Match Report: Tottenham 2 Southampton 1

Match Report: Tottenham 2 Southampton 1

Before the match, I had high hopes, then these hopes started to dissipate once our second goal went in (but disallowed), and then we nicked it in the final few minutes. What a roller coaster of a day, what a roller coaster of a week (super league and Mourinho sacking). But to be honest, this game hasn’t filled me with high hopes for Sunday’s final. I hope for the best but fear the worse. Whatever way of looking at it, I will be there to witness the final in person (I got a ticket). But that is then, this is now.

The Match.

What this victory did do for us was put us three points behind third-placed Leicester Titty. And between them and us are the Russians and the Spammers. Titty face WBA at home (Thursday), while the Spammers take on the Russian on Saturday. Sadly, all the other teams have a game in hand over us. It doesn’t look promising, but fingers crossed.

Son’s late penalty capped our fightback as we beat Southampton in Ryan Mason’s first match in charge. That victory saved Mason’s blushes.

Mason made a winning start to his tenure after Gareth Bale curled in a superb equaliser. Then a late VAR intervention almost buggered up his dreams of a victory on his managerial debut.  That sort of thing buggers up people like Mourinho, but Mason must have a lucky charm on him, as it all ended well with a penalty.

Near the end, Sonny scored after a Moussa Djenepo foul on Harry Winks was just inside the Southampton penalty area. Before Bale’s goal on the hour mark, we had been second best to a good Southampton side. The Saints had gone in front when Danny Ings glanced in James Ward-Prowse’s corner.

My thoughts

We were lifeless for long periods and appeared to have been affected by our turbulent few days, with Mourinho’s departure coming fewer than 24 hours after the club announced they were to join a new European Super League (which turned out was the beginning of the end for such dreams of snowing money).

Before the kick-off, Spurs supporters gathered outside the club’s stadium calling for Levy and owners to leave the club. Despite all that, and of course a very unsettling start to the week, this result moves us up to sixth – two points outside the top four – while the Saints remain where they were, in 14th.

Saying all that, I thought we were lucky.

We are out of the Europa League, and having collected just five points from the last 15 available, we came into this match in need of a victory to lift our hopes of finishing in the top four. But was Levy’s decision to put Mason in charge a stroke of genius or just stupidity/ desperation, thus blowing our chances of getting into the top four?

There seemed to be no urgency to our play in the first half, and Mason will know that they will be more heavily punished against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday if we continue down this road. In fact, only the experience of Hugo Lloris in goal prevented us from falling behind within three minutes, with Lloris preventing Mohammed Salisu’s header and reacting to push Che Adams’ follow up to safety.

There was a distinct lack of leadership without Harry Kane, and more importantly, a cutting-edge despite Garth Bale’s reintroduction for the first time in over a month. That said, we won. Playing lethargically and winning is better than playing brilliantly and showing nothing for it. Going into Sunday’s game is better with a victory behind you than trying to get up off your knees to try to capture a trophy we’ve waited 13 years for.

Mourinho, Mason or Levy?

I bet Mourinho is watching the game and thinking, “I could have done that… and better”. Or maybe, “Fuck me, he is good… why didn’t I think of that… using Bale more often?” Whatever he is thinking the hurt will be twice as bad on Sunday when Mason leads Spurs out onto the Wembley pitch, thinking, “all my hard work and some jumped up snotty nose kid gets the glory!” Life can be a piece of shit, can’t it Jose? No doubt, if they win on Sunday, neither Mason nor Mourinho will get the credit, but Levy. Lose, and the finger is pointed at Ryan and Jose.

The stats

Ryan Mason (29y 312d) became the youngest manager in Premier League history. At the same time, he is only the second person since the Football League resumed in 1946-47 to manage a top-flight game while in their 20s after Frank Sibley, whose first game was in August 1977 vs Aston Villa, also at the age of 29, as QPR boss.

After losing each of the previous six Premier League games where we found ourselves behind at half-time this season, we have won a top-flight match from such a position for the first time since December 2019 (2-1 vs Brighton).

Gareth Bale has had a direct hand in 11 goals in his last 11 starts in all competitions for us (nine goals, five assists), while he’s scored in each of his three Premier League games against former club Southampton.

Son has scored 15 Premier League goals in 2020-21, his best goalscoring season in the competition. His five goals against Southampton this season is the most by a player against a single side since Mohamed Salah v Watford in 2017-18 (also five).

What’s next for us?

We face Manchester City in the EFL Cup final on Sunday, 25 April (16:30 BST) before resuming Premier League action against Sheffield United on Sunday, 2 May (19:15 BST).

Well, that is it, folks… sleep well and be safe.

 

Has your eye’s seen the Glory? If yes (or even no) click HERE and follow the link, then they will and for those that are longer in the tooth…. be prepared to be dazzled all over again!

Glenn

COYS!