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  • By Yann Tear at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Setback for Spurs in their Champions League quest as two late goals give Saints deserved win

Tottenham (1) 2 Bednarek og 18, Son 71

Southampton (1) 3 Broja 22, Elyounoussi 79, Adams 82

Two goals in a madcap three-minute spell for Southampton towards the end left Spurs empty handed as their Champions League hopes suffered a blow.

Antonio Conte’s men somehow survived a torrid first-half examination from a vibrant Saints side to go in level at the break and they then upped their game to go in front for a second time.

But they were undone by two superb James Ward-Prowse crosses and not even the 90th minute man, Steven Bergwijn, could save them this time.

The Dutchman – who scored twice in that dramatic win at Leicester a few weeks ago - scrambled in what appeared to be an equaliser deep in stoppage time, but VAR rightly intervened after spotting that he was offside when he reached Cristian Romero’s nod down.

Tottenham looked anything but Champions League contenders during an opening half in which they might easily have turned around a couple of goals down.

As it was, the rode out the storm and hit back – the half-time break undoubtedly a moment for some serious ear-bashing from an apoplectic Conte.

The goal that saw them regain the lead was put away by Heung-Min son, the South Korean’s 10th league goal of the campaign and at that stage it seemed as if all was well again in the Tottenham world.

But the Saints kept plugging away and always carried a threat going forward.

Spurs started reasonably well, with Romero - in eye-catching form in the FA Cup win against Brighton on his return to the side at the weekend - having a goal ruled out for offside and Sergio Reguilon almost converting a cross from Harry Kane as Fraser Forster made an instinctive save with a raised left arm.

In the very next attack, Lucas Moura found Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on the right and a low cross was turned into his own net at the near post by Jan Bednarek, with Son breathing down his neck.

Any thoughts of a cruise were to be very misplaced, however. Saints had already missed a good chance in the opening moments – Che Adams pinging a good chance straight at Hugo Lloris – and Ward-Prowse forcing the Spurs keeper into another save with a stinging low drive.

They drew level when Armando Broja – the Chelsea loanee from Albania - gleefully put away a cross from the industrious Romain Perraud – the chance arising after Ben Davies had slipped trying to clear, slicing the ball where it could be recycled.

Buoyed and adventurous, the visitors should have led after that. Stuart Armstrong’s downward head forced another save from the Spurs skipper and Broja had a glaring opportunity when he beat Davinson Sanchez to a long ball but fired wide with only Lloris to beat.

Armstrong fizzed another just wide from outside the area as the frustrated home fans implored their team to wake up.

Spurs got lucky before the half was out too, when Perraud thumped a beauty from 25 yards which cannoned back off the angle of crossbar and post.

Conte will undoubtedly have read the riot act during the interval. Spurs had to improve and might have reclaimed the lead when Kane met a deep cross from Reguilon – only to nod down and over the bar from close in.

Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur and Swedish winger Dejan Kulusevski came on for their Premier League debuts and Spurs upped the ante and got back in front when Lucas Moura took delivery of a Kane pass and sprayed the perfect low cross into the path of an onrushing Son.

All over? Not a bit of it. Back came Saints as the rain started to fall more heavily. They worked the ball across field to Ward-Prowse and his perfect cross was met by a stooping Mohammed Elyounoussi, cutting in front of of Emerson Royal.

Three minutes later and another beautiful first-time cross from Ward-Prowse picked out Adams and his header flashed past Lloris.

This time, there would be no reprieve from the boot of Bergwijn. Saints had deservedly won a breathless encounter.

Spurs: (3-4-2-1) Lloris - D Sanchez, Romero, Davies – Emerson Royal, Winks, Hojbjerg (Bentancur 60), Reguilon (Bergwijn 83) – Lucas Moura (Kulusevski 76), Son – Kane. Subs not used: Gollini, Doherty, Rodon, R Sessegnon, White, Scarlett

Saints: (4-4-2) Forster – Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Perraud – Elyounoussi (Diallo 90), Ward-Prowse, Romeu, S Armstrong – Broja (Walcott 90), Adams (Long 87). Subs not used: Caballero, Stephens, A Armstrong, Djenepo, Smallbone, Valery

Attendance: 54,012


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