(Reuters) - SOUTHAMPTON 2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1
Goals from Yan Valery and James Ward-Prowse conjured a spectacular comeback win for Southampton who stunned Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday after being completely outclassed in the first half.
Both players had scored in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester United last weekend and struck again within five second-half minutes which turned the game and condemned Spurs to a fourth successive Premier League game without a win — their worst run since 2017.
Yet for much of the match it had looked routine for the visitors who took the lead through Harry Kane on 26 minutes. The striker combined beautifully with the returning Dele Alli for his 200th career goal and seventh in five games against shell-shocked Saints.
Christian Eriksen went close to increasing the lead, fizzing one shot against the bar and having another parried away by keeper Angus Gunn.
But the introduction of Shane Long injected new life into the Saints and although the Irishman lasted just 15 minutes before going off injured, he inspired a revival as Valery scored on 76 minutes with a shot that bounced off the ground.
Five minutes later, Ward-Prowse, who had also scored direct from a free kick against Manchester United, produced another set-piece strike, which this time proved crucial.
The 24-year-old, who has now scored six goals in nine league games, struck his shot from just outside the area in the centre of the goal, curling the ball past Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris as Saints recorded back-to-back home league wins for the first time since December, 2016.
“I spend a lot of time practising the free kicks and thankfully this has contributed to three points today,” Ward-Prowse said.
“It is hard to put into words, we were lucky to get in at 1-0 at halftime. We changed a few things at the interval and got our rewards at the end.”
Tottenham were fortunate to end the game with 11 men after Kyle Walker-Peters and Moussa Sissoko made challenges that could have resulted in red cards.
Defeat left Spurs hanging on to third place, three points ahead of Manchester United who have a game in hand and play Arsenal on Sunday. Southampton climbed to 16th.
Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond