Saints overwhelm Spurs in comeback win (video)

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  • Spurs dominate 1st half, get Kane opener
  • Saints flip script in second with Valery equalizer
  • Ward-Prowse with beauty free kick to win

Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse scored second half goals as Southampton’s splendid second half was enough to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Harry Kane gave Spurs a halftime lead, but Europe-weary Spurs had little offer in the second half.

Saints move to 30 points, good for 16th, while Tottenham remain third with 61 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane was very much the story of the first half, nearly scoring early and then seeing a would-be assist to Lucas Moura slid off the Saints post by a desperate defender.

Christian Eriksen then beat the wall and keeper but stuck the bar with a 23rd minute free kick.

It was Kane who’d deservedly put Spurs ahead, though, with Dele Alli supplying fantastic service on the opener.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League box scores, lineups, stats ]

Jan Vertonghen missed with a side volley attempt after Kane won a corner in the 52nd minute.

Saints hadn’t quit, though, and substitute Shane Long picked out Nathan Redmond for a shot screwed wide of the post in the 56th.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was busy in the next phase of the match, including a left-footer over the bar.

Redmond missed another in-tight shot moments later, but Saints’ wait for an equalizer arrived via Valery in the 77th minute after Danny Rose let a loose ball go through his legs for the youngster to run onto and finish.

And Stuart Armstrong could’ve put Saints ahead moments later when taken down by Kyle Walker-Peters, but only a free kick was given by referee Kevin Friend.

Then James Ward-Prowse did what he often does from a dead ball situation, swirling a free kick past a flying Hugo Lloris and into the goal.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Lloris: Spurs ‘don’t want to stop’ with Champions League quarters

AP Photo/Michael Probst
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It’s fair to assume that Mauricio Pochettino is feeling vindicated after expelling his UEFA Champions League demons this season.

[ RECAP: BVB 0-1 Spurs ]

Spurs beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 at the Westfalenstadion on Tuesday, advancing past the Bundesliga side 4-0 on aggregate to make their first quarterfinal since 2011.

“We are in the quarter-finals,” Pochettino said. “I’m so happy for the players, and the fans. It’s an important victory. Of course we suffered a bit but it’s ok and we fully deserved to be to be in the quarter-final.”

Spurs were under duress for most of the first half, as BVB knew it needed a big win at home having fallen 3-0 at Wembley Stadium.

But Harry Kane broke through in the 48th minute to ease any concerns of anything “Spursy” befalling Pochettino’s men.

“Especially in the first half, it was tough,” Kane said. “It’s always difficult when you have a lead like we did, you don’t know whether to defend or attack. The crowd here was amazing and it was difficult for us. … (The goal) was what we needed. We said at halftime we needed to pick up the tempo a bit more, squeeze up the pitch a bit more. Moussa put a great ball through.”

The star of that first half was goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who Pochettino called “great,” and the Frenchman collected his 100th clean sheet. He’s aiming big picture, though.

“As expected, they pushed the first 20 minutes, half an hour. We stayed strong together and that’s why we go through. We don’t want to stop. We want to carry on, and enjoy this moment.”

The video of Lloris and Kane speaking after the match is below, and you cannot help but note the goalkeeper marveling at the away support.

Kane, Spurs advance past Dortmund (video)

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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  • Spurs advance to first UCL quarterfinal since 2011
  • Kane scores 14th UCL goal
  • Lloris stars in first half

Harry Kane‘s early second half goal joined a strong defensive effort as Tottenham Hotspur withstood the challenge of the Westfalenstadion to beat Borussia Dortmund and advance to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Spurs were out-attempted 19-5, but scored the lone goal of a 1-0 win that sent them through 4-0 on aggregate.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Spurs got the start they were expecting from the hosts, a desperate and energetic Dortmund attacking with vigor.

Hugo Lloris made a nice save to deny BVB an early salvo off the boot of Marco Reus and deflected toward goal.

Lloris was the man of the half for Spurs, and the visitors tight defense got the match to the break at nil-nil.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

And the Londoners regrouped, with Kane scoring a very Kane goal through the lines just after halftime.

Harry Winks was injured in the frame, making way for Eric Dier after an apparent groin injury.

VIDEO: Penalty kick controversy dominates Tottenham v. Arsenal

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A huge moment of controversy grabbed Tottenham a point in the north London derby, as Harry Kane won a penalty kick late in the second half.

Another moment of controversy also went against Arsenal as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s 90th minute spot kick was saved by Hugo Lloris just as it seemed the Gunners would snatch a win.

