Match Report: Southampton 1 Spurs 1 (still undefeated under Conte in the League)

Match Report: Southampton 1 Spurs 1 (still undefeated under Conte in the League)

It seems nowadays every time we prepare to go to a match, we must keep one eye on the news to see if it has been cancelled… however, that hasn’t stopped the FA from cancelling a game just a few minutes before kick-off (when everybody is at the game)… sod the fans. COVID rules our lives!

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a fantastic day, apart from the referee’s madness of decisions and virtually giving a draw to Southampton… but more of that later.

Mel picked me up at 10.30 (before that, an hour and a half in the gym) then an hour drive to St Mary’s stadium, where we parked up about 15 minutes from the ground. A tenner to park, not bad. When I’ve driven on my own, I’ve parked literally opposite the ground, and it cost me £25, and then you had to wait over an hour to get out. We then walked to Southampton city centre where we met Terry, Steve and Viv, Colin, Ian and Dave. Food ordered; I ended up having three glasses of wine and two rum and cokes. Before that Mel and I got to the Rum restaurant, we had popped into a hotel on the way to have a glass of wine.

Mel and I had to leave early to pick up our tickets as they didn’t come through the post on time, so we had to say our goodbyes and leave (hopefully meet up at the restaurant after the game).

We got our tickets from the Southampton ticket office, and then we went in where we met Rick and Beverley.

Preliminaries over with…

Readers of my blog will know that I predicted something like 4 or 5 nil, and did we get that… like heck! For a start, we were robbed by the referee. Anyway…

… Conte says we will have to “improve a lot”, and it “won’t be easy to fight for something this season” after being held by a home side who played for more than 51 minutes with 10 men. After 25 minutes, we fell behind to a James Ward-Prowse goal. But 39 minutes changed things or should have changed things. Mohammed Salisu fouled Son in the box to earn a second booking in 12 minutes. Harry Kane stepped up to the spot and levelled the score for us.

We twice had the ball in the net after the break, with Kane seeing a goal ruled out by VAR for a narrow offside and goalkeeper Fraser Forster was judged to be fouled by Matt Doherty. Forster turns the ball into his own net, but a foul was given against him.

Their goalkeeper made 10 saves that afternoon.

To be fair, we didn’t do enough after the break to take advange of their ten men. After the whistle was blown for full time, the Saints boss punched the air in delight and said there was “no chance to be more proud than today”.

Conte has now overseen four wins and three draws in the league, and the likes of Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg explained before kick-off that the boss has called on players to raise the game technically and physically.

My thoughts

Our effort could not be questioned in the second half, with Doherty deprived by a Forster save, Son seeing a header held, and substitute Bryan Gil having a stinging shot tipped with a few minutes to go before the final whistle.

I thought we took too long to build impetus with our one-man advantage, and Southampton, beaten only by Wolves at home in the league this season, managed a point to move to 13th in the table.

We saw 53% of first-half possession, registering four shots. Those stats rose to 76% and 18 attempts in the second half…

Southampton could have won it in injury time when Armando Broja robbed Eric Dier before firing over, sparing us further irritation on a day when we should have taken more.

Conte became the first manager in our history to remain unbeaten in his first seven league games. Conte’s comments: “My demands are very high because I am used to being competitive and to win – and, for sure, for me, there is a big disappointment when we don’t win. I understand also the situation. Now for sure, we have to work a lot, and it won’t be easy to fight for something this season. We need to improve a lot. For sure, it was an opportunity that we missed. When you have this type of situation, you have to try to exploit, to try to get three points.”

After the game, I looked for a programme (as I failed to get one beforehand) but couldn’t find one anywhere… went to their shop, nothing… I then asked a security guard where I could get one from, when a man standing next to him interrupted with, “I’ve got a spare hospitality one, you can have it”. I offered him money, but he said no. What a kind act.

Met up with Mel; we decided not to go back to the restaurant and meet up with the others as Mel had to work the next day. I got home at 7pm.

Our next match is against Watford, at Watford. See you there, if you are going, if not enjoy the game on TV and let us get behind the team!

All the best, Glenn

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