Football Southampton 2-1 Tottenham: Saints battle back to stun Spurs


Football

James Ward-Prowse scored a stunning free-kick to earn the victory

Two late goals in five minutes earned Southampton an incredible victory against Tottenham to remain clear of the Premier League bottom three.

James Ward-Prowse earned the win with a sensational free-kick from 25 yards to keep the Saints two points ahead of Cardiff, who won at home to West Ham.

The midfielder’s strike came after calamitous defending allowed Southampton to draw level via Yan Valery, who pounced on Danny Rose’s mistake.

Victory seemed unlikely after a poor first half dominated by Spurs who took the lead when Harry Kane scored his 200th career goal.

But the incredible turnaround earned Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team a second consecutive home win – the first time Southampton have achieved that since December 2016.

Tottenham, whose manager Mauricio Pochettino was in the stands as part of his two-match touchline ban, remain third after losing a third league game in four.

Manchester United, who were 13 points behind Spurs when Jose Mourinho was sacked as manager on 16 December, can move level on points with Spurs should they beat Arsenal on Sunday.

Ralph Hassenhuttl earned successive home wins for the first time since December 2016

Hasenhuttl revels in crucial win

At the final whistle, Hasenhuttl joined his team for a huddle on the pitch as they celebrated their first comeback victory of the season.

No team has dropped more points from winning positions this season, underlined by a 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford last Saturday, where they had led 1-0 and drew level with a Ward-Prowse free-kick.

But this time, the Saints midfielder’s strike proved crucial as he scored a sixth goal in nine appearances to lift Southampton up to 16th in the table – above Burnley, who face Liverpool on Sunday.

Credit must also go to midfielder Josh Sims, who, after his half-time introduction, played a pivotal role in turning around the game after Saints’ poor first half.

The home win was also a first over Tottenham since 2005, but more important was the lift it will give Hasenhuttl’s side at such an important stage of the season.

More to follow

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