Southampton strike late to halt Spurs

Last Updated: 25/01/20 5:51pm

Both sides will play a replay during their winter break after the 1-1 draw
Both sides will play a replay during their winter break after the 1-1 draw

Sofiane Boufal’s late equaliser gave Southampton an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Tottenham – meaning both sides will play a replay during their winter break.

Spurs were heading to the fifth round after Heung-min Son put them ahead just before the hour mark, but substitute Boufal came off the bench to fire home in the 87th minute.

It means the tie will be settled by another game, to take place when both sides were due to be on their winter break from the Premier League.

What does this mean for the winter break?

Tottenham and Southampton will now see their winter break cut by half a week due to the FA Cup fourth-round replays, which will be played week commencing February 3

Jose Mourinho, who celebrates his 57th birthday on Sunday, was three minutes away from a welcome win but the Saints were worthy of a draw after piling on the pressure late-on.

Christian Eriksen was not involved for Spurs ahead of a proposed move to Inter Milan, although a potential replacement in Giovani Lo Celso shone, brilliantly setting up the goal. But that was not enough to get the job done as Boufal slammed home a deserved equaliser.

Sofiane Boufal fires in a late equaliser
Sofiane Boufal fires in a late equaliser

How Saints halted Spurs…

Spurs endured a troubled visit to St Mary’s in the Premier League on New Year’s Day, losing the match as well as Harry Kane, Moussa Sissoko and Tanguy Ndombele to injuries.

They had an early chance to set a much better tone as Son was played in by Dele Alli, but the South Korean wastefully dragged his shot wide from a great position.

Son, albeit inadvertently, was again the reason Spurs did not go in front in the 28th minute as, after Moura had broken into the area, the ball ended up with Lo Celso, who put the ball into the back of the net. However, it was deflected off Son, who was getting back to his feet in an offside position and the goal was ruled out.

Jose Mourinho (L) hugs Ralph Hasenhuttl (R) at the final whistle
Jose Mourinho (L) hugs Ralph Hasenhuttl (R) at the final whistle

Spurs’ pace was causing their hosts trouble and a slick counter-attack saw them presented with their best chance.

Son, Lo Celso and Alli were all involved as they moved it from back to front at speed and the England international slipped in Moura, whose low shot was saved by the feet of Angus Gunn.

Southampton have been just once in their last nine matches in all competitions (W6 D2); in their previous nine games before this run, they lost six times (W2 D1).

Having been lucky to be on level terms, Southampton almost went ahead a minute later, but some brilliant defending from Japhet Tanganga denied them.

A quick free-kick played Danny Ings in and, after the striker got to the ball before a charging Hugo Lloris, a flying goal-line clearance from Tanganga stopped it going in.

The Saints built on that and started the second half impressively and Ings again came within inches scoring.

Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min has scored five goals and provided three assists in nine matches against Southampton in all competitions.

Spurs were dispossessed after trying to pass out from the back and Kevin Danso found Ings at the near post and an instinctive flick rolled just wide.

Five minutes later Mourinho’s men were ahead in sublime style. The move started in their own half as Lo Celso won possession and went on a mazy run, beating four men, before finding Lamela, who slipped Son in and this time the South Korean made no mistake as he drilled a low shot into the corner.

Son celebrates
Son celebrates

VAR had a close look, first for offside and then checking for a foul by Alli, but it was allowed to stand.

Southampton went all out for an equaliser and they had chances to find it, but Ings was unusually wasteful.

First, he bent one wide from 20 yards and then missed a much better opportunity, sending a free header from Nathan Redmond’s cross wide.

The hosts kept coming, though, and were rewarded near the end as Boufal clinically slammed home Ings’ cross.

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Source : Sky Sports