LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur bounced back in emphatic fashion from their derby defeat by Arsenal at the weekend with a comfortable and efficient 3-1 win over Southampton in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Watching in the stands at Wembley Stadium was new Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuettl who will officially take charge on Thursday and there seemed to be a renewed energy from those on the pitch to impress their manager.
The visitors, however, were behind after only eight minutes when a short Spurs corner led to Christian Eriksen hitting a low cross into the box which was tucked away by Harry Kane for the England captain’s ninth league goal of the season.
Spurs doubled their lead shortly after halftime, again from a corner. The ball fell to Lucas Moura whose first attempt was blocked but the rebound bounced back for him to hit it into the ground and beyond Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
Southampton’s misery was compounded three minutes later. Kieran Trippier chased down Saints defender Matt Targett and the ball came to Kane who crossed it into the box for Son Heung-min to score only his second league goal of the season.
Spurs could afford to be complacent but had to rely on goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to make a few close-range saves to keep Saints at bay.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side, who are third on 33 points, never looked like they needed to reach top gear to close out the win, despite conceding a consolation goal from substitute Charlie Austin in stoppage time.
“It was a strange game, tough game. I think maybe we conceded more chances in the last 30 minutes than in 90 minutes against Arsenal,” Pochettino told a news conference.
“At 3-0 maybe we dropped in concentration a little bit and maybe we think the game is over… In the end, Hugo Lloris was man of the match because he made some unbelievable saves.”
Former RB Leipzig boss Hasenhuettl will have seen enough to realise the scale of the rescue mission for his new side who remain 18th in the standings with nine points after 15 games.