Tottenham Hotspur were forced to settle for a share of the spoils by a determined Southampton side as their Premier League tie at St Mary’s Stadium finished in a 1-1 draw with both sides missing chances to register a win.
After the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all won their respective games on Saturday, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were under pressure to keep pace, but they got off to a far from ideal start on Sunday.
Lilywhites defender Davinson Sanchez, yet to open his account since moving from Ajax, turned Saints fullback Ryan Bertrand’s cross into his own net in the 15th minute, with stand-in keeper Michel Voorm helpless as the ball hit the post before nestling in the net.
Spurs didn’t take long to hit back, however, as Harry Kane notched his 99th Premier League goal by rising highest to meet a Ben Davies header three minutes later, just moments after Eric Dier’s shot had hit the post.
The travelling supporters were expecting Spurs to take the game by the scruff of the neck, but perhaps due to the absence of Christian Eriksen (illness), the North Londoners failed to do so, despite enjoying majority of the possession.
Moussa Sissoko let a gilt-edged chance go begging, unable to turn in Davies’ fierce cross from five yards out to let the hosts off the hook.
Southampton continued to threaten on the break and set-pieces, with centre-back Jack Stephens sending a header wide of Vorm’s post, despite being unmarked on a free-kick.
Spurs began the second-half in dominant fashion, but with Manuel Pellegrino’s men defending deep in numbers, were restricted to shots from distance.
Dele Alli flashed one just wide of Alex McCarthy’s goal, while substitute Erik Lamela was unable to finish from close-range as the match petered towards a draw.
Pellegrino sent on 17-year-old Michael Obafemi towards the closing stages and the teenager had a chance to make it a debut to remember when Dusan Tadic’s low cross found him unmarked in the box but the Irishman could not direct his effort on target.
At the other end, Kane sent a scuffed shot inches away from the goal and match official Kevin Friend sounded the full-time whistle.
Southampton, still in the drop zone, will be the happier of the two sides definitely but the fact that they seem to be unable to win games is a worrying sign for the club and they are definitely going to be involved in the relegation dog-fight.
For Spurs, the result could see them potentially slip five behind the top-four as fourth-placed Liverpool, who have a two-point lead over them, play their game on Monday night away to Swansea.