Southampton 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Rating Spurs players in massive upset at St. Mary's | Premier League 2019-20
Danny Ings was on target for the 13th time in the Premier League this season, as Southampton stung a lacklustre Tottenham Hotspur at St. Mary's to leave Jose Mourinho and co. still five points outside the top four.
As for the Saints, 10 points from a possible 12 in the festive period has sweetened Christmas and New Year celebrations. Once knocked out by a series of sucker punches that included the 9-0 drubbing against Leicester City, Ralph Hasenhuttl has injected a new sense of optimism and structure into his side, who now sit pretty on 11th place in the table.
Things can change way too quickly in football, and as the ball was superbly taken by an in-form Ings, it also marked the roller coaster ride Spurs have been on.
In what turned out as an eventful match clouded by a couple of VAR interventions and as many injuries - to Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele - there was a baseline of disappointment displayed by the visitors. Mourinho's side got going only sporadically, and if at all they did, it was certainly not enough to test Alex McCarthy.
Southampton meanwhile, held their press extremely well, took the sting out of Spurs and defended out of their skin in the second half. And with a striker in such blistering form, it's safe to say the Saints are marching towards the better half of the PL table.
There's something not right at North London however, as Spurs' stop-start, chaotic season wears on. Here, we rate the players who ended up on the losing side at St. Mary's.
Paulo Gazzaniga - 5/10
Gazzaniga hasn't looked convincing in goal ever since Hugo Lloris' injury, but here, he could hardly do anything when his center-backs were taken to the cleaners. He should really however, do better with his distribution.
Serge Aurier - 3/10
Aurier was once again, dreadful. He was beaten way too many times as Southampton lofted many balls in behind him. Going forward, he simply offered nothing. Wasteful.
Toby Alderweireld - 2/10
Perhaps, we're seeing the more calamitous side of Toby Alderweireld. The veteran was turned inside out by Nathon Redmond time and time again, and while he failed to deal with the quick, varied spread of passing, the tricky Southampton wingers also gave him a real hard time.
Moment of the day was ultimately stolen by Danny Ings, who almost sent him out of the pitch to beautifully score the first goal. He had literally no right to get in between the center-halves, or leave one of them in his wake. Here, we're talking about one of the best in the business at the back.
Jan Vertonghen - 1/10
Jan Vertonghen had an outing to forget. Absolutely nothing went his way. Throughout the course of the game, he looked like a fish out of water and was outfoxed by Ings' movement, as seen in the goal as well.
Southampton's pressing, crossing and movement in and around him proved too good, epitomised by the moment when Ings left him five yards away to net the eventual winner.
The Belgian should have scored easily too, as his effort from point blank range was blazed way over.
Ryan Sessegnon - 6/10
One of the better performers for Tottenham on a rather dismal staging. He held his mark well, got nice and narrow whenever needed and was safe in possession. Could have and maybe should have, whipped them in with more zip.
Moussa Sissoko - 3/10
Sissoko was robust and solid down the right, but going forward, his decision-making let him down. Twice, he had the chance of running at clean grass ahead of him, but instead went for a cross towards Alli or Kane, without much incision. Couldn't effect or bulldoze through the Saints back line in the second half at all.
Tanguy Ndombele - 2/10
Ndombele maybe, is just not suited to the holding role at the heart of midfield. With red and white striped shirts swarming and working their way through his side, it seemed apparent. Unfortunate to have picked up another injury.
Christian Eriksen - 4/10
Eriksen's deliveries were far from what we've known or heralded him as. The Dane just couldn't get his head up in time or pick the perfectly waited pass. Defensively as well, he was completely undone by a side that went about in packs and pairs.
Maybe, his heart is set on moving to Milan.
Lucas Moura - 3/10
The Brazilian failed to penetrate through an energetic Southampton midfield that completely screened its full-backs. He was outplayed by the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse.
Moura had to do a lot of the work without the ball, and with it, his side were clearly shorn of an end product from him.
Dele Alli - 3/10
Dele Alli, much like the rest of his colleagues, couldn't add that cutting edge or spark Spurs were vying for all evening. He had a good shout for a penalty, but sadly, that turned out to be his most notable contribution.
Harry Kane - 5/10
Unfortunately for him and credit to the hosts, Kane was closed down extremely well whenever Spurs broke. Like Moura, he hardly saw any of the ball in the first half.
The Spurs skipper was denied by McCarthy once, before his goal - Spurs only real chance in the second half - was ruled out as offside. Matters worsened when he twitched his hamstring.
Giovani Lo Celso - 3/10
The Argentine came in early on for the injured Ndombele, but over 65 minutes or so, failed to imprint his influence on the pitch. He worked hard to get into various positions ahead of the Southampton midfield, but offered little or no creativity.
The loopy pass that was cleared to the night sky by Bednarek in the final moments of the game summed up Lo Celso's evening.
Erik Lamela - NA
Played just about 15 minutes, and could hardly produce the final ball or interplay with Aurier. Was also dispossessed a couple of times, much to Mourinho's frustration.Published 02 Jan 2020, 00:54 IST