As Southampton fell behind to a Son Hueng-Min penalty and undid their hard, first-half work against Spurs, there was an inevitable feeling to what was happening.
After a positive beginning to the 2020/21 season, their form really has fallen off of a cliff. For whatever reason, the players just have not been able to keep up their high performance standards since December.
Is it opponents finding them out? Is it the pressing football causing a thin squad to run out of steam? Or is it a mix of both those things and more?
One thing is for sure: comparing their form in 2020 to their form in 2021 makes for some grim reading.
Southampton 5th in 2020 calendar year table, rock bottom in 2021
Looking at our tweet above, it is clear to see there has been a monumental change in the results that Saints have got when the form of last year and this year is compared.
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Their 16 wins, eight draws and 10 losses saw them ranked fifth for overall results last year. With just under half that amount of games played in 2021, they sit bottom of the form table – even below Sheffield United, who have already been relegated to the Championship.
With 18 points left to play for in the 2020/21 campaign, Saints look safe. However, continue at this rate and they will be scraping home instead of building some morale-boosting momentum.
As mentioned before, two second-half goals for Spurs on Wednesday evening and a low energy showing from Saints undid a lot of their hard work at White Hart Lane.
They were well on top in the first period and deserved their lead – given to them when Danny Ings scored with a header from a clever corner. Despite that dominance, there is a naivety to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
They were unable to find a response to Spurs in the second-half and lost when a penalty was given away by Moussa Djenepo’s clumsy challenge late on. The Malian is a great prospect for the future but showed he has much to learn here.