Tottenham scored in stoppage time to beat Southampton 3-2 at White Hart Lane, with Christian Eriksen playing a starring role for the hosts. The Dane bagged a brace and set up the winning goal to send Spurs above Everton into fifth place in the Premier League table.
With the hosts 2-0 up early on, Eriksen netted each side of half-time to put his team back on level terms. He probed at the Southampton back four all afternoon and was Tottenham's brightest player on what looked to be a frustrating afternoon for the home side before he set up Gylfi Sigurdsson's late strike.
Lets take a look how Twitter reacted to Eriksen's superb showing.
Tim Sherwood opted for a 4-5-1 system, with Eriksen playing initially off the left-hand side. The former Ajax man prefers to play centrally, and it’s fair to say that he didn’t look overly comfortable in that position during the opening exchanges:
Christian Eriksen looks about as comfortable on the left wing as Mussolini would.— Raj Bains (@BainsXIII) March 23, 2014
Spurs were defending atrociously in the first half and they soon fell 2-0 down after Southampton netted through Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana.
They desperately needed a spark to get back into the game, and it was Eriksen who provided the goal, reacting quickly following a mistake from Nathaniel Clyne in the 30th minute:
30 - Goal: Eriksen gets us back into the game. 1-2. #COYS— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 23, 2014
Eriksen could have made it 2-2 in double quick time, but he failed to capitalise on a magical layoff from Roberto Soldado. Paddy Power were not best pleased:
Beautiful touch from Soldado and Eriksen fluffs a great chance for Spurs!— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 23, 2014
Tottenham finished the half strongly and were unlucky not to go in on level terms. The Spurs official Twitter account posed the question as to whether Eriksen could net again in the second half:
That question was answered in immediate and emphatic fashion, as the Dane snaffled his second goal just seconds after the restart. He was in the right place at the right time once again as Soldado out-muscled Dejan Lovren and put it on a plate for the 22-year-old:
Richard Keys pointed out this was the first time in Eriksen’s professional career that he’s bagged a brace:
First time Eriksson has ever scored 2 in a game - inc his time at Ajax.— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) March 23, 2014
Squawka's statistics indicate Eriksen is quite the potent finisher when the chances fall to him:
Christian Eriksen now has a shot accuracy of 75% in the EPL this season and a chance conversion rate of 21%.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 23, 2014
Lord Alan Sugar was insistent Spurs could go on to grab all three points given Eriksen’s growing influence:
Can we go on and win the game Eriksen on fire today— Lord Sugar (@Lord_Sugar) March 23, 2014
Meanwhile, Ajax supporters were lamenting the loss of the player they sold to Spurs last summer:
Christian Eriksen is a player we really miss at Ajax. Special.— Babette van Haaren (@BabettevHaaren) March 23, 2014
Spurs continued piling the pressure on with Erisken at the heart of all their most threatening pieces of play. Southampton were missing the defensive nous of players like Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama in midfield, and the former Ajax man was finding pockets off the space and causing real problems as Saints' legs began to tire.
Eriksen's influence was growing in the second half, and FourFourTwo's influence map shows that he was not restricted to playing on the left side:
The game looked to be fizzling out in the latter stages with both sides a little leggy as we moved into the final 10 minutes. But there was one moment of magic left, and Eriksen was at the heart of things again.
He cushioned a Nacer Chadli knockdown into the path of Sigurdsson, who rifled a strike home from 25 yards, giving Spurs victory in the most dramatic of circumstances.
It was a brilliant strike from the Iceland international, but Eriksen's subtle touch did not go unnoticed:
Eriksen's lay off was sublime and the strike by Siggy even better.— Paul O Keefe (@pokeefe1) March 23, 2014
The Dane was the catalyst for the Tottenham turnaround, and he was rightly awarded man of the match by Sky Sports:
Christian Eriksen has been named the Sky Sports man of the match. #THFC— Hotspur Related (@HotspurRelated) March 23, 2014
Eriksen also picked up the Squawka's man of the match gong:
Squawka Man of the Match: Christian Eriksen with a Performance Score of 94. pic.twitter.com/rEEy66YMET— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 23, 2014
After showing glimpses of his talent throughout the course of the campaign, this was the first time Eriksen has dragged this Tottenham team victory with a performance over the course of entire 90 minutes.
Spurs are now just six points behind North London rivals Arsenal in the race for the Champions League spot. If Eriksen can continue turning in virtuoso performances like this, then they have an outside chance of overhauling the Gunners.