Tuesday 26th December 2017
After hammering Burnley last week, Tottenham turn their attention to Southampton in an early boxing day clash at Wembley Stadium.
The hosts start the game 5th in the table and a win will take them ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League. Meanwhile the visitors currently sit 13th with the big news being Virgil Van Dijk’s future with the Saints. Van Dijk has been left out of the match day squad for the second time in a row with his future uncertain amidst reports Manchester City and Liverpool are tabling a bid for him.
Southampton started the game off well with Sofiane Boufal’s cross being saved by Lloris after Jan Vertonghen gave away a cheap free kick in the 3rd minute. Tottenham pegged back immediately with a chance of their own as Son Heung-Min delivered a sublime cross to Serge Aurier who narrowly missed the net.
Southampton seemed to have struggled in the opening minutes of the game with players making cheap mistakes but ultimately Tottenham couldn’t finish their chances.
Tottenham kept piling on the pressure and eventually they managed to break through. Pierre-Emile Hojberg conceded a dangerous free-kick outside the box by bringing down Danny Rose and it was Christian Eriksen who provided an exquisite cross into the box with Harry Kane heading the ball into the net for the 15th time this season. The goal also meant Kane broke Alan Shearer’s record of 37 premier league goals in a calendar year.
Almost immediately after the goal, the Saints nearly pulled one back as Sofiane Boufal’s shot was saved by Lloris who almost made a blunder as the ball hit the post and nearly went into the back of the net.
However, despite the pressure Southampton were putting on Tottenham, it was the North London side who got the second goal of the day.
A delightful pass from Eriksen to Dele Alli opened up the Saints defence and it was Alli who squared the ball into the six yard box for Kane to tap the ball in for Tottenham’s second goal and Kane’s 16th goal of the season and 38th of the calendar year.
It looked all so easy in the first half for Tottenham with Kane scoring both goals in a record day for the English talisman.
The second half opened with a brilliant chance for Shane Long who had a great opportunity to pull one back for the Saints. Long had the better of the Spurs defenders but was let down by a weak shot which found its way to the arms of Hugo Lloris.
Minutes after, the Saints came close again as Sofiane Boufal saw a long range effort his the frame of the goal.
Despite a good few minutes from the Saints, Spurs made them pay once again as Dele Alli found the ball at the edge of the 18 yard box and drilled a curling effort past Fraser Forster to add a third.
Spurs weren’t done here. Straight after the goal, Dele Alli turned provider as he slipped in Son Meung-Hin and he fired past Forster to make it 4-0.
It was nearly a consecutive hat-trick for record breaker as Kane went inches wide after smashing a volley past the post.
Right up until the hour mark, it looked like exhibition football from the side, however, the Saints did manage to pull one back from their Morrocan international Sofiane Boufal in the 63rd minute. His left foot strike proved to be too much for Lloris at his near post.
Three minutes later, it was the man of the moment who completed his 2nd hat-trick in as many games with a delightful chip over Fraser Forster to make it 5 for Spurs and 39 premier league goals for the calendar year and one behind Teddy Sheringham as Spurs’s all-time top scorer with 96.
It wasn’t the greatest of afternoons for the Saints as Shane Long squandered a great opportunity to add a second for the visitors. Substitute Manolo Gabbiadini played a square pass which required a simple tap in, however Shane Long’s efforts was deflected over from yards out.
With ten minutes left to go on the clock, Southampton continued to go forward as Saints midfielder Hojberg let fly from 20 yards out and forced Hugo Lloris to make a wonderful save. From the resulting corner, Spurs failed to clear their lines as the ball fall to Dusan Tadic as he lofted the ball over Lloris who managed to get a fingertip on it but the ball crept in for a Southampton second.
An emphatic performance by Tottenham moves them unto 4th in the league but it was Kane who stole the show by taking the match ball with a record breaking performance.
Tottenham 5 (Kane 22′, 39′, 67′, Alli 49′, Son Heung-Min 51′)
Southampton 2 (Boufal 64′, Tadic 82′)