Southampton 1 Spurs 1: Replay Needed to Settle Fourth Round Tie
It was a result that neither team really needed but at least Saturday’s 1-1 draw keeps us in the hat for the fifth round draw. Tottenham looked to be in control for long periods of time but a failure to take chances allowed the Saints to square it late on.
The replay is inked in for next Wednesday, February 5th and Jose Mourinho’s men will be looking for a more comfortable 90 minutes at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The first period was relatively even although Southampton had the better of the chances. Danny Ings has been a nuisance for Spurs this season, scoring both of the Saints’ goals against us in the league and he could have put the hosts ahead. Ings’ goal bound effort was cleared by Japhet Tanganga off the line and the sides went in all square at the break.
Tottenham eased their way into the match and should have been comfortable in the second period. With Harry Winks making a Lazarus-like recovery, the midfield was solid and it was our impressive Argentinian – Giovani Lo Celso – who created the move that broke the deadlock.
Breaking out of his own half, Lo Celso defied the challenges and found substitute Erik Lamela whose pass left Son Heung-Min clear on the left of the box. Sonny’s measured strike into the corner claimed the lead on 58 minutes and from there, we had enough chances to put the tie to bed.
Not taking those chances proved costly as Sofiane Boufal found the roof of the bet with just three minutes of normal time remaining. It was an expected blow for the pessimists but for those that are relieved that we remain in the competition, their thoughts are echoed by those of Jose Mourinho.
They put some pressure on us in the last minutes. The ball didn’t go out for about five minutes. They scored. But we are alive.
Jose told BBC Sport.
We are going on that difficult way! We are working. We don’t need one more match but we have it so we are going to fix it. This is the way it is. It’s better to draw than to be out. We have a match at home which is difficult of course, but better than losing.
We had to wait for chances to score. Good transitions, good passing, good positions then we had Son Heung-min who missed by a few inches and the keeper made a good save.
The replay will take place on Wednesday week, after our match with Manchester City this Sunday. Much can happen in the interim with Tottenham tipped to have an active week as the transfer window comes to a close.
Interestingly, it was the new faces that largely took the headlines. Gedson Fernandes made his first start for the club while Lo Celso put in another impressive display and is rapidly becoming a fan’s favourite. Will the squad be added to ahead of that replay and can we expect to start taking those chances ahead of an important month of key fixtures?