Southampton were stunned on Wednesday evening as a late Spurs comeback saw them dumped out of the FA Cup at the Fourth-Round.
A Jack Stephens own goal and an equaliser from Shane Long saw the half-time score at 1-1 as the lively tie continued in the same manner as the first meeting at St Mary’s.
Saints grabbed the lead brilliantly through Danny Ings, but Lucas Moura’s equaliser and then Son Hueng-Min’s penalty saw Spurs snatch a 3-2 win late on.
The opening stages of this game were being played in much the same way that the first fixture of this tie was.
Ryan Sessegnon’s tame effort was comfortably saved by Angus Gunn early on, before three well worked chances came and went for Saints.
First Danny Ings latched onto a superb cross-field pass from Nathan Redmond and tested Hugo Lloris with a well-struck volley. Sofiane Boufal’s low cross then fizzed right across goal and Redmond then forced another save from the home goalkeeper.
However, rather unfortunately, Saints went behind after 15 minutes.
Jack Stephens had done well to stop Ryan Sessegnon from shooting but could only stab the ball out to Tanguy Ndombele just outside the area, and the Frenchman’s first time shot cannoned back off Stephens and into the net whilst leaving Angus Gunn wrong-footed.
That didn’t stop Saints from pushing forward though, and after Danny Ings hit the bar after being put through by a superb ball by James Ward-Prowse, they claimed a fully deserved equaliser.
Another cleverly worked move saw Sofiane Boufal and Nathan Redmond involved, with the latter’s shot only being turned out to the waiting Shane Long who had the simple task of passing into an empty net.
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As the half-time whistle blew, Saints had played the best stuff by far but had also been dealt a potentially huge injury blow.
James Ward-Prowse had gone down clutching his knee shortly before the break and left the field on a stretcher – a long-term injury could see Saints losing a key part of their team and being down to just Romeu and Hojbjerg as senior central-midfielders for an extended period of time.
The rest of the squad will have been wanting to get the win and progress in the cup for their teammate though, and Saints continued to perform strongly in the second-half.
Good chances for Sofiane Boufal and Jannik Vestergaard could have seen the visitors go ahead, but a superb counter-attacking goal then did see them gain the lead.
Nathan Redmond broke forward brilliantly and evaded multiple Spurs challenges to push into a central position before playing in Danny Ings, and Saints’ top scorer bent a perfect shot into the far corner for his 17th goal of the campaign.
However, it seemed that Saints were destined to go out of the cup when Spurs suddenly sparked into life with 15 minutes left.
Lucas Moura levelled the scores when he slid past Vestergaard and fired in expertly across goal, and the hosts were then awarded a penalty to complete the turnaround with five minutes left.
Son dispatched the spot-kick after going over with minimal contact from Angus Gunn – though the goalkeeper was slow to come off his line and made it easy for the referee to make a decision. 3-2, and simple for Spurs to see out.
Saints are out of the FA Cup, but must respond after the winter break to put their good performances to better use – by actually winning the games they play well in.
Hugo Lloris, Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (Gedson Fernandes 54), Japhet Tanganga, Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele (Dele Alli 60), Ryan Sessegnon (Davinson Sanchez 89), Lucas Moura, Son Hueng-Min
Subs not used: Paulo Gazzaniga, Dennis Cirkin, Oliver Skipp, Troy Parrott
Angus Gunn, James Ward-Prowse (Jannik Vestergaard 40), Jack Stephens, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oriol Romeu, Sofiane Boufal (Stuart Armstrong 66), Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings, Shane Long (Che Adams 80)
Subs not used: Harry Lewis, Jake Vokins, Will Smallbone, Michael Obafemi