[ MORE: Spurs 1-1 Arsenal ]

There is no doubt Kane was shoved by Shkodran Mustafi in the box for his penalty, but he was in an offside position when the free kick came in. As for Aubameyang’s miss, Jan Vertonghen was clearly encroaching in the box when the spot kick was taken and the fact he was able to clear the ball on the rebound showed how pivotal that was.

Quite simply VAR would have sorted out both of these incidents straight away. However, the fact that it is not coming to the Premier League until the start of the 2019-20 campaign continues to annoy pretty much everyone.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Watch the video above to see the Kane incident in full, while below is Aubameyang’s penalty miss as Arsenal felt very hard done by on both occasions. 

Three things we learned: Tottenham v. Arsenal

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LONDON — Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal went at it in a wild 1-1 draw in the north London derby at Wembley on Saturday.

Aaron Ramsey‘s opener was canceled out by Harry Kane‘s controversial penalty kick, as Hugo Lloris then saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s spot kick in stoppage time and Lucas Torreira was sent off in a wild finish.

Here’s what we learned from a pulsating clash at Wembely, as Spurs stay four points ahead of Arsenal in the table.


VAR CONTROVERSY REIGNS SUPREME

VAR is once again a talking point in the Premier League. Tottenham’s penalty kick came after Harry Kane was legitimately bundled over by Skhodran Mustafi, but he was clearly offside when the free kick was swung in. The linesman couldn’t see around the defenders as he wasn’t in the correct position, and if VAR had been used the penalty decision would have been overturned. Simple as that. The incident for Spurs’ penalty kick is exactly why VAR is arriving in the Premier League for the 2019-20 season, and highlights that it was a mistake to not introduce it this season. Once again we are talking about a mistake being a game-changing one, and Arsenal’s top four chances have taken a hit due to VAR not being used this season. Throughout the game there were other moments of controversy as Granit Xhaka hit Kane hard early on, Danny Rose could have seen red for a challenge on Bernd Leno, then on the penalty kick Arsenal missed in stoppage time there was clear encroachment from Jan Vertonghen who eventually cleared the ball on the rebound. Officials need help and VAR can’t come soon enough to help eradicate these major mistakes in huge games.


ARSENAL’S TWEAKED LINEUP LOST MOMENTUM

Emery surprised many by leaving the likes of Lucas Torreira, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil on the bench, but his lineup choice and tactics were spot on. At least in the first half…

The Spanish coach set up his team to sit back and launch counters, with Alexandre Lacazette popping the ball back and some incisive one touch football opening Spurs up easily. The way Aaron Ramsey and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ran riot with their midfield runs in the first half set Arsenal up for victory.  The former scored the first goal and will be sorely missed when he heads to Juventus in the summer. His clever runs allow Arsenal’s entire side to push higher up the pitch quickly and quite how Ramsey has been allowed to leave for Juve boggles the mind. Yet when Aubameyang, Ozil and Torreira came on in the second half, Arsenal lost the momentum and danger they had on the break and bringing on Ozil at 1-0 up was a strange decision. Maybe Ozil’s arrival subconsciously impacted the Arsenal players, as he is not the ‘closer’ you need in these type of games just as Tottenham were building a head of steam. Emery got his tactics right in the first half but in the second half they couldn’t cope with Spurs’ extra attacking player.


TOTTENHAM’S TOP FOUR CHANCES IN TROUBLE

Tottenham avoided a third-straight defeat in the Premier League for the first time since November 2012, but it was not pretty. Pochettino’s men are struggling at precisely the moment everyone thought they had cracked it. Last week they were genuinely in the title race despite having several injury problems to contend with. One of those who has returned recently, Harry Kane, looked shattered once again and in the first half he failed to control the ball on several occasions and he lost the ball in the box in the build up to Arsenal’s first goal. A lot has been made about Kane’s return to the team coinciding with a string of defeats for Spurs and if he’s fit enough to start, but the issues run a lot deeper than that.

Kane rallied in the second half and bullied Arsenal’s defense, and even though he may not be at his sharpest, he is still a menace. In truth, in the four Premier League games Kane missed, Spurs snatched victory against Fulham, Newcastle, Watford and Leicester, both they were poor for large spells of those games and got out of jail on several occasions. Their good luck has run out and just a week after they were supposed to be in the title race, their top four chances are in serious trouble with Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United hunting them down and all three have greater momentum than Spurs. The latter have trips to Liverpool and Man City coming up and even though they nicked a point against Arsenal, the cracks are showing. Big time. Spurs look shattered.