Mourinho’s side looked to be heading out of the competition with less than 20 minutes remaining as Saints goals from Shane Long (34’) and Danny Ings (72’) overturned an early Jack Stephens (12’) own goal on his 100th Southampton appearance handed Tottenham the advantage. Spurs rallied when they needed to, though with Lucas and Son – the two men asked to step up in the absence of Kane & scoring the goals to turn this game around. Spurs will expect to beat Norwich at home in the fifth round for a place in the quarter-finals.
Tottenham Spurs was poor on the defensive and there other position of them giving up too much space, particularly in the areas between the wide center-backs and the Full-backs. They didn’t move the ball with any conviction until the closing stages and their final decisions were poor.
Southampton lost James Ward-Prowse to a grisly-looking knee injury but it did not affect their rhythm. Happily, the post-match update was positive, revealing only a deep cut. The club will be curious about what happened as they had been for the better side, yet collapsed after going in front, and they are now left to focus on pushing for a UEFA Europa League place.
Southampton had been the better team, particularly during a one-sided first-half. The viscidity football had belonged to them and so did the majority of the chances. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s tactics looked spot on and his players were stronger and quicker. They pressed with greater intensity. They seemed to be having fun.
Match Turning Point
Yet Spurs found a way to dig deeper. They did not play particularly pretty football but in the end, it was winning football and to Mourinho, that was all that mattered. Lucas returns the passes with Alli to score with a fierce low shot, having skipped past a substitute, Jannik Vestergaard, and, as extra time loomed, Dele Alli, who came off the bench to make a difference. He curled a wonderful pass through for Son.
He ran around the goalkeeper, Angus Gunn, who had hesitated before leaving his line, and everybody knew what was going to happen next. Gunn’s challenge was rash, Son went down and, in real-time, it added up to a penalty for the referee, David Coote.
The replays showed contact was minimal, restricted to Gunn catching Son with a hand. Was it sufficient to send him tumbling? Son did not care about the debate. He picked himself up to score the penalty and Southampton found their best efforts were undermined at the last. Mourinho said that the best team had lost but Hasenhüttl did not want compliments, he wanted to progress.
Southampton manager said
“It is not enough to dominate,” “In the last 15 minutes, we gave it away too easy. We didn’t defend well. I am not happy. It’s not about being the better team, it’s about being the winning team.”