Southampton vs Tottenham was an epic battle at St Mary’s, as 10-man Saints held on for a point amid VAR drama as the final score was a surprise on the south coast.
[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]
James Ward-Prowse gave Southampton the lead after a dominant start but just before half time Mohammed Salisu was sent off and gave away a penalty kick which Harry Kane dispatched.
In the second half Kane had a goal chalked off for a marginal offside by VAR, then Fraser Forster looked to have made a massive error but a foul was given on Matt Doherty as Spurs were denied again.
Late on Southampton almost won it but they held on for a point which felt like a win as they move on to 21 points for the season. Tottenham move on to 30 points and are seven PL games unbeaten since Conte took charge.
Southampton vs Tottenham final score, stats
Southampton 1-1 Tottenham
Goals scored: Ward-Prowse 25′, Kane 41′
Red card: Salisu 39′
Shots: Southampton 9, Tottenham 22
Shots on target: Southampton 2, Tottenham 11
Possession: Southampton 34, Tottenham 66
Three things we learned Southampton vs Tottenham
1. VAR denies Kane, Spurs: We thought there weren’t going to be these kind of marginal offside calls in the PL this season, but here they are again. Kane’s armpit/shoulder was leaning offside as he scored what he thought was his and Spurs’ second, and that infuriated fans of the north London club. It was by far the most marginal offside call we’ve seen in the PL this season and it was harsh on Spurs as that decision could cost them a top four spot when all is said and done. They will also be asking why VAR wasn’t used when they again had the ball in the net as Fraser Forster appeared to score an own goal under pressure from Matt Doherty, but a foul was given on the Spurs defender. This little things add up and can make a huge difference.
2. Heroic effort from makeshift Saints: Missing two center backs due to COVID-19 and playing Bednarek and Salisu together for the second time in 48 hours, it seemed like that led to Salisu making a rash decision to take down Son and give away a penalty in the first half. Aside from that mishap, Saints defending resolutely and Ralph Hasenhuttl should be applauded for rotating his team expertly after a Boxing Day win at West Ham. Saints’ squad is a lot stronger this season and that was shown as the likes of Valery, Diallo, Perraud, Shane Long and Adam Armstrong all played their part. Did Saints get lucky? Yes. Did they make it a horrible game for Spurs? Yes.
3. Solid start continues for Conte, but creativity still lacking: Antonio Conte is unbeaten in his first seven league as Spurs boss, their first manager to do that, and he is building a very solid foundation as they’re back in the top four race. The one thing that could be questioned about Spurs is the balance of their attacks. They are still lacking a little creativity and were too predictable against 10-man Saints, as they decision to not bring on Tanguy Ndombele was a baffling one. They need a true No. 10 to give their attack a little spark. In truth, they’ve never replaced Christian Eriksen.
Man of the Match: Ibrahima Diallo – Won the ball back so many times in midfield and did his best to keep it. Alongside Ward-Prowse put in a heck of a shift. Kyle Walker-Peters and Jan Bednarek were sensational too.
Another fast start for Saints
Much-changed Southampton started well as a lovely cross from Kyle Walker-Peters found Shane Long but he nodded just wide. Moments later Walker-Peters clipped in a cross which Adam Armstrong headed off target.
Ben Davies thought he had put Tottenham ahead but he was clearly offside as he headed home Heung-min Son’s free kick.
Southampton then deservedly took the lead as a long throw from Mohammed Salisu caused havoc in the Tottenham box and fell to Ward-Prowse who sent a lovely strike in to the far corner to send St Mary’s wild.
Red card, penalty swing the game in Spurs’ favor
At the other end Harry Kane had a free kick from distance easily saved, but then the game swung in Tottenham’s favor.
Heung-min Son got free of Salisu and the Southampton defender, already on a yellow card, brought him down in the box to give away a penalty kick.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Salisu was sent off for a second yellow card and Kane scored the penalty kick, as Tottenham were level before the break.
Kane thought he had put Tottenham ahead early in the second half as Harry Wins’ lovely chip over the top found the England international who tucked the ball home.
However, VAR was used and deemed that Kane was just offside as his body appeared to be leaning inches in an offside position.
Late on Spurs threw everything at 10-man Southampton in search of a winner, as a high ball was caught by Fraser Forster but then spilled as he was challenged by Matt Doherty as the ball went in. However, the goal was disallowed due to a foul by Doherty.
Flurry of chances
Forster then denied Doherty after Son led a counter attack, and Walker-Peters made some heroic blocks.
In the 92nd minute Southampton had a chance to win it as substitute Armando Broja surged clear but his shot was blocked superbly by Davinson Sanchez.
Kane then sent a header just wide as Saints hung on for an unexpected point.