemi followed in place of Ings, who had taken his tally to three goals in two games, before Shane Long replaced Boufal to form a new-look attack, but Saints could not force a second equaliser.

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Tottenham Hotspur


Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)


Serge Aurier


Toby Alderweireld


Danny Rose


Jan Vertonghen


Harry Winks

Victor Wanyama (93′)


Son Heung-Min

Erik Lamela (64′)


Tanguy Ndombele

Eric Dier (78′)


Moussa Sissoko


Christian Eriksen


Harry Kane


Eric Dier


Erik Lamela


Dele Alli


Victor Wanyama


Ben Davies


Lucas Moura


Paulo Gazzaniga



Angus Gunn (GK)


Maya Yoshida


Jannik Vestergaard

Stuart Armstrong (79′)


Jan Bednarek


Ryan Bertrand


Oriol Romeu


James Ward-Prowse


Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (C)


Danny Ings

Michael Obafemi (83′)


Nathan Redmond


Sofiane Boufal

Shane Long (88′)


Harry Lewis


Kevin Danso


Michael Obafemi


Stuart Armstrong


Shane Long


Yan Valery

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