Tottenham Hotspur winger, and newly crowned PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year Gareth Bale has stolen a valuable win from the jaws of Southampton in the Welshman’s return to his former club. Bale never looked like scoring in the opening minutes though, and neither did the other twenty-one players on the pitch. Jermain Defoe fired a shot into the side netting from a tight angle in the fourth minute, but the slow start continued. Southampton were the first to come alive, and the Saints quickly started dominating. Nathan Clyne almost put Mauricio Pochettino‘s side up in the tenth minute when Rickie Lambert was allowed far to much time in the middle of the park, allowing him to chip a beautiful pass in-between the Tottenham defense to Clyne down the right. Clyne let the ball bounce in front of him, before striking a fierce dipping shot across goal, which whizzed inches wide of the far post from eight yards out.
Although The Saints were dominating, Tottenham did a good job of defending, having to make a few last-ditch tackles to stop Southampton. Lambert seemed to be at the heart of everything for Southampton, and the forward almost put his side in front in the thirty-fifth minute when Southampton won a free-kick twenty-five yards out from goal. Lambert curled the free-kick around the wall, and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Loris amazingly managed to tip the low shot onto the left post. But the chance wasn’t over, and Steven Davis headed it straight to Loris from the rebound. Southampton could not take the lead before the end of the half though, with the first half ending 0-0.
Southampton started the second half on top, and after wonderfully dinking the ball above Michael Dawson, Adam Lallana was put in on goal. But Lallana let the ball roll away from him, and he snatched his tame shot straight at Loris. Although Tottenham never really looked like scoring, they finally started to fell their way into the match, with Clint Dempsey spanking a volley over the bar after a cute backheel from substitute Emmanuel Adebayor.
Tottenham finally put pressure on Southampton, but they still hardly deserved the lead Bale gave them in the eighty-sixth minute. Luke Shaw allowed Bale to cut inside from the right, and the Welshman hit a sensational swerving strike from twenty-five yards out into the corner of the net. Although The Saints put pressure on Spurs in the final minutes of the game, Tottenham held on to the crucial win, to take them level on points with Chelsea.
Man of the Match: Rickie Lambert