Ryan Mason now officially has the best win percentage of any Tottenham Hotspur manager. In his first game in charge, Mason’s Spurs side came back from a 1-0 halftime deficit against Southampton, got a from Gareth Bale and a late penalty from Son Heung-Min, and rallied to defeat the Saints 2-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Yes, I’ll say it again: Spurs came back from a deficit. To win. From a late goal. And they didn’t concede late either! It’s a new era.
Mason’s first lineup as manager was certainly different. Toby Alderweireld and Gareth Bale were both back in the side after Mourinho-induced absences. Spurs started in a 4-3-3 with a midfield of Hojbjerg, Ndombele, and Lo Celso, with Lucas operating as a false nine with Son and Bale playing off of him.
It wasn’t always a pleasant match to watch, but it was certainly more fun!
1’ — KICK OFF! A new era at Tottenham Hotspur has begun! Ryan Mason is wearing a puffy coat and khakis, this means something.
2’ — HUGOOOOOOO! A double-save for Spurs’ skipper! First a huge block on an open header by Mohamed Salisu, and then gets low to save a second attempt from Che Adams. Massive! (We won’t talk about the defensive breakdown)
10’ — Chance! Bale pounced on a loose ball and fed Lo Celso in Southampton’s box. Gio got a shot away, but put it wide.
13’ — Eeeek big defensive mistake from Reguilon, who tries to make a clearance and instead deflects it into the path of Walker-Peters. Dier manages to get there to hack a shot away.
30’ — Goal to Southampton. Danny Ings, with a low header that clipped off the post and into the net off a corner. Very nice header, it has to be said. 0-1.
39’ — Finally a free kick for Spurs outside the box after Son is fouled. Dier takes it for some reason instead of Bale and it goes off the wall.
45’ — Great move from Gareth who dribbled past KWP to set up a chance,but Ings was there to hook it away. Moments later, Sonny gets on the end of a cross and squares it across the face of goal but Lucas pops it over the bar. Great chance.
HALFTIME: Danny Ings’ 100th goal is the difference at the break. Spurs haven’t looked sharp, but they’ve looked different. At this point, I’ll take different.
No changes to either side at halftime.
48’ — Spurs coming out with a little more energy after the break, like they’ve been kicked in the butt a little bit.
53’ — Bale lets fly with a long shot from outside the box. He’s got that in him, but the keeper is there to make a comfortable save. That’s Spurs’ first shot on target.
56’ — Change for Southampton, as goal-scorer Ings is off with a knock for Diallo.
59’ — GOAL!!!! GARETH BALE! There it is! Son put a little square ball to set up Lucas Moura, but his shot was blocked and fell to Bale at the corner of the keeper’s area. He took a dribble and put a curler from an acute angle in the top corner! FIRE UP SANDSTORM!
62’ — Sonny tried to dribble into the box but was dispossessed before he could get a shot off. Pull the trigger, Son!
65’ — Oh man nearly another one. Gio dives down to poke a ball across the face of goal and Salisu gets a foot to it just before Gareth. If Bale gets there, Spurs score.
67’ — Another sub for Southamton — Djenepro is on for Walcott.
71’ — Mason makes his first sub as Spurs manager... and it’s Harry Winks for Tanguy Ndombele! I didn’t see that coming (but I also kinda saw that coming).
74’ — GOAL SON HEUNG-MIN... but it’s called back by VAR, ostensibly because Lucas was blocking McCarthy’s view of the goal.
78’ — Bale puts in a lovely cross to Son at the back post... but Lucas jumps and gets his head in the way of it. Ugh. Just after, Mason makes his second sub, Erik Lamela coming on for Lo Celso.
83’ — Third and final sub, Steven Bergwijn comes on for Gareth Bale.
85’ — Big shout for handball in the box after it goes off the elbow of Adams, but the ref declines to make the call. VAR takes a look, but not at the hand ball but for a separate foul by Djenepro that might have been in the box... and it’s given! PENALTY TO SPURS!
89’ — GOAL! SONNY GETS IT! Strikes it cleanly from the spot and Spurs are up 2-1!
94’ — Yellow card for Dier. I think for time wasting? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
FULL TIME! Mason’s Spurs are off to a flying start with this win! It’s good to get that first result under your belt. Now it’s time to prepare for the cup final.
- Spurs won! After going behind! With two second half goals! What kind of sorcery is this?!
- I didn’t expect champagne football, but I expected Spurs to come out and try stuff, and that’s exactly what they did. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but it also wasn’t boring.
- The first half was ugly, sure, but Spurs got a bunch of undeserved crap on social media for 45 minutes of disjointed but ultimately ehhhh not so bad play. It’s almost like they had two days to prepare for this match under a new manager or something, IDK.
- Spurs came out firing after halftime. I’d like to believe this was Mason giving them a proper bollocking, which I would’ve loved to witness.
- I was mad about the disallowed goal, even though it was probably the right call.
- If we’re going to unfairly micromanage, I wasn’t especially thrilled with Mason’s substitutions (no Dele??), but all of the subs played decent to well and we won the game so what the hell do I know?
- It’s going to take a while to get the Mourinho stink off this club and I’m not exactly confident that we can shock Pep and City on Sunday, but hey — I had fun watching Tottenham today and I haven’t been able to say that for a long time!