Tottenham Hotspur vs. Southampton Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterMarch 23, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23:  Roberto Soldado of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Jack Cork of Southampton during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane on March 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur came from two goals down to defeat Southampton 3-2 with an injury-time winner from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Southampton had opened up a two-goal advantage within the first half-hour through Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana.

But Christian Eriksen clawed a goal back in the 31st minute before equalising less than a minute into the second period.

The draw seemed to be a fair result, but in the 92nd minute, Eriksen touched the ball to Sigurdsson, who rifled past Artur Boruc to claim all three points for Spurs.

Tim Sherwood made five changes to the team that played against Benfica on Thursday, with Hugo Lloris, Younes Kaboul, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele and Christian Eriksen all returning to the starting XI.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23:  Manager Tim Sherwood of Tottenham Hotspur watches from the stands during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane on March 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Ros
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Morgan Schneiderlin and Gaston Ramirez dropped out for Southampton to be replaced by Rickie Lambert and Jack Cork.

Kaboul had an early chance for Spurs when he connected with an Eriksen corner in the third minute, but Saints goalkeeper Boruc had it covered.

Lambert was caught in two minds after collecting a seventh-minute through ball and opted to play it back to Lallana on the edge of the Spurs box when a first-time shot might have been more appropriate.

Southampton had the ball in the net a minute later, but Rodriguez was adjudged to be offside when he took Lambert's pass.

Tottenham squandered an opportunity in the 14th minute when a tremendous first-time pass from Roberto Soldado on the left found Nacer Chadli, who raced into the box but found no takers for his cross.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23:  Jay Rodriguez of Southampton turns away after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane on March 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Cliv
Clive Rose/Getty Images

In the 19th minute, though, Southampton took the lead. Kyle Naughton misjudged a long ball upfield from Boruc, and Rodriguez raced clear to place his effort past Lloris.

Lambert collected a ball beautifully on the right side of the area before laying it off to Lallana, whose weak shot was comfortably held by Lloris.

Luke Shaw then went close with some neat footwork followed by a shot which flew just wide of Lloris' goal.

Southampton were by far the better team midway through the opening 45 minutes, with Spurs playing chicken with a high line for offside calls.

Such a tactic will be relished in their next Premier League match when they face Liverpool at Anfield next Sunday.

Another defensive error allowed Southampton to add a second goal in the 28th minute. Naughton failed to clear his lines, and Lambert pounced to pass the ball through to Lallana, who calmly placed his shot beyond Lloris.

But Tottenham took advantage of a mistake in the Southampton defence to claw a goal back in the 31st minute. Nathaniel Clyne allowed a cross to go under his foot, and Eriksen pounced to slam home the loose ball.

By now, Sherwood had left his seat in the White Hart Lane stands to oversee the team from the dug-out.

Lallana again did well to fashion a chance for himself in the 38th minute, but Lloris blocked his shot well.

An excellent cushioned lay-off by Soldado dropped right into the path of Eriksen three minutes before the interval, but the Dane's touch was off, and Boruc was able to claim.

An Eriksen free-kick wide on the left almost caught Boruc by surprise, but the Poland international tipped over.

Sigurdsson replaced the ineffective Dembele for the second half, while Southampton defender Clyne came off for Calum Chambers.

Just 44 seconds into the second period and Spurs were level, with Soldado the architect of the goal. The striker chased Dejan Lovren into the corner for a through ball and emerged victorious with ease before placing a low cross into the six-yard area to Eriksen at the far post to slot home.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane on March 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Cl
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Tottenham were a far different beast in the second period and dominated possession over the Saints. Eriksen went close to a hat-trick in the 52nd minute when he slammed the ball into the side-netting.

Lovren was cautioned in the 60th minute for a foul on Soldado.

With his team under increasing pressure, Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino switched Ramirez for Rodriguez in the 64th minute.

An excellent Kaboul ball almost set up Eriksen, but Chambers provided some great covering to deny the Dane.

Sherwood replaced Aaron Lennon with Andros Townsend in the 72nd minute, while Nabil Bentaleb picked up a caution for a foul seven minutes later.

Southampton were guilty of over-elaborating nine minutes from time when Ramirez burst clear, and more passes than were necessary allowed Tottenham to clear the danger.

Soldado attempted an ambitious first-time volley from Chadli's flick, but his effort was well wide of Boruc's goal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 23: Roberto Soldado of Tottenham Hotspur falls to his knees during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at White Hart Lane on March 23, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Ima
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Lambert snatched at an 89th-minute opportunity for Southampton, which flew wide after Danny Rose blocked Lallana's shot.

In the second minute of injury-time, Sigurdsson struck to claim all three points. Jose Fonte's poor clearance from Lloris' long ball fell to Eriksen, who poked it to the Iceland international on the edge of the area, and his shot beat Boruc.

It was tough luck on Southampton, who will be looking to get back on track when they play host to Newcastle United next weekend.

But Spurs will not be allowed a two-goal deficit at Liverpool in their next game at Liverpool next Sunday.

Pochettino said via Southampton's official Twitter timeline, @SouthamptonFC:

I think it was a case that we lost the game more than Spurs won the game.

In the first half we were dominating and went 2-0 up. I thought we were completely managing the game.

The goal to make it 2-2 changed the game. We suffered after conceding that second goal.

Tottenham's official Twitter feed, @SpursOfficial, reported Sherwood as saying:

We had to dig deep and try to find a way to win the game and I’m so proud of the lads that we managed to achieve that.

Christian (Eriksen) possesses real quality. He gets himself in positions to score. He doesn’t just take part in games, he affects them.

Gylfi gave us a spark and deserved his goal. It doesn’t just happen, he’s out there finishing every day. That’s why he scores goals.


Selected player ratings

Adam Lallana: A

Scored for the first time in seven Premier League matches and again impressed in front of the watching England manager Roy Hodgson. Must surely be closing in on a World Cup spot.


Roberto Soldado: A-

The much-maligned striker might have struggled to make an impact this season, but there were strong indications he is finding his feet with some clever play to set up team-mates.


Kyle Naughton: C

A day to forget for the Tottenham defender after his two errors allowed Southampton to take advantage in the opening 45 minutes.


Christian Eriksen: A

Enjoyed, arguably, his best performance for Tottenham after settling into the game. Pulled Spurs back into the match with his two-goal haul and could easily have added to that tally.


What's ahead

Tottenham will now turn their attentions to the daunting trip to in-form Liverpool in the Premier League next Sunday.

Southampton, meanwhile, will be at home to Newcastle United on Saturday in league action.


Post-match reaction

TalkSport quoted Tottenham goalscorer Sigurdsson as saying:

A top four spot is going to be very difficult. It's out of our hands now.

The most important thing for us is to take one game at a time.

We've got Liverpool next week and that is going to be very difficult.