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Barclays Premier League

St. Mary's Stadium (ATT 31,944) 28th October 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: L Mason

So'ton Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

So'ton 1

J Rodriguez (66)


Tottenham 2

G Bale (15)
C Dempsey (39)

Tottenham back in top four after 2-1 win against Southampton

Last Updated: 30/10/12 12:05pm

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Gareth Bale: Opened scoring for Tottenham in their 2-1 victory against Southampton

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.

SouthamptonTeam StatisticsTottenham Hotspur
01st Half Goals2
2Shots on Target4
6Shots off Target7
7Blocked Shots1
0Yellow Cards3
0Red Cards0
81.7Passing Success87.2
89.5Tackles Success85.7
58.9Territorial Advantage41.1
471Total Passes446
26Total Crosses14
146Lost Balls144
45.61st Half Poss.54.4
57.72nd Half Poss.42.3

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30