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Tottenham 2-1 Southampton: Spurs cope without Kane

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  • Spurs win 10-straight PL home games
  • Tottenham cut Chelsea’s lead to 10 points
  • Saints lose Gabbiadini through injury
  • Spurs remain unbeaten at home this season

Tottenham Hotspur beat Southampton 2-1 on Sunday in the Premier League as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men rode a strong first half performance to victory and proved they can grind out wins without the injured Harry Kane.

Christian Eriksen put Spurs ahead and then Dele Alli doubled the lead from the penalty spot to make it 2-0 at the break. Southampton came back into the game strongly in the second half with James Ward-Prowse pulling a goal back to make it 2-1 but Saints couldn’t break through a stubborn Tottenham defense to snatch a point.

With the win Tottenham move on to 59 points and cut Chelsea’s lead atop the Premier League to 10 points, while Saints remain in 10th place on 33 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Spurs started brightly as Heung-Min Son got in-behind Southampton’s defense after a brilliant ball from Eriksen but Fraser Forster saved superbly as he rushed off his line.

Tottenham took the lead inside the opening 15 minutes as Eriksen cut in from the right side of the box and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner. 1-0 to Spurs.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Southampton responded well to going behind and Oriol Romeu smashed a fine effort just wide of the far post as Saints searched for a way to get back into the game. Toby Alderweireld then sent a powerful downward header in on goal from Eriksen’s corner but Forster produced a fabulous save to claw it away.

Saints then had two quick chances as Dusan Tadic combined with Manolo Gabbiadini and the latter lashed an effort inches wide of the post and then Tadic had a horrendous miss from close-range but was saved by the linesman stating that the ball had gone out of play before Nathan Redmond pulled it back. It clearly hadn’t. A huge let off for Spurs and they took full advantage of it.

Gabbiadini hobbled off injured after his snapshot, then moments later Saints gave away a penalty kick as Steven Davis connected with Alli and the Tottenham midfielder put home the spot kick to make it 2-0. Spurs cruising but the PK award was a little harsh on Saints.

Saints had a shout for a penalty kick of their own right on half time as Tadic was taken down by Ben Davies in the box but referee Andre Marriner waved away the calls.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

In the second half Saints pushed hard and found themselves back in the game soon after the interval.

Ryan Bertrand‘s cross from the left flank was finished superbly by Ward-Prowse at the back post and Southampton had a way back into the game. 2-1.

Buoyed by that goal Saints dominated possession but failed to create many chances as Shane Long battled hard but timed his runs incorrectly on multiple occasions.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on Saints searched for an equalizer as nerves increased among the home fans at White Hart Lane but Tottenham held on to keep their top four hopes well and truly alive and keep the pressure on Chelsea.

Stream Live: Tottenham v. Southampton

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Tottenham Hotspur host Southampton on Sunday at White Hart Lane (Watch live, 10:15 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with Maurico Pochettino’s men aiming to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to 10 points.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Southampton have plenty of games in hand and are looking to push for a fourth-straight finish in the top eight of the Premier League.

In team news Spurs start Son up front for the injured Harry Kane and Pochettino has pretty much a full strength side apart from Danny Rose still missing through injury.

Saints start with the same team for the third game in a row.


LINEUPS

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Wanyama, Dembele, Davies; Dele, Eriksen, Son. Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Onomah, Sissoko, Winks, Janssen

Southampton: Forster; Cedric, Stephens, Yoshida, Bertrand; Romeu, Davis; Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Redmond; Gabbiadini. Subs: Hassen, McQueen, Caceres, Hojbjerg, Boufal, Long, Rodriguez

PL Sunday preview: Man City-Liverpool; Spurs host Saints; Boro-Man Utd

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Sunday is Super once again in the Premier League, as four of six top-four hopefuls are in action, two of the four facing off directly…

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Middlesbrough vs. Manchester United — 8 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

If Jose Mourinho is to guide Man United to a top-four finish in his first season at Old Trafford, Sunday’s trip to Boro represents a must-win opportunity for the Red Devils to leapfrog Arsenal for fifth place in the PL table, and potentially finish the weekend just three points back of fourth-place Liverpool while holding two games in hand. To do so, though, United must overcome a rash of injuries and suspensions.

