Tottenham capitulation at Southampton dampens top four hopes

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) /
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We can blame the referees, and VAR, for the decisions made or not, but in the end, the only fault lies with Tottenham Hotspur for giving away two points at Southampton.

It was a game Spurs needed to win, with Newcastle only a point back and Manchester United just two points up and both with a game in hand; only a win would suffice. Unfortunately, an overly conservative final 20 minutes summed up a half, which sums up Spurs’ season, which has not been good enough. Now, while Tottenham will go into the international break in fourth place but know like we know and teams around them know, it is a very temporary position.

A forgettable first half has a notable ending for Tottenham and Pedro Porro

The first 45 minutes on the south coast were not the best football we’ve ever seen. While Spurs had control of the battle of possession, it was mostly from sharing the ball around the back of the formation. In reality, Southampton had as many shots as Tottenham – nine – and four times as many corners – eight to Spurs’ two.

To say Tottenham had control of the game would have been a stretch; however, a quick turn of play left Spurs feeling good at the half.

Earlier in the match, Porro had hit Heung-min Son with a beautiful long ball into the box, but the South Korean could not control the ball or hit it on target as his touch failed. This time, Son played the long diagonal to Porro, who controlled the ball and slammed it past Gavin Bazunu into the top of the net off the bottom of the crossbar.

On the strength of the Porro smash, Spurs had the lead at the break, but this lead was only temporary, like their later lead.