Southampton came to play on Sunday, but they also sat back a bit and played on the break more than they have in most of their games this season. Tottenham Hotspur didn't do a terrific job of breaking them down for a variety of reasons, but they grabbed all three points because of a moment of individual brilliance provided by Christian Eriksen.
There were other contributors to the goal -- Emmanuel Adebayor, Ryan Mason and Nacer Chadli all played their parts -- but the finish wasn't a tap-in. It required a serious bit of skill, and Eriksen provided that. He's the only player on the team that seems like he can be counted on to provide those types of extraordinary attacking plays on a regular basis, and his ability was the difference.
He was good going forward for the rest of the match too, but this contribution on its own was enough to earn Eriksen a man of the match nod. Without it, Spurs don't win the match. They had chances, but not spectacular ones otherwise, and Ronald Koeman probably felt like his team played well enough to earn a draw.
The goal-scorer isn't always the automatic man of the match in a 1-0 game, but in this case, Eriksen is.
Also considered - Etienne Capoue and Hugo Lloris
As far as impacting the entire game from both ends goes, no one did a better job than Etienne Capoue. He was extremely consistent throughout the match in linking defense and attack, going in both directions. He was our safety net when we didn't know what to do with the ball or lost it, and he performed his role perfectly.
Hugo Lloris also deserves a nod for contributing just as much, if not more, to a clean sheet than any of his defenders. The back four was adequate, but certainly not spectacular against Southampton, and left Lloris with plenty of work. He made a handful of saves, two or three of them being world class.