Unavailable on Sunday: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (suspension), Ander Herrera (suspension); doubtful or questionable through injuries: Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Daley Blind, Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger. Woof.

“I can imagine some people will say we should play better, we could play better, we should score more goals, we should not have so many difficulties to beat this opponent, but the reality is we have lots of things going against us and we have to try and fight,” Mourinho said ahead of Sunday’s clash at the Riverside Stadium. “The boys are amazing and we will probably lose the game on Sunday but we will try our best.”

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Chelsea delight, Arsenal misery ]

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton — 10:15 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Life without Harry Kane begins, again, for Tottenham. A top-four finish — not to mention the chance to finish above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years — are very real for a second straight season, but Mauricio Pochettino‘s side will have to navigate the all of, or most of, the season’s final 11 games without their 19-goalscorer (37 percent of his side’s league goals — 4th-highest in the PL) after the 23-year-old re-injured his left ankle during last Sunday’s FA Cup thrashing of Millwall. Up first, it’s a visit from Southampton, which sees one of the PL’s most confounding, up-and-down sides fighting for a top-half finish in Claude Puel‘s first season at St. Mary’s Stadium.

Heung-Min Son bagged a hat trick while playing up top in Kane’s absence last weekend, which seems Pochettino’s most likely Plan A to replace last season’s Golden Boot winner. The problem, of course, is the South Korean’s lack of size and strength to hold the ball up, bring others into the attack, and muscle defenders around the 18-yard box in order to create space for himself. Dele Alli will likely play further forward, and more centrally, to provide a greater numerical advantage for Spurs.

“We have different options (up front) — you could see in the last game against Millwall,” Pochettino believes. “At the beginning of the season, Harry got injured in the Sunderland game and we missed him for nearly two months but we played with different options – with Son, with Vincent Janssen. We used different players, but we are sure that we will play well.

[ MORE: Wenger to determine his future “very soon” ]

Manchester City vs. Liverpool — 12:30 p.m. ET, on NBC and NBCSports.com

It’s a matchup between third and fourth in PL, as Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds visit the Etihad Stadium to a Man City side which hasn’t lost a league game in over two months (six games — four wins, two draws). After failing to win a single one of their first five PL games of the 2017 calendar year, Liverpool’s title challenge was put to bed, as their dreams of returning to the top-four for just the second time in eight seasons so nearly were as well.

Pep Guardiola‘s men must rebound immediately after bowing out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, having blown a two-goal advantage in the second leg away to Monaco. Having played one game more than City thus far, Liverpool trail Sunday’s opponents by a single point, and currently sit five points clear of Arsenal.

“These games are always important. Actually, I can’t remember a not-important game in the Premier League, to be honest,” Klopp said. “But I think we all know about the quality of Manchester City, probably a few people think they’re out of the Champions League now against Monaco, but I think the way they played was quite impressive.”

Jose Fonte hits out at Southampton

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Jose Fonte isn’t happy at being cast as the villain following his $10 million move from Southampton to West Ham United in January.

[ MORE: Wenger update on Sanchez ]

Fonte, 33, left Saints after seven years at St Mary’s with Southampton stating publicly that their club captain wanted to move on.

The Portuguese international center back was linked with moves to Manchester United and Liverpool in the summer after impressing in Portugal’s EURO 2016 win but instead he stayed with Saints and ended up moving on in January to the Hammers with moves to Old Trafford and Anfield always seeming a little far-fetched.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness ahead of West Ham’s London derby against Chelsea on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), Fonte was asked if he was harshly treated on his departure from Saints.

“No doubt. You need to know all the facts,” Fonte said. “It’s tough to see in the press you’ve put in a transfer request, which I didn’t. I never wrote a letter to the manager or the club saying I want to leave because even when that came out in the beginning of January I didn’t have a club to go to, so why would I put in a transfer request? It was tough to see that and to hear people saying bad stuff about you when it’s a lie. But this is football – you learn how to deal with things like this. At least I have the opportunity to put it right.”

Fonte said it was a “disappointing ending” to his time at Southampton and was also angry with many media reports stating that he refused to play and train for the club until he had a move lined up.

