Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton
White Hart Lane - Sunday, 19th March 2017
> A good fightback in the second half, but it falls short
> James Ward-Prowse scores a very good goal
> Gabbiadini injured on the half hour
IBO Reporter : Spot51
I hate Tottenham. I always have and I always will. In my mind they have never been more than a bunch of cheating bastards and my most cherished memory of Rupert Lowe is when he described them as North-London Yobbos.
I watched bits of the 75m build up on Sky and went online to check the teams. My heart sank when I saw the referee was Andre Bloody Marriner – just three weeks after he handed the League Cup to United with his piss-poor decisions. Surely lightning couldn’t strike twice: could it?
Saints were unchanged again and Spurs’ only change since their last league outing was Son in for the injured Harry Kane. Saints kicked off but Spurs were soon domination possession but good pressing by our team won an early throw deep in their half.
On 3 minutes the dangerous Eriksen, wide on Spurs’ right, played a glorious ball beyond our defence and into the stride of Son. The striker got his shot away but Forster was quickly out to block at the expense of a corner. Bertie headed the corner away but Spurs got the ball back. Thankfully our guys defended well and saw off the danger.
Play stopped on 6m for Tadić to receive treatment. Then Spurs continued passing the ball around until, on 8m, Saints pressing forced Lloris to hack the ball into touch. A minute later Tadić put the ball over Spurs back line whereupon the flag immediately went up. To my amazement, replays showed Gabbiadini actually WAS offside…
On 10m Dier was booked for a crude hack on Redmond after he had skinned two Spurs midfielders. Then Saints put together a lovely passing move culminating in the overlapping Bertie earning a corner. JWP’s kick reached Tadić on the other side of the area. His return close was too close to Lloris who grabbed it.
On 13m Walker won a corner off Yoshida and it was played short. When the ball was eventually played in towards Son, Jack Stephens won it and cleared upfield. Spurs recovered the ball and Dembele found Eriksen cutting in from the right. The Dane looked up and curled a sweet shot beyond Fraser into the far corner: 1-0 Spurs.
The next few minutes were all Spurs but the only chance they created saw Alli turn in the box and fire straight at Forster. By 17m Saints were back upfield where JWP cushioned a header into the path of Romeu. The Spaniard caught it sweetly but his shot was always curling just beyond the far post.
On 20m Saints won a free kick for a foul on Davis. Spurs were able to clear, initially for a throw but then down the other end of the pitch. Fraser then played the pass of the match, taking the whole Spurs outfield out of the game. Sadly it was not Gabbiadini but Redmond braking forward. Whereas the Italian would doubtless have scored, Nathan prevaricated allowing Dier to get back to clear.
Spurs then mounted attacks, initially winning a corner which Gabbiadini cleared. Then Alli set up Ericson but his effort was blocked by Yoshida for another corner. This kick, from the right, was met by Toby whose downward header looked to be going in until Forster’s huge glove shovelled it away.
On 26m Redmond was booked for fouling Victor. Then it was Saints turn to enjoy some attacking. First Gabbiadini played a neat one-two with Tadić but curled his shot just outside the post. Then Cédric got down the right. His long cross found Redmond who knocked the ball into the path of Tadić. Sadly the Serb fired over.
On 30m the trainer came on to attend to Gabbiadini. It soon became clear he could not continue and Shane Long got ready to replace him. The officials then hurried the Italian off the park allowing Spurs to restart before Long could get on.
They set up a quick attack and Saints responded with the sort of comedy defending they specialised in last Autumn. Having bounced around our box, the ball dropped towards Davis on the edge. Sensing a cheating opportunity, Alli hooked his foot round Davis’s standing leg and hurled himself to the ground. Instead of booking the cheating bastard, Andre Bloody Marriner gave a penalty which Alli himself took putting Spurs 2-0 up.
I always thought Alli was a nasty piece of work – why else would Spurs sign him? English referees let him get away with murder but one hopes that international or European officials will take a harder line. If they do not, I can think of several international defenders who will mete out their own justice. Indeed, we had Martin Cáceres on the bench. Puel should have immediately sent him on to hospitalise the little shit-bag.
