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Southampton vs Tottenham (2-5): What did we learn about Tottenham’s attack?

A comprehensive victory for Jose’s side and a damaging blow to Southampton’s bad start to the new season.

21/09/2020

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How did both teams set up?

Southampton set up in their usual 4-4-2 with talisman D. Ings leading the line alongside C. Adams. M. Djenepo and S. Armstrong provided the width with J. Ward-Prowse and O. Romeu Vidal in central midfield. The back four saw 1393 155138 and player player starting at center half while K. Walker-Peters and R. Bertrand played as full-backs. A. McCarthy started in goal for the Saints.

As far as Tottenham Hotspur are concerned, skipper H. Lloris started in goal. M. Doherty and B. Davies at left and right-back, respectively. E. Dier partnered D. Sánchez Mina in the back middle of the back four. T. Alderweireld started on the bench, which came as a surprise to many. It was a midfield trio that saw the surprise inclusion of T. NDombèlé Alvaro as a starter. H. Winks and P. Højbjerg were alongside him in the middle of the park. The front three had H. Kane, H. Son, and L. Rodrigues Moura da Silva with S. Bergwijn on the bench.

Southampton’s performance overall

Southampton gave a great fight to Tottenham in the first half. Their pressing was effective and made it difficult for Tottenham to play vertically. The Saints were playing quickly on transition by using the pace of Che Adams behind Tottenham. Moussa Djenepo was a constant threat down the left and created some excellent chances. 

Southampton initially took the lead through Danny Ings in the 32’ minute. It was a good finish from a tight angle. They defended well but eventually conceded at the worst possible time. Just before the half time whistle, Son got a chance from a Harry Kane cross, which he finished perfectly. 

In the second half, it was an ultimate collapse from the home side as they went on to concede four more goals. Their pressing lacked cohesion, and they hardly created a chance. However, Danny Ings scored a consolation second from the spot. 

What did we learn from Tottenham’s performance?

Tottenham, in the first half, were second best in all departments. However, the goal just before the half time made the difference mentally. In the second half, J. dos Santos Mourinho made a tactical switch and brought G. Lo Celso on. Lo Celso’s ability was critical to beat the press, and Southampton’s press was beaten by the Argentine on various occasions. He played effective progressive passes and made a big difference.

However, the notable change was seen in the final third, as Tottenham decided to play on quick transitions. They used Son’s pace excellently to get in behind the Saint’s defense. Harry Kane usually dropped off and allowed Son to make the opposite movement. The duo ended up combining all four goals that were scored by Son. (Fixture details: Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur (20/09/2020)

They went from back to front quickly, and Southampton’s press was beaten by this significant tactical change by Jose’s side. This win can help Tottenham gather some momentum ahead of a hectic schedule.