25/04/2015: Saints 2-2 Tottenham

Saints were left slightly frustrated after coming away with just a point against Tottenham. Ronald Koeman's side created more clear cut chances, worked harder and played a more attractive brand of football. The result leaves Saints 7th, a point behind Spurs and Liverpool.

Toby Alderweireld overcame the injury he sustained at Stoke and started in a similar role just in front of the defence. There was plenty of interchanging of positions between the defensive players during the first half, and the full-backs were given licence to bomb on.

Saints worked hard without the ball during the first 15 minutes. The team was well organised, but spent quite a bit of the early going chasing the ball, with Spurs looking slicker in possession. The game was very physical, but chances were few and far between at first. On 18 Bertrand whipped a dangerous looking ball across goal, but nobody was there to get on the end of it. Seven minutes later Hugo Lloris saved well from Morgan Schneiderlin, who hooked the ball towards goal from a corner.

Saints were slowly gaining more control of the game, building from deep. On 29 they were ahead. Sadio Mane burst through the Tottenham defence on the counter. He was challenged on the edge of the area. Steven Davis appeared to be taken down before Spurs inexplicably switched off. Graziano Pelle took advantage of a weak back-pass, slotting in after beating Ben Davies to the ball.

Saints had a couple of chances to extend their lead before half-time. Pelle headed into the ground from James Ward-Prowse's free-kick. Davis shot wide on 40 from Bertrand's cross on the break. Saints were fizzing it around nicely, but slacked off slightly towards the end of the half and were made to pay. Erik Lamela appeared to touch the ball in with his shoulder from Eric Dier's cross.

Saints were more efficient going forward in the second half. Davis dragged the ball wide on 50. A few minutes later the same player missed a guilt-edged chance, firing just over the bar following a slick team move. Lloris then did very well to tip Betrand's deflected cross over. Bertrand's next effort was more deliberate. The full-back curled just over on the hour with his right foot.

With the pressure building Saints were finally ahead on 65. Mane was involved once again, making a good run before playing the ball to substitute Shane Long on the right. Long's cross was perfectly weighted for Pelle, who jumped high to head in past Lloris.

Saints appeared to be in control, but Spurs once again hit back. It took them just five minutes to level, somewhat against the run of play. Nacer Chadli got in behind the Saints back line before slotting low into the far post.

The game fizzled out slightly towards the end. Both teams were fighting hard without really creating chances. Spurs looked semi threatening on the break, and Saints had a few opportunities from set pieces. Injuries to Ben Davies and Schneiderlin meant over 7 minutes of injury time. Alderweireld had a header saved from a corner. Then with seconds to spare Jose Fonte came agonisingly close to nodding in. It wasn't to be, however. The game ended all-square.

A really good game of football. The action was entertaining enough on its own, but the atmosphere made it feel even better. It was the loudest St Mary's has been all season. The fans and the players were well up for it. It's just a shame the team couldn't quite deliver the three points. A win really would have left us in a great position, but the performance was encouragement enough, and it's still very much all to play for. Saints' improvement going forward was epitomised by Pelle, who was an outstanding presence up front. The Italian looks to be rediscovering that early season form at just the right time.

Player Ratings

K Davis: 5. Could have probably done better for both of the Tottenham goals. Didn't have many other saves to make

Clyne: 7. A fairly solid outing

Fonte: 8. Always well positioned. Made plenty of brave tackles

Yoshida: 7. If you were being really picky you could perhaps portion blame to him for the second Spurs goal, but otherwise he did well. Played himself out of some testing situations and calm under pressure

Bertrand: 8. A good outlet for Saints going forward. Plenty of good bursts down the left flank and some decent delivery

Alderweireld: 7. Did fairly well considering he probably wasn't quite 100%

Schneiderlin: 7. Passing pretty good. Did all the ugly work in midfield well too

S Davis: 6. Below par in the first-half, but much better after the break. Got into plenty of good positions. Just let down by his finishing

Ward-Prowse: 7. Made some explosive runs down the right and provided plenty of energy

