Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur  1 - 2


Premier League: Southampton 1 Tottenham 2

28 October 2012 18:11

Gareth Bale marked his return to Southampton with a goal to help Tottenham claim a nervy 2-1 win at St Mary's on Sunday.

The Welshman, who left Southampton in 2007, powered home a 15th-minute header to open the scoring, before Clint Dempsey added a second before half-time, with Spurs dominant in all areas against a lacklustre Southampton.

And although the Saints were much better in the second half, with Jay Rodriguez setting up an enthralling final 20 minutes by smashing home from a tight angle, Andre Villas-Boas' side closed out the win to take them back into the top four.

Spurs started in a sprightly manner, fashioning the game's first clear opening after only 13 minutes.

Having started to exert their authority in midfield, a lovely interchange of passes sent Kyle Walker free down the right flank but his pull-back was slammed wide by Jermain Defoe from six yards.

And Southampton failed to heed the early warning signs.

Failure to pressure the ball proved their undoing when Tom Huddlestone was afforded the space to pick out Bale with a sumptuous delivery, and the Welshman powered a downward header past Artur Boruc and into the far corner of the net.

Defoe has been in sparkling form this season, but his radar seemed to be out of range on the south coast after he collected another Walker cut back on the edge of the area, before smashing an uncontrolled effort well over.

But the England striker was involved when Tottenham deservedly doubled their lead, six minutes before the break.

Aaron Lennon slipped Defoe in behind a static Saints defence and although his shot was valiantly cleared off the line by Jose Fonte, Dempsey was on hand to smash in the rebound from three yards.

The second half started in a similar vein, with Defoe managing to sky a first-time shot so high it hit the St Mary's scoreboard after more incisive build-up play from Spurs.

Despite further Spurs dominance, Southampton started to edge their way back into the game and Maye Yoshida should have done better than to head wide after Brad Friedel had missed a cross.

From the resulting corner though, Rodriguez slammed the ball home to halve the deficit and set up a pulsating final 20 minutes.

The former Burnley striker would have been disappointed not to have grabbed an equaliser moments later, driving a left-footed effort wide after the ball had fallen to him following more hesitancy in the Spurs defence.

Southampton's onslaught continued as Rickie Lambert's close-range effort was well blocked by William Gallas, with the St Mary's crowd becoming more vocal by the minute.

But despite a further late surge, Spurs rode out the storm to propel themselves back into fourth, while Southampton will be left to rue missed opportunities as they continue to languish in the bottom three.


Defoe wary of struggling Southampton

27 October 2012 16:08

Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe says his club is well aware of the threat Southampton will pose in their Premier League clash on Sunday.

Defeat to Chelsea last Saturday was followed by a disappointing 1-1 Europa League draw with Slovenian side Maribor on Thursday, leaving Defoe keen to quickly turnaround what has been a difficult week.

Southampton have been on the back of some heavy defeats already this term, particularly against sides from the capital in Arsenal and West Ham - but Defoe is not taking them lightly.

"I think Southampton are a good side with good players and they move the ball well," Defoe told the official Spurs website.

"I watched them against Manchester United and although they lost that game, for the first 20, 25 minutes they were unbelievable.

"I can remember playing at St Mary's a few years ago, it's a lovely stadium and I know it will be rocking. It will be a tough match but I can't see why we can't go there and get the three points."


Adkins confident of Southampton response

27 October 2012 04:49

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins has backed his side to bounce back from a 4-1 battering at the hands of West Ham last Saturday.

With Tottenham due to visit St Mary's this weekend, Adkins is hopeful that his side can turn things around and pick up some points after a slow start to their Premier League campaign.

"Training has been good this week," Adkins told the official club website. "The lads have responded in the right way which is important. There is a positivity about ourselves, which is vital and we are all looking forward to the game at the weekend.

"We are going to have a full house here at St Mary's on Sunday, which is going to be great because the supporters make a lot of noise both at home and away.

"The players know that we have to go out and entertain them, play good football and show passion for the football club. We will keep grafting away for them."

Although Adkins is happy with the rate at which his team are finding the back of the net, he admits there is cause for concern at the back, having watched his side concede a record 24 goals in eight games already this season.

He added: "We are scoring goals which is a massive positive, but we have to win as well. Some of the defeats have come about from goals that we could have done better with collectively, but we as a team will work hard for each other.

"Scoring goals gives us the confidence to go into games thinking we can win. And we aren't the only club to be conceding goals – Manchester City have been conceding more goals this season than last and they are at the top of the table.

"We can only address our problems by working hard on the training ground and keeping a positivity with the players. We have had a really good week of training and go into the game on Sunday full of confidence and belief."


Premier League Preview: Southampton v Tottenham

26 October 2012 04:24

Tottenham Hotspur travel to Southampton on Sunday in search of improvement following two underwhelming performances.

Andre Villas-Boas' men were beaten 4-2 by English Premier League leaders Chelsea at the weekend before playing out a 1-1 draw with Slovenian club Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday.

While they remain winless in European competition, Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League after eight matches, eight points behind their London rivals.

Tottenham will be boosted by the return of winger Gareth Bale, who missed the last two fixtures due to the birth of his daughter.

Bale is preparing to make his first appearance at St Mary's Stadium since leaving Southampton for Tottenham in 2007.

"On such an occasion it is important to give the player a choice of a return so he comes back mentally strong and ready to focus," Villas-Boas said.

"It's important to have input from the player as well. So, we will have no doubts about his state when he returns for the Southampton game."

Southampton occupy 18th with four points, just one point above Reading and Queens Park Rangers, leaving Nigel Adkins' position as manager up in the air.

Adkins himself this week admitted the team are under pressure, having conceded more goals in their first eight games than any other team in Premier League history.

Asked if he would be given enough time to turn the side's form around, Atkins said: "I don't know. That is football, I am being brutally honest with you."

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25
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