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Football Reporting


Late Heung-min Son penalty gives Tottenham Hotspur winning start under Ryan Mason

Tottenham Hotspur’s tumultuous week continued with a late win over Southampton as Heung-Min Son’s late penalty secured a win in the first game under caretaker coach Ryan Mason.

Son’s late spot-kick earned Spurs a win that a lively second-half display just about merited. But the match had looked very different before the break, with visitors Southampton dominating, opening the scoring through Danny Ings and denied on a number of occasions by Hugo Lloris.

It was all change after the interval, with Mason’s Spurs clicking into gear and equalising through Gareth Bale.

And the hosts thought they had completed their comeback when Son slotted home from a Reguilon cut-back, only for VAR to rule the goal out for Lucas obstructing the goalkeeper’s view.

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But VAR did come up in Tottenham’s favour late on, adjudging that a foul on Reguilon occurred fractionally inside the box, and Son did the rest from the spot.

The win sends Spurs above Liverpool into sixth and keeps their chances of European qualification alive – something that presumably is now a matter of concern after the collapse of the Super League plan.

Southampton remain in lower mid-table, not mathematically safe but pretty much certain to stay up and with little to play for except pride now after the FA Cup exit.

Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 21, 2021 in London, England

Image credit: Getty Images

Talking Point – Feel-good vibes return for Spurs

A lacklustre first-half display was a concerning sign to the start of Mason’s caretaker tenure at Spurs, but the young coach will have been hugely encouraged by what he saw after the break. Bale, Son and Lucas Moura all threatened at times, while Giovani Lo Celso also got heavily involved in linking the attack together. But, perhaps most importantly, there were smiles back on the faces of the Spurs players, exactly what they need ahead of the League Cup final on Sunday against Manchester City.

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Man of the Match – Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur)

Gareth Bale may have been excellent in the second half for Spurs, but the hosts would have been dead and buried in the game were it not for their captain. Lloris produced a stunning double-save early on to prevent what seemed like a certain goal, and he also did well do deny Kyle Walker-Peters later in the game. Lloris has quietly been excellent of late despite the struggles ahead of him in the Spurs side.

Player Ratings

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris 8, Aurier 6, Alderweireld 7, Dier 6, Reguilon 6, Lo Celso 7, Hojbjerg 6, Ndombele 6, Lucas Moura 6, Son 7, Bale 8. Subs: Winks 6, Lamela 6, Bergwijn 6

Southampton: McCarthy 6, Walker-Peters 7, Bednarek 6, Vestergaard 6, Salisu 6, Walcott 5, Ward-Prowse 7, Armstrong 6, Tella 6, Adams 6, Ings 7. Subs: Diallo 6, Djenepo 6, Redmond 6

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Key Moments

2’ – Oh my word, what a double-save! A cross is whipped in onto the head of the unmarked Salisu, who is denied by a stunning Lloris stop. The loose ball falls straight to Che Adams, all on his own and with the goal gaping, but Lloris somehow scrambles to his feet to make a second sensational save. The Southampton players hold their head in their hands, mouths gaping. They can barely believe it isn’t 1-0.

13’ – Walker-Peters latches onto a fluffed Reguilon interception and only the onrushing Lloris denies Southampton an opening goal.

30’ GOAL! – Danny Ings meet Ward-Prowse’s corner and flicks a header across the keeper and into the far bottom corner.

60’ GOAL! – Spurs have the equaliser and it’s Gareth Bale who’s got it. He’s been the best player on the park since the restart and takes full advantage when a deflected Lucas shot falls to him on the right of the box, stepping onto his left foot and curling a shot into the far corner.

75’ – Spurs think they have the lead as Lo Celso finds Reguilon with a lovely pass, who squares for Son to tuck into the bottom corner. However, VAR spots Lucas in an offside position that may be blocking the view of the goalkeeper and the goal is chalked off.

88’ – Spurs appeal for a penalty for handball and then a foul on Reguilon as the Spaniard squirts a shot wide. The penalty for handball isn’t given, but the second foul is, and it’s right on the edge of the box. VAR zooms right in and adjudges that the foul occurred inside the box. It’s a penalty for Spurs!

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90’ GOAL! – Heung-Min Son steps up to take the penalty and tucks it home. It’s 2-1 to Spurs and that could well be the game!

Key Stat

  • Heung-Min Son’s late penalty took his Premier League goal tally to 15 for the season, his best ever campaign for Tottenham.

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