Tottenham Hotspur played their last home match of the season against Southampton, and what what the last ever home match in a full capacity White Hart Lane. With a win, Spurs would've locked in second place and a finish ahead of Arsenal for the first time since 1995. Unfortunately, Spurs came out flat and listless, giving up a brace to Steven Davis, and limped to a 2-1 defeat to the Saints.
The match started out free-flowing and open, with both sides pushing ahead to nick a goal early. Spurs settled into the match after the opening 10 minutes and started dictating play from the midfield.
That eventually paid off. Spurs opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Erik Lamela put a through ball into the box for what looked like Harry Kane, who was in an offside position. Kane, recognizing that he was off, let the ball go on, and the Southampton defenders all let up, expecting the flag to be raised. Instead, Son Heung-Min got to the pass, rounded Fraser Forster, juked two Soton defenders, and tapped in from close range to put Spurs ahead.
Spurs could've doubled their lead a few minutes later; Kane had Erik Lamela wide open on the break but opted to shoot himself. His ball at the far corner went just past the post.
Southampton equalized 15 minutes later. In the midst of a Southampton counterattack, Kyle Walker took an elbow to the head and went down injured. Soton pressed their advantage. Dusan Tadic got the ball on the right side and passed the ball to Steven Davis. Davis one-touched the ball at goal, and Hugo Lloris' reaction save wasn't enough to keep it from going into the net.
Spurs seemed content to play out the rest of the half. Kane maybe had the best chance at the close of the half; Kane used his strength at the end line to keep a ball from going out and was able to fire a point-blank shot that was parried away by Forster.
The first half frustratingly ended 1-1.
While Tottenham looked mostly good in the first half, the wheels completely fell off in the second. Spurs came out of the gate looking listless and without any attacking spark or energy. Chances were few and far between, and Spurs' midfield play opened the match up to numerous Southampton counterattacks.
The killer goal for Soton came in the 72nd minute. Steven Davis found himself a step of space in the center of the box and fired a low ball past Hugo Lloris in the right corner. Hugo looked like he was caught flat-footed, as normally that's a shot he both anticipates and saves.
Spurs tried a few things to re-energize the side, bringing on Clinton N'Jie for the first time since his mid-season injury, replacing Son Heung-Min, and later Ryan Mason made way for Nacer Chadli as Spurs chased an equalizer. Nothing really made a difference: Clinton barely touched the ball, and while Chadli had a last-gasp shot parried away by Forster, neither change was able to make the difference.
Tottenham looked disinterested for much of the second half and the scoreline confirmed it. The match ended 2-1
- Southampton fans are furious about Kane's offside position in Tottenham's goal, but Kane recognized that he was off and didn't make a play for the ball. Never assume that you're going to get an offside call. "Play to the whistle" is Football 101, kids. Great awareness by Kane, and some great skill by Sonny to score.
- Speaking of Kane, his awareness failed him when he opted to shoot instead of passing to a wide open Lamela in the first half. If he picks his head up, he sees Erik and that's an easy second goal. It's not an easy pass, but it's one he should've made.
- What happened to Hugo today?! Soton's two goals were well taken, but in most games Lloris saves both of them easily. The first was a reaction save, and those are tough, but Hugo was caught completely wrong-footed on the second and he should've had it. Not a good match for our French keeper.
- I really, really miss Moose. Ryan Mason was emphatically awful in central midfield, wandering everywhere, missing pressing triggers, and giving the ball away. He was, quite honestly, shocking.
- Even with the terrible second half, Spurs had the bulk of the chances and really should've won this match. I haven't seen Michael Caley's xG map yet, but my guess is it will confirm this.
- Tottenham have now dropped 20 points from winning positions this season, including 7 points in the past few matches. That's just awful.
- Spurs can still finish second, but they either need help from Manchester City vs. Arsenal or they HAVE to beat Newcastle.
- I'm really ticked off about this game, but I will calm down eventually. Come on Manchester City, and let's go out and crush Toon next weekend.