Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli help power Tottenham to victory
Tottenham overcame a nightmare start at Southampton to record their fifth victory from six games and move within one point of fourth-placed Arsenal in the Premier League table. Virgil van Dijk put the home side into the lead inside the opening two minutes, but headers from Dele Alli and Harry Kane turned the game on its head. Kane then missed a penalty, but Nathan Redmond was sent off for his foul, and Spurs eventually capitalised on their numerical advantage late on, adding two goals from substitute Son Heung-Min and Alli and ultimately running out comfortable 4-1 winners.
Tottenham lacked creativity and goals earlier in the season, but there are few concerns on that front now, and Mauricio Pochettino has a number of in-form attacking threats to choose from. Alli, who looked tired on a few occasions before Christmas, has now scored three times in his past two games, while Kane struck for the first time in four matches on the south coast.
Christian Eriksen has been enjoying one of his purple patches lately, Son has had a useful confidence boost after finding the net against Southampton, and Moussa Sissoko continued his progress with another positive performance. Pochettino will additionally be pleased with Spurs’ character after they came from behind to win for the second game in a row, following their 2-1 victory over Burnley on Dec. 18.
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Jan Vertonghen and Kyle Walker both picked up their fifth bookings in the league, which means they will be suspended for Sunday’s game at Watford — and Toby Alderweireld might not be able to play either, having missed the trip to Southampton with a virus. Spurs were also sloppy at times, and better teams would have punished their slow start and put the game beyond them before they found their feet.
8 out of 10 — The Argentine’s decision to name Sissoko in his starting lineup was rewarded, and when he replaced the Frenchman, substitute Son also made an impact, scoring the goal that put the visitors 3-1 up and out of sight.
Player ratings (1-10, with 10 the best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 6 — He helped his defenders by punching the ball away a couple times, but the captain nearly gifted 10-man Southampton an equaliser when he came out of his box and gave the ball to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who failed to give his shot at the empty net the necessary power or elevation.
DF Kyle Walker, 7 — He performed well at both ends of the pitch again, though his final ball was less accurate than in previous games.
DF Eric Dier, 7 — He looked unflustered at the back and used the ball well.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 7 — He read the game well defensively and played his part in passing moves in deep-lying areas, probing for holes and looking to exploit gaps between Southampton’s players.
DF Danny Rose, 8 — Rose continued his fine run of form, getting forward to good effect and creating a couple chances for Eriksen before setting up the final goal as he attacked through the middle before freeing Alli.
MF Victor Wanyama, 6 — He committed the unnecessary foul that resulted in Southampton’s early opener and then passed the ball to an opponent inside his own penalty box, but he nearly scored a fine goal, beating two men before seeing his shot blocked.
MF Mousa Dembele, 7 — He started well, drawing opponents in and creating space for his teammates while moving the ball astutely, but there were some errant passes as well.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 8 — He made an impact in the final third again, delivering the (deflected) cross that set up Alli’s first-half equaliser and playing the 20-year-old in on goal with a pinpoint pass when Spurs won their second-half penalty.
MF Dele Alli, 9 — He levelled the scores with a towering header and won Spurs’ spot-kick before notching his second goal of the game with a clinical finish late on. The youngster appears to be returning to his best.
MF Christian Eriksen, 8 — He lacked sharpness in the first half and failed to make the most of some promising situations. But he improved markedly after the break, delivering the corner for Kane’s goal, hitting the crossbar and putting Rose through on goal before setting up Son’s strike with a raking long-range pass.
FW Harry Kane, 7 — He put his side ahead with some elusive movement and an accurate header into the top-right corner before thumping his penalty high into the crowd. The striker was the victim of some misfortune, though, as the ball moved on the spot.
MF Son Heung-Min, N/A — He replaced Sissoko in the 74th minute and scored 11 minutes later, latching onto Eriksen’s pass and finishing with aplomb.
MF Harry Winks, N/A — He came on in place of Dembele for the final 10 minutes as Spurs sought to maintain their lead.
FW Vincent Janssen, N/A — He came off the bench in a late bid to add an extra late goal but was unable to do so.
Photo: Dele Alli’s brace helped pace Tottenham to a comfortable win against Southampton on Wednesday.
Source: ESPN FC’