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October 28, 2012
• St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
Referee: L. Mason
• Attendance: 31944
J. Rodriguez 66'
G. Bale 15'
C. Dempsey 39'
That's all from me, folks. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
So that's Spurs up into the top four, whilst Southampton remain in the bottom three having picked up just one win all season.
Well, after a dominant first half performance, Spurs were made to defend for their lives in the second period and Southampton will probably fee a little aggrieved to be leaving this contest with nothing to show for it.
90' + 5'
Full time! Southampton 1 - 2 Tottenham
90' + 4'
Tottenham get the ball away from the long free-kick and that could well be that...
90' + 3'
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Jake Livermore
90' + 3'
Free kick on the halfway line for Southampton and this could be their last throw of the dice. It's fair to assume they're going to toss it forward and hope for the best.
The fourth official has indicated a minimum of 4 minutes added time and it can't come quick enough for Spurs!
Southampton are looking desperate now. It does look like Tottenham are going to hang on and claim the three points but the Saints can be pleased with how they've fared in this second half.
The away side just can't get out of their own half. From dominating the opening encounters to holding on for dear life in the closing stages. This has truly been a game of two halves.
Disappointing second half from a Spurs point of view. They've been on the back-foot for most of the second period and probably can't wait to hear the final whistle!
Wonderful play between Mayuka, Lallana and Rodriguez. The three Saints players with a delightful flowing move which nearly resulted in a goal as Rodriguez fires a ball across the 6 yard box but there's nobody there to meet it!
Yellow Card Jan Vertonghen
Cynical challenge from Vertonghen on Mayuka presents the home side with a fee-kick in a good crossing position. The delivery is good but Spurs just about manage to get the ball away. Fascinating contest...
Spurs just need to settle down now. They've clearly been rattled by this sustained period of pressure from Southampton.
It's a completely different Southampton we're witnessing now. They're attacking with real purpose and confidence. It's Lambert this time who goes close but his shot is blocked by Vertonghen.
Goal Jay Rodriguez
GOAL! From the resulting corner Southampton have scored and it's Jay Rodriguez who finds the back of the net from close range as Friedel can only parry Fonte's flick to the feet of the striker. Game on!
Yellow Card Sandro
Oh my word... How did Southampton not score?! A free-kick is whipped into the box causing confusion amongst the Spurs defence. Friedel is caught in no-mans-land but when the ball falls to Yoshida the centre-back is thwarted at the last second by Gallas the ball goes behind for a corner.
Still no joy for Lambert and Rodriquez, you can't help but think they'll get at least one good opportunity.
Southampton are having a real good go at it here. They're getting balls into the box with decent quality and we're seeing a real aerial tussle developing between the strikers and centre-back's now.
It's almost like Aaron Lennon read my mind... with Southampton too committed in attack, the pacey winger is presented with an opportunity to run at Yoshida and plays a clever reverse pass at the last second to play in Walker. The right-back fires wide, however, when he really should have hit the target.
To their credit, Southampton are playing a little better and are at least showing a bit more purpose up top, even if they are yet to test Friedel.
It's a real dilemma for Adkins now. He knows he has to push men forward if Southampton are to get anything from this game, but with the likes of Bale and Lennon on the pitch you can't help but think if they do commit there will be a sting in the tail.
And immediately afterwards Southampton nearly muster an attempt on target. Jason Puncheon fires wide after pouncing on a clearance from Jan Vertonghen.
You'll never guess who's just missed an opportunity from 12 yards. Yep, that's right... Jermaine Defoe fires high and wide as the ball comes in from the right.
The game is back underway.
The Saints have no reply to the movement of Defoe and the pace of Lennon, Bale and Walker out-wide. You fear it could be a long 45 minutes to come for Nigel Adkins' men.
Andre Villas-Boas will be delighted with his players. His only concern will be the possibility of his back line losing concentration due to complete inactivity!
45' + 1'
Half-time here at St Mary's
Well it's a massive uphill battle for Southampton now. They haven't deserved anything from this game so far and won't be getting anything from it unless something changes drastically at half-time. Brad Friedel has yet to be tested.
Goal Clint Dempsey
GOAL! Well that had certainly been coming... Aaron Lennon slips a through-ball into the path of Jermain Defoe who calmly clips the ball past an onrushing Boruc. Yoshida does his utmost to prevent the ball crossing the line but can only prod the ball into the path of Clint Dempsey who fires home from a yard out.
Nigel Adkins will be happy if his side can make it to the half-time break just one goal behind. The Saints boss certainly has his work cut out as he tries to fathom how to give his side the edge that they need up front to test Brad Friedel.
It's unlike Defoe to be missing so many chances and Villas-Boas will hope he doesn't start making a habit of it. Adebayor, meanwhile, may view the situation slightly differently...
Spurs are looking to use their pace in wide areas to hurt Southampton and it's very nearly working. Walker, this time, on the overlap and swinging a ball into Defoe who squanders the opportunity again!
If you had to pick out a stand-out player for the Saints in these opening encounters you'd have to say Lallana is as good as anyone on the pitch.
Southampton's main problem is that Gareth Bale doesn't play in red. The winger is certainly the difference between these two sides as he once again fires a dangerous ball across goal but the home side just about get away for a corner.
It would be unfair to say that Saints are poor, they aren't. They're seeing plenty of the ball but are struggling to hurt Spurs in the final third.
How will the Saints respond to that goal? Nigel Adkins will be hoping for a quick reply from his troops.
Assist Tom Huddlestone
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL! It's Gareth Bale against the club where he started his career - it had to be, didn't it?! The winger heads in following a delightful chip from Tom Huddlestone.
Defoe with a glorious chance for Spurs! Good work from Walker and Lennon down the right wing results in the latter firing a cross in to Defoe on the penalty spot. The striker connects well but smashes the effort just wide from 12 yards.
Southampton are seeing plenty of the ball but are struggling to break down a staunch Spurs back four.
And it's the away side who've started the brighter of the two with some intelligent play down the flanks, particularly from Aaron Lennon.
We're underway here at St Mary's. Let's hope it's a cracker!
So Rickie Lambert find himself in the starting XI for the home side after the big man was mysteriously dropped last week against West Ham. The Saints aren't the only side who're able to bring a key man back into the fold, however, as Andre Villas-Boas welcomes Gareth Bale into the team after a short absence from the squad.
Tottenham: Friedel; Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen; Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon, Lennon, Dempsey, Bale; Defoe
Southampton: Boruc; Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox; Puncheon, Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Lallana; Lambert, Rodriquez
The team news is in, ladies and gentleman, and we'll start with the home side first...
Southampton will be desperate to pick up the three points this afternoon to haul themselves away from the relegation zone. Spurs, meanwhile, know that a win will take them above bitter rivals Arsenal whilst also leaving them firmly in the hunt for a spot in the top four.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live text commentary of Southampton versus Tottenham Hotspur. My name is James Vause and I'll be bringing you all the action from St Mary's this afternoon.
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