JUST plays with the Saints – but it’s easy to spot the sinners.
Antonio Conte warned us not to be overly optimistic by his impressive start as Tottenham manager.
He told us Spurs just a mid-tier club and there is still a lot of work to be done to restore it to its former glory.
And here his players proved him right.
Luckily going into halftime 1-1 after being battered by opponents, Spurs even took the lead – before conceding two late goals.
They could feel the football gods were ruthless when Steven Bergwijn salvo was last ruled out for offside.
But they can’t argue Southampton unworthy of victory.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men were brave, fervent and fully deserved to win, even if they were late.
But after remaining unbeaten in his first nine Premier League games against Spurs, Conte has now lost his last two.
In fact, it’s probably a more true reflection of their current position.
They are still competing for a top-four finish, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion.
And if they go on to qualify for the Champions League, Spurs’ hierarchy should be used to check the cracks that still abound.
Both teams are buoyed by their FA Cup win on Saturday.
Conte named the starting line-up similar to their 3-1 FA Cup fourth round win over Brighton.
Hasenhuttl made ten changes from the Saints’ 2-1 extra-time win over Coventry, with only captain James Ward-Prowse keeping his spot.
The Saints almost took the lead in the fourth minute when Mohamed Elyounoussi brilliantly passed the ball from the left to Che Adams from within 5m50.
But the Scots striker squandered his first shot against Hugo Lloris when he should have been in the net.
Conte revealed in his pre-match press conference Spurs have agreed to convert Cristian Romero’s loan spell from Atalanta into a £46.7m permanent switch this summer.
And the Argentina defender thought he was celebrating the goal when he headed home Son Heung-min in the 13th minute.
But the attempt was ruled out for offside.
Sergio Reguilon then made an Adams, after Harry Kane’s pass found him unmarked in the area, he showed no composure as he blew the ball into Fraser Forster.
But the Southampton stopper could do nothing when his defender Jan Bednarek – under pressure from Son – missed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s cross into his net to give Spurs a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute. 16.
With the away team’s streak of not keeping a clean sheet now extended to 12, it looks like the matches will open.
But the Saints, to their credit, refuse to roll over and continue pressing their hosts.
After Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong hit nasty shots towards the Spurs goal, Armando Broja made a Romain Perraud cross to equalize in the 22nd minute after Ben Davies slipped in an attempt to block.
Tottenham suddenly dominated and fortunately won the break after the Saints thrashed them for the rest of the half.
Armstrong had a header from Perraud’s cross that was saved by Lloris and Broja missed a sight as the opponent’s keeper to beat him shot the ball wide of the post.
Conte, furious with his team’s defence, reacted to that miss by kicking a bucket of water next to his bench.
And there was still time for the brilliant Perraud to smash the crossbar with a thunderous 25-yard strike before the home fans booed their team at half-time after seeing them hit just two. shot against 15 of the Saints.
Surprisingly Conte made no changes throughout the period and his side created their first chance in the second half when Kane’s long-range header from Reguilon’s cross went over the bar.
It looked like a black cat crossed the Saints’ path as Spurs improved away before Son missed a pass from Lucas Moura in the 68th minute.
Hasenhuttl and his players were furious when they felt Emerson had fouled Broja on the set.
But the Austrian and his stars used their sense of injustice to ignite and create a stunning comeback late in the game as Elyounoussi made it 2-2 with a strike. stooped from Ward-Prowse’s cross in the 78th minute.
Adams then atone for his early miss by heading to another good JWP center for the winner three minutes later.
Spurs thought sub Bergwijn had earned them a point when he headed home Romero from close range.
But VAR John Brooks correctly penalized it for offside.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17604352/tottenham-southampton-premier-league-match-report/ Che Adams seals it as the Saints fight from behind in thriller to beat Spurs’ top four hopes