Mane: 7. Worked very hard. Created plenty of openings with his incessant chasing

Pelle: 8. Two goals and an all-round very good performance. Held the ball up well


Long: 7. Pressed well and a nice cross for the second

Elia: Some decent set piece delivery, but nothing from open play

Reed: Didn't really do anything of note

Match Details

Saints - Pelle (29, 65)

Tottenham - Lamela (43) Chadli (71)

Attendance - 31,622 (3,156 Tottenham fans)

Referee - Jonathan Moss


Saints: K Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Bertrand, Alderweireld, Schneiderlin (Reed 89), Ward-Prowse (Long 62), S Davis (Elia 81), Mane, Pelle

Subs not used: Gazzaniga, Gardos, Targett, Tadic

Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies (Chiriches 75), Mason, Bentaleb (Soldado 87), Eriksen, Lamela, Chadli (Dembele 83), Kane

Subs not used: Vorm, Yedlin, Stambouli, Townsend

Previous Match Reports

20/04/2015: Saints U21s 2-1 Blackburn U21s
18/04/2015: Stoke 2-1 Saints
11/04/2015: Saints 2-0 Hull
04/04/2015: Everton 1-0 Saints
21/03/2015: Saints 2-0 Burnley
16/03/2015: Saints U21s 2-0 Liverpool U21s
15/03/2015: Chelsea 1-1 Saints
05/03/2015: Saints U21s 4-2 Derby U21s
03/03/2015: Saints 1-0 Crystal Palace
28/02/2015: West Brom 1-0 Saints
23/02/2015: Saints U21s 0-0 Tottenham U21s
22/02/2015: Saints 0-2 Liverpool
12/02/2015: Saints U21s 3-2 Watford U21s
11/02/2015: Saints 0-0 West Ham
07/02/2015: QPR 0-1 Saints
01/02/2015: Saints 0-1 Swansea
24/01/2015: Saints 2-3 Crystal Palace
17/01/2015: Newcastle 1-2 Saints
15/01/2015: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
14/01/2015: Ipswich 0-1 Saints
12/01/2015: Fulham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
11/01/2015: Man United 0-1 Saints
04/01/2015: Saints 1-1 Ipswich
01/01/2015: Saints 2-0 Arsenal
28/12/2014: Saints 1-1 Chelsea
26/12/2014: Crystal Palace 1-3 Saints
20/12/2014: Saints 3-0 Everton
16/12/2014: Sheffield United 1-0 Saints
13/12/2014: Burnley 1-0 Saints
09/12/2014: Saints U18s 2-1 West Ham U18s
08/12/2014: Saints 1-2 Man United
03/12/2014: Arsenal 1-0 Saints
01/12/2014: Saints U21s 1-0 Man United U21s
30/11/2014: Saints 0-3 Man City
24/11/2014: Aston Villa 1-1 Saints
08/11/2014: Saints 2-0 Leicester
01/11/2014: Hull 0-1 Saints
29/10/2014: Stoke 2-3 Saints
25/10/2014: Saints 1-0 Stoke
18/10/2014: Saints 8-0 Sunderland
05/10/2014: Tottenham 1-0 Saints
29/09/2014: Saints U21s 2-0 Norwich U21s
27/09/2014: Saints 2-1 QPR
23/09/2014: Arsenal 1-2 Saints
20/09/2014: Swansea 0-1 Saints
13/09/2014: Saints 4-0 Newcastle
12/09/2014: Tottenham U21s 3-2 Saints U21s
30/08/2014: West Ham 1-3 Saints
26/08/2014: Millwall 0-2 Saints
23/08/2014: Saints 0-0 West Brom
22/08/2014: West Ham U21s 1-2 Saints U21s
17/08/2014: Liverpool 2-1 Saints
09/08/2014: Saints 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen
31/07/2014: Brighton 1-3 Saints
25/07/2014: Bournemouth 0-1 Saints
21/07/2014: Swindon 0-1 Saints