He also stated that Saints “weren’t willing” to compromise over a move in the summer after he made it clear he wanted to explore other offers on the table for him.

“When I see all over the news that I submitted a transfer request to leave the club – that’s disappointing. That never happened. There was an interview from the club; from a press conference that I demanded to leave, which then the press took it as a transfer request and I wonder where is it?

“As I said before, in the summer there were possibilities of leaving – that’s normal, everyone fights for their own interests to get the best possible outcome for yourself. To say that I wrote an official transfer request to the club, that’s a lie. And also that I refused to train and I wasn’t being a good captain? That’s a complete lie. I’ve always given my best to that club. That’s the main thing the fans should know. My conscious is very clear.”

The Portuguese center back has played alongside Dejan Lovren and Virgil Van Dijk in recent seasons in the Premier League and he’s so often been overlooked as the guy who gives you 7 out of 10 each and every game. There’s no doubting he was instrumental in guiding Saints from the third-tier to the Premier League’s top six and after arriving in the PL at the age of 29 he was a late bloomer.

Still, you get the sense that with him changing his agent last summer to Jorge Mendes he was pushing hard for a move away from St Mary’s. Southampton have stated on numerous occasions they had offered Fonte a new deal, with an extra year and an increase in wages, but he instead decided to leave. Saints begrudgingly accepted his move to West Ham in January in a good will gesture for his service to the club.

However, ahead of the EFL Cup final Van Dijk suffered a long-term injury and that left Saints without their two first-choice center backs at the start of the season. Had Fonte played in the final against Manchester United — an agonizing 3-2 defeat in a game they dominated — instead of the talented yet young academy product Jack Stephens, would he have lifted their first piece of silverware since 1976? Who knows.

Still, Fonte leaving Saints has hurt his legacy with some of the clubs fans and despite his insistence that he is the victim, we all know how these things work.

Watford 3-4 Southampton: Saints win thriller

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  • Deeney put Watford 1-0 up
  • Redmond scores twice
  • Gabbiadini has 6 goals in 4 games
  • Saints win second-straight game

Southampton beat Watford 4-3 at Vicarage Road on Saturday in a goal-fest in Hertfordshire.

Watford took the lead via Troy Deeney but Saints came roaring back as goals from Dusan Tadic and Nathan Redmond before half time made it 2-1 at the break.

Stefano Okaka looked to have grabbed a point for the Hornets later on but the home side couldn’t live with Saints’ offense as Manolo Gabbiadini reacted to a mistake from Heurelho Gomes to make it 3-2 and Redmond added another to make it 4-2. Late on Abdoulaye Doucoure headed home but a thrilling game ended 4-3 to Saints.

With the win Claude Puel‘s men move into 10th place on 33 points and put the disappointment of their EFL Cup final to bed, while Watford remain on 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Deeney put Watford 1-0 up early on as he got the better of Maya Yoshida and combined well with Okaka as the Hornets skipper hooked home his 100th league goal for the club.

Saints improved are going behind but James Ward-Prowse‘s shot at the near post was saved by Gomes and then Redmond squirmed a long-distance effort just wide.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

Saints forced Gomes into action once again as Gabbiadini saw his effort saved as Watford were pushed further back as half time neared.

The away side finally got the goal they deserved as Tadic surged towards goal and then the ball was half cleared straight back to the Serbian international who drilled home. 1-1. Game on.

Right on half time Saints took the lead after a flowing move as Tadic played the ball back to Redmond and his low shot crept in. 2-1 to Southampton at the break.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Gabbiadini went close for Saints early in the second half while Okaka was making a nuisance of himself at the other end.

Okaka had a good shot which Fraser Forster saved with his leg down low as the home side pushed for an equalizer.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Watford looked to have rescued a point as Issac Success sent in a cross which Okaka finished well. 2-2. But then Saints surged into the lead as Sofiane Boufal‘s shot was spilled by Gomes and Gabbiadini was the first to react to put Saints 3-2 up.

3-2 soon became 4-2 as Redmond finished well to grab his second of the game and even though Doucoure scored a late header it was too little to late for Watford in a thrilling encounter.