Premier League
SouthamptonSouthampton0TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2

Southampton 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur

By Phil DawkesBBC Sport
Tottenham players celebrate Harry Kane's opening goal
Harry Kane (right) has now scored 11 goals this season

Harry Kane scored on his 100th Tottenham appearance as they moved into the Premier League top four with victory at struggling Southampton.

Kane broke through the Saints defensive line and finished coolly for a 10th goal in his past 10 games.

Soon after, Dele Alli benefitted from some lax defending to score from close range and put Spurs firmly in control.

Spurs managed the game superbly in the second half against a Saints side who are now without a win in six matches.

It represents a shocking start to what Southampton manager Ronald Koeman had described as a crucial two weeks for his team, who remain seven points clear of the relegation zone but in need of an upturn in form to avoid slipping closer to danger.

In contrast, Tottenham gave the perfect riposte to last weekend's surprise defeat at home to Newcastle with a professional performance to take them to 29 points from 17 league games.

Kane caps his century with a goal

Harry Kane's goal
Harry Kane's goal was his 10th in 10 games for Tottenham, but his first in four

For much of the first half, it was an even encounter between the sides, but Tottenham seized a control they would not relinquish with two goals in the space of three minutes just before half-time.

In Kane, they had the one quality striker on the pitch and he proved his class with a superb show of strength, skill and composure to give them the lead.

Erik Lamela broke on the halfway line and found Alli, who managed to move the ball on to Kane shortly before being taken out by a wild challenge from Jose Fonte.

Harry Kane tweet

Kane did the rest, darting between two home players before poking the ball past Virgil van Dijk, running in on goal and finishing neatly past Southampton keeper Paulo Gazzaniga for the 47th goal of his Spurs career.

Clearly shaken, Southampton gifted the visitors a second as the excellent Alli went from provider to scorer, finishing unchallenged at the back post after Kyle Walker's low cross made its way through a host of static defenders.

Too Mane misses

Sadio Mane (left) v Harry Kane (right) touches in opposition half
Sadio Mane (left) had nearly twice as many touches in the opposition box as Harry Kane (right) but failed to score, unlike the Tottenham striker

During their poor recent run, Koeman has complained that his side's biggest problem has been a failure to convert the numerous chances they have created.

This was certainly the case in the opening 20 minutes on Saturday as Sadio Mane spurned a number of good opportunities.

The best two saw the forward's angled drive blocked by the boot of former Saints defender Toby Alderweireld, before Hugo Lloris saved his first-time shot from the edge of the area.

Having conceded twice before the break, Southampton failed to recover as Tottenham withheld their limp and increasingly desperate forays forward with ease.

They only seriously threatened in added time when Lloris produced a superb low save to palm away a shot from substitute James Ward-Prowse, but by then it was a case of much too little, way too late.

A triumph for Pochettino's method

Tottenham away stat

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino left Southampton to take over at Spurs in May 2014, following 18 months in which he helped sculpt Saints into an effective Premier League outfit.

It has taken time for the Argentine's preferred high-energy pressing game to bed in at White Hart Lane but, with the addition of the likes of Alli in midfield, Alderweireld in defence and significant contributions from Lloris and Kane at either end, they are reaping the rewards.

Prior to Saturday, they had given away more points - 11 - from winning positions than any other Premier League club this season, including three last Sunday against Newcastle, which can be an unfortunate by-product of such an attacking style.

However, Tottenham ensured they did not add to this unwanted stat with a pragmatic and intelligent display in the second half to see the game out, playing largely in the Saints half to earn a deserved and impressive win.

Man of the match - Dele Alli

Dele Alli scores for Tottenham
Dele Alli produced another energetic box-to-box midfield display for Tottenham, covering 10.47km in the 79 minutes he was on the pitch, assisting one goal and scoring the other

What they said

Koeman criticises 'amateurish' defence

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "If you analyse the game and watch the first goal, I am very worried because the defending was at amateur level and not the level you need to win this kind of game. It was so naive.

"One of my criticisms this season is that we are too nice people. Until the first goal, Southampton was the better team but they showed us what is a 'killing mentality'. They won the battles and second balls and were more clever in one-on-one situations.

"It might also be about confidence, but we need to be more clinical. If you get three or four good chances, you have to score. We maybe need to change players because they are not responding to our strategy."

Lloris one of world's best - Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "I am very happy because it was a very difficult game. Southampton are a very good team and the first 20 minutes were difficult but after that we settled and managed the game and deserved our victory.

"I am pleased with the victory after a difficult week and after our defeat by Newcastle.

"The table is not the important thing at the moment. We need to keep working hard because the Premier League is very tough."

The stats you need to know

  • Tottenham Hotspur have won six and lost none of their past seven Premier League meetings with Southampton
  • Southampton have conceded at least twice in their past four home Premier League games against Spurs, having kept a clean sheet in the five prior to that run
  • Dele Alli has scored or assisted four goals in his past four league matches (two goals, two assists)
  • Southampton failed to score in a home Premier League game against Spurs for the first time since November 1999
  • Saints have not won in five Premier League matches, their worst run since December 2014

What next?

Southampton are at home again in a week's time, on Boxing Day, when they face Tottenham's north-London rivals Arsenal at St Mary's.

Tottenham's 26 December fixture is against Norwich, who beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 25Gazzaniga
  • 2Cédric Soares
  • 6José FonteBooked at 40mins
  • 17van Dijk
  • 21Bertrand
  • 4ClasieSubstituted forWard-Prowseat 78'minutes
  • 12Wanyama
  • 8DavisSubstituted forLongat 64'minutes
  • 10Mané
  • 11TadicSubstituted forJuanmiat 64'minutes
  • 19Pellè


  • 1Davis
  • 3Yoshida
  • 7Long
  • 14Romeu
  • 16Ward-Prowse
  • 20Juanmi
  • 33Targett


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Walker
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 33Davies
  • 15Dier
  • 19Dembélé
  • 11Lamela
  • 20AlliBooked at 72minsSubstituted forCarrollat 79'minutes
  • 23EriksenSubstituted forChadliat 86'minutes
  • 10KaneSubstituted forSon Heung-minat 90+1'minutes


  • 6Bentaleb
  • 7Son Heung-min
  • 13Vorm
  • 22Chadli
  • 27Wimmer
  • 28Carroll
  • 29Winks
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamSouthamptonAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Southampton 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Southampton 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Shane Long (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Graziano Pellè with a headed pass.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Tom Carroll tries a through ball, but Erik Lamela is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Offside, Southampton. Ryan Bertrand tries a through ball, but Jose Fonte is caught offside.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sadio Mané (Southampton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left following a corner.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Southampton. Conceded by Hugo Lloris.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. James Ward-Prowse (Southampton) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Bertrand with a cross.

  9. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Victor Wanyama (Southampton).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Son Heung-Min replaces Harry Kane.

  12. Post update

    Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Sadio Mané (Southampton).

  14. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Southampton).

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Nacer Chadli replaces Christian Eriksen.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Sadio Mané (Southampton).

  20. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.