Long was then allowed on. I lost interest in the match at that point. I did note that on 36m Wanyama put the ball behind and the officials gave Spurs a goal kick. Two minutes later, Toby dived when pressurised by Long and was given a free kick. Is Marriner capable of refereeing even-handedly?
The uncouth Walker then got a long-overdue yellow for his foul on Bertie. In the 3 added minutes Redmond was fouled allowing JWP to put the ball into Spurs box. His initial kick was cleared but Saints recovered possession and Tadić broke beyond the defenders on the right side of the box. Ben Davies came across taking not one but both Tadić’s legs from underneath him. It was as clear a penalty as I’ve ever seen. Even Davies looked shocked that it was not given. At that point I went out to do the recycling bins.
When I returned the 2nd half was underway. It was the 49th minute and Eriksen scooped a presentable opportunity over Saints’ bar. Saints then attacked down the right but Cédric’s cross was adjudged to have gone out of play. By this time I had so little faith in the judgement of the officials I assumed they had called this wrong too.
Then, on 52m, Redmond got down the left and knocked the ball across the box. Both Dier and Toby (Ha Ha) failed to cut it out and JWP had time to stop the ball before hitting it past Vertonghen with his swinger. 2-1 and Saints had a foothold in the game.
Our team were buoyed by that and suddenly looked capable of getting an equaliser. On 57m Long was flagged offside when he was not, but Spurs gave the ball straight back to us. Davis found Long breaking into the box but Lloris was able to save his shot.
On 61m Victor was booked for his foul on Tadić. For once, JWP’s delivery was poor and the ball sailed behind for a goal kick. The game became very scrappy; neither team seemed capable of stringing two passes together and the home crowd were getting anxious that Spurs were unable to dominate possession as they usually do.
On 69m Tadić was withdrawn with Boufal sent on in his place. Two minutes later Davis and Dier clashed leaving both rolling on the ground. Our captain was able to rise under his own steam but the Spurs man needed treatment before continuing.
On 74m Saints put together the best passing move, which was halted by an offside flag: Long again, and this time he might have been. Then Spurs took off Son and sent on Winks. He had an immediate effect, running with the ball until fouled by Davis. Ericksen sent his free kick beyond the back post. Then Spurs replaced Walker with Trippier and soon after Jay Rod came on for Redmond.
On 80m Boufal lost the ball and, in his hurry to recover it, fouled Winks and was yellow-carded. On 86m Janssen replaced Eriksen and on 88m Jay Rod was played in but Toby closed him down and averted the danger. In the final minute, with Saints far upfield, Janssen was put free on the left. He chose to shoot but Fraser turned it away for a corner which Spurs wasted.
There were 5 added minutes and Saints strove for an equaliser. They stitched together another lovely move but Boufal shot wide. Long continued to be flagged offside – whether or not he actually was. In the penultimate minute Davis almost played Saints into trouble. Romeu saved his bacon at the cost of a yellow card.
The final action saw Stephens hack down Dier but time was up and Saints had lost by the odd goal. What an odd goal it was too!
For the second time in 3 weeks this referee influenced the outcome of another match in favour of our opponents. It would be nice to be beaten by a better side for a change and not suffer because bastard officials fail to do their jobs properly. Under the circumstances there seems no point in identifying a player as Man of the Match as their contributions are largely incidental to the outcome.
15 Dier - Booked 11'
2 Walker - Booked 39' (Trippier 78')
12 Wanyama - Booked 61'
23 Eriksen (Janssen 86')
7 Son Heung-min (Winks 75')
14 Romeu - Booked 90'
11 Tadić (Boufal 69' - Booked 81')
22 Redmond - Booked 26' (Rodriguez 80')
20 Gabbiadini (Long 32')
Sun, 19 Mar 2017
Tottenham Hotspur 2
- Eriksen 14'
- Alli 33' (pen)
- Ward-Prowse 52'
Referee : Andre Marriner
Attendance : 31,697
Tottenham Hotspur 51%
Tottenham Hotspur 12
Shots on Target
Tottenham Hotspur 6
Tottenham Hotspur 5
Tottenham Hotspur 12