Tottenham back in top four after 2-1 win against Southampton
Last Updated: 30/10/12 12:05pm
Gareth Bale: Opened scoring for Tottenham in their 2-1 victory against Southampton
Tottenham piled the pressure on Southampton boss Nigel Adkins with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at St Mary's.
Best of the match
- Man of the match: Gareth Bale was back on his old stomping ground and showed just how much he had developed into an excellent player from his time at St Mary's. He took his goal excellently with a powerful header and was generally a nuisance for the Saints.
- Goal of the match: Bale's opener was understated in its excellent simplicity. Tom Huddlestone pulled the strings, lofting in a wonderful through-ball which the Welshman met with pinpoint accuracy.
- Save of the match: Whether he knew much about it or not we don't know, but Sandro's block on Morgan Schneiderlin's thunderous effort can't be ignored. With four minutes remaining, the Spurs midfielder threw his neck on the line - quite literally - in order to preserve the visitors' lead.
- Talking point: AVB's tactics were spot on in the first half, hitting a frail Southampton defence on the counter-attack with pace, but the second half highlighted the Portuguese's own deficiencies. Sandro and Livermore, while talented, are far too negative a pairing to have in the closing stages of any game, while playing with no recognised striker for the last ten minutes was nearly a huge mistake.
The hosts showed early sparkle before first-half goals from Gareth Bale - returning to haunt his former club - and Clint Dempsey put the visitors in control.
Jay Rodriguez responded after the break but it wasn't enough to prevent the hosts suffering their seventh defeat of the season whilst Spurs are back in the top four.
Despite their early intent, Nigel Adkins' men almost became architects of their own downfall when Maya Yoshida's mistimed header fell to Aaron Lennon but the England winger fired wide.
It was Welsh international Bale, playing for the first time since the birth of his child, who soon made amends, planting a firm header beyond Artur Boruc following Tom Huddlestone's cross (15).
The visitors sensed an opportunity to score a second and it came when Jermain Defoe beat Boruc, before Jose Fonte's clearance allowed Dempsey to tap in.
The home side emerged after the break with renewed promise, lively forward Jason Puncheon leading the charge with a booming volley before Yoshida headed wide after Brad Friedel failed to handle Danny Fox's delivery.
Already reinvigorated, the introduction of Emmanuel Mayuka breathed new life into Saints and they were rewarded on 66 minutes courtesy of Rodriguez.
Fonte was the architect, his cute back-heel from Adam Lallana's corner falling to the former Burnley striker, who rifled the ball home from close range.Southampton pressed relentlessly for a second but Rodriguez fired off target and William Gallas recovered brilliantly to block Rickie Lambert's effort.
|Southampton||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|2||Shots on Target||4|
|6||Shots off Target||7|
|45.6||1st Half Poss.||54.4|
|57.7||2nd Half Poss.||42.3|
Barclays Premier League
|4||West Ham United||17||31|
|15||West Bromwich Albion||17||17|
|16||Queens Park Rangers||17||17|