Son Heung-min scores four as Tottenham find form at St Mary’s
José Mourinho’s team recover from poor first half to thrash Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min leaves with the match ball after scoring four goals at St Mary’s Stadium. Photograph: PA
Southampton 2 Tottenham 5
After a topsy-turvy opening, this game soon developed a familiar theme, with Harry Kane supplying a supercharged Son Heung-min to strike four times to earn Tottenham a resounding victory. It is the first time one player has assisted another four times in a single Premier League match but Kane eventually got in on the act to score Spurs’ fifth after prying on a rebound. When Spurs click in the final third as they did here, the thought of adding the returning Gareth Bale into the attacking cocktail is a mouthwatering proposition.
Tottenham feasted on Southampton’s soft centre time and again as Son laid on an exhibition in ruthless finishing. Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side deservedly took the lead through a superb Danny Ings strike and the forward, who was the subject of an approach from Spurs earlier this week, hammered in a penalty in second-half stoppage time, by which point Spurs were out of sight.
José Mourinho tweaked things, making three changes from Thursday’s win in Bulgaria but Dele Alli was conspicuous by his absence after being omitted from Spurs’ travelling party for the second time in four days. Alli has been offered to numerous clubs on loan, including Paris Saint-Germain, with Tottenham keen to offload the midfielder following the marquee return of Bale.
The interval provided respite after a breathless first half comprising three disallowed goals, two clinical finishes and a flurry of touchline antics. When Son equalised on the brink of half-time, Hasenhüttl wellied the advertising hoardings in anger. “Impossible,” he roared, presumably bemoaning how Tanguy Ndombele – who was rewarded for his winner in Plovdiv with his first start since March – wriggled away from two Southampton shirts, brushing aside Oriol Romeu and turning James Ward-Prowse on halfway before spreading the ball wide to Kane, who slid the ball across for Son, who arrowed a vicious strike into the far pocket of Alex McCarthy’s goal.
Barely 90 seconds into the second half, and moments after Che Adams spurned an inviting chance, Tottenham seized the lead when Kane pushed a weighted pass in between Southampton’s centre-backs. From there Son made it look easy, eliminating Jack Stephens before firing a left-footed shot across goal.
Southampton showed glimpses of quality but Tottenham taught them a harsh lesson, with Son drilling beyond McCarthy after Kane effortlessly unleashed the forward with a cute dinked pass. Son wheeled away in celebration and was at it again moments later, dovetailing with Kane for the fourth after the England striker drifted wide to pick up possession. Kane hooked a cross towards Son, who emphatically did the rest.
Up until Son’s third, Mourinho had spent much of a full-throttle game stewing and keeping Keith Stroud, the fourth official, on his toes, at one point irked by the shortage of balls on tap pitchside and when Ings opened the scoring with an irresistible finish, the Portuguese could not bear to look. The goal was eerily reminiscent of the one Ings dispatched in this fixture last season, when the striker bamboozled Toby Alderweireld after latching on to a looped pass.
This time Eric Dier was the culprit, caught out by Kyle Walker-Peters, the former Tottenham defender scooping the ball between him and Davinson Sánchez. But Ings’s execution was exquisite, controlling the ball with a sumptuous first touch before smacking into the bottom corner with his next.
But when Tottenham breezed into their stride, Southampton could not stem the flow. Hasenhüttl stood hands on hips as the substitute Erik Lamela forced McCarthy into a fine left-hand stop, with the Southampton goalkeeper tipping his effort on to a post but Kane was on hand to poke in a fifth. - Guardian