Emmanuel Adebayor continued his revival with two goals as Tottenham defeated Southampton at St. Mary’s to give caretaker manager, Tim Sherwoood, a win and three points in his first Premier League game as manager.
Southampton 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Scorers: Lallana, Lambert Adebayor (2), Hooiveld o.g.
Team: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chiriches, Rose; Lamela (Chadli), Dembele (Bentaleb), Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Adebayor, Soldado (Defoe) Subs: (unused) Friedel, Capoue, Fredericks, Holtby
Tim Sherwood made sweeping changes to his team for the match at Southampton. Six new faces compared to the last team selected by Andre Villas-Boas and four changes from his initial selection against West Ham. Michael Dawson returned after suspension and in a very attacking line-up Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado started their first game under the interim manager.
In a lively start with both sides looking to get forward quickly, Southampton were the more composed and threatening team. The Spurs players showed a desire to work hard, winning a corner in the opening seconds when Soldado chased a long throw. In the 2nd minute a free-kick was hit straight at Hugo Lloris from 30 yards by Lambert. A threatening Southampton cross was headed out by Danny Rose at the back of the area after 6 minutes. Spurs broke forward through Lamela and Soldado after 10 minutes but the Spaniard’s cross was just out of the reach of Adebayor and was cleared for a corner.
Two minutes later, Southampton broke quickly and found Lallana who got away from his marker to beat Lloris with a low shot going in off the post from 30 yards. This encouraged the home team and rattled Spurs, getting to the ball very quickly but gradually Spurs settled and worked hard to get back into the game.
After surviving some home pressure when Rose slipped, presenting the ball to Southampton but Rodiguez curled his shot over. A minute later, Spurs broke from the edge of their own area when Lamela found Adebayor who took the ball to half-way and found Soldado with a pass to the left. It was over-hit but Soldado chased it down and from the touchline delivered a deep cross into the area where Adebayor, at full stretch, got between two defenders to volley back across goal and in to the net after 24 minutes.
The game continued at pace but the equaliser took some of the sting from Southampton. Spurs worked hard to keep Southampton quieter although the home side finished strongly in the closing minutes.
Spurs started with greater determination after the interval and a chipped pass by Lamela after good control on his chest and thigh was just cut out with Soldado lurking. Rose and Adebayor llnked well on the left with a good cross into the area. It was an encouraging start but Spurs had to replace Mousa Dembele after 49 minutes, Nabil Bentaleb coming on for his debut.
With more positive play from Spurs, they took the lead after 54 minutes when Rose and Adebayor combined well on the left with Rose’s cross being deflected into his own goal by a Southampton defender, Hooiveld. The move had started with Bentaleb to Adebayor who linked with Soldado, playing the ball back to Rose, linking with Eriksen with a return pass to Rose. His cross caused confusion in the area and Spurs were ahead.
Spurs now had greater possession and were looking the better team but five minutes later Southampton were level when a ball into the area caught out the defence and as Lloris rushed out, Lallana played a reverse pass to Lambert to hit into an empty net.
Undeterred Spurs kept going forward and Adebayor added a third after 63 minutes. He took a throw from Walker, the ball broke to him and he shot across goal for the third.
Adebayor linked well with Soldado who could have had a hat-trick in four minutes, created by Adebayor and Chadli. On 65 minutes, he took a flick on by Adebayor but shot across goal and wide. Two minutes later he met a cross by Chadli but hit the ball into the ground and it bounced over the bar. In the 69th minute it was a through ball from Adebayor and with only the goalkeeper to beat, his shot hit the side-netting.
Southampton tried to raise the tempo but Spurs showed great endeavour and fight and Lloris had to punch clear under pressure on a number of occasions. Spurs held on and Sherwood showed his intentions by introducing Jermain Defoe in place of Soldado for the final minutes. Spurs held on and threatened on the break.
Great encouragement will have been taken from this result, especially the second half performance when the team worked hard and showed real threat going forward. In total they had 13 shots on goal, scoring 3 goals from their 3 attempts on target. The win was Spurs third successive away win and moves them ahead of Manchester United into 7th place, level on points with Newcastle. It also gives Daniel Levy some breathing space in his search for a new manager.