Tottenham, slipping in the last month, turned things around with a win and a clean sheet over high-flying Southampton at White Hart Lane.
Christian Eriksen gave Spurs the lead just before halftime, and Saints had chances to share the spoils but could not pick out the back of the net and Spurs survived for their first win in over a month.
Both sides looked to feel out the other’s midfield as the opening half hour wore on, and the best chance of the first 30 came five minutes before the mark as Erik Lamela ripped a shot just wide, to which a diving Ben Foster got a touch.
Following the effort, things got physical. Danny Rose got away with what likely should have been a yellow card challenge on Dusan Tadic. That was followed up by a Victor Wanyama foul on Kyle Naughton which left the Spurs defender needing an injury replacement.
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With Spurs looking the better side thanks to their pressing style, it looked they would head into halftime with nothing to show for it, but they broke through five minutes before the break. A cross by Emmanuel Adebayor found Nacer Chadli, and a brilliant redirect fell to Christian Eriksen who rifled home for the opener.
They came close to a second just three minutes later, but Chadli’s effort hit the post and rebounded back out.
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In the second half, Southampton looked more dangerous on the break, but Spurs were let off despite being hit by the counter. Younis Kaboul brought down Saido Mané – Saints most dangerous player to this point – on a break. Referee Mike Jones deemed it a foul and cautioned Kaboul with yellow, but seeing as there was nobody between the pair and goal, it should have been red for a last-man foul.
Southampton pulled Hugo Lloris into action as poor defending led to an open shot by Victor Wanyama. Again Saints searched for an equalizer, but they were wasteful. Good work from Shane Long got Ryan Bertrand an open cross, and it came perfectly to the feet of Mané splitting the defenders but he inexplicably missed from point-blank range, touching wide.
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Saints ultimately weren’t able to pick up an equalizer, and Spurs reversed their poor fortunes recently with all three points, sending them to fifth in the table, level on points and differential with Swansea. On the other end, Saints’ run at 2nd place is over, as they can’t keep pace with Manchester City and finish the weekend on third place.
Tottenham: Lloris; Naughton (Dier 32′), Kaboul, Vertonghen, Rose; Capoue, Mason; Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela; Adebayor.
Goals: Eriksen 40′
Southampton: Forster; Clyne, Fonte, Alderweireld, Bertrand; Wanyama, Schneiderlin, S. Davis, Tadić, Mané; Pellè.