Fans continued support for Conte
Ever since Antonio Conte’s arrival in N17, Tottenham fans have got behind him and chant his name during nearly every match, with the match against Southampton being no different.
The 52-year-old was asked how it made him feel when the Spurs fans chant his name, after the Lilywhites 3-0 victory over Norwich.
“Honestly, first of all, I want to say thanks to all the fans that sang my name,” he explained. “On one hand, I’m very happy, very enthusiastic for this. One the other hand, I feel a lot of responsibility towards our fans.”
As kick-off approached on the south coast, there was a marching band walking around the pitch playing ‘Oh when the [insert Saints or Spurs here] go marching in’ as the sides entered the pitch.
During the fixture, it took the travelling fans less than 30 seconds for them to start singing the Spurs boss’ name, showing their continued support for the Italian.
Slow start again for Tottenham
In the Boxing Day tie against Patrick Vieira’s side, it took the Lilywhites a bit of time to get into the game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, once their energy increased and they got the ball forward more, they managed to bag three goals and secure three points in the London derby.
It was the same again when they played Southampton, with another slow start for the visitors as they struggled to break down the home side.
Hasenhuttl’s team started off the better side, with more possession and chances. They seemed to be using a man-for-man system to try and cover all bases but that had to change after Mohammed Salisu’s sending off.
It is the second game in a row where Spurs have had an opposition player sent off in the first half, which works to their advantage with an extra man on the pitch and it also meant Southampton had to adjust the set-up that was working well for them.
Once the Lilywhites had the extra man on the field and got an equalising goal with a Harry Kane penalty, they seemed to improve in attack but couldn’t find the winning goal.
Three changes for Conte
Lucas Moura, Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp were the three players who were in the starting line-up against Palace but were sidelined for the trip to Southampton. Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Ben Davies were the three to replace them.
Conte seemed to play a fluid 3-4-3/3-5-2 formation, with Alli being the man to switch from a deeper role to one alongside Kane and Son in an attacking line.
This meant a slight change to the role Alli did so well in against Liverpool and he struggled to make an impact during the game, leading to his substitution after an hour.
Winks played some nice balls forward, one, in particular, being when the England captain slotted the ball into the back of the net, for VAR to rule it offside.
There was a moment when the 25-year-old lost the ball just outside the Tottenham box in the first half, but he put in a strong effort and won the ball back. Throughout the game, the midfielder worked hard to get balls to the Spurs attackers and defend what came at him.
Davies has been the first choice on the left of the back three in most games so far under Conte and slotted right back in to his role in defence, helping both in attack and defence.
Tottenham finding the back of the net
In the game that ended in a draw, Spurs did actually find the back of the net four times.
One being for the goal scored by Kane from the penalty spot but all three others were disallowed – two for offside and one for a supposed foul on Fraser Forster.
Davies first found the back of the net with a header which was ruled offside, with Southampton playing a high line from Tottenham’s set pieces.
Spurs thought they had a 2-1 lead when Kane found the back of the net but VAR showed he was just offside and then there was a foul on the Southampton keeper when Matt Doherty jumped to get his head on the ball, which ended up in the back of the home sides net.
Harry Kane’s reaction to VAR decision
Not long into the second half, Winks’ lovely through ball to Kane allowed him to put the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled offside by VAR.
However, it was the England captain’s response to the decision which showed his composure and leadership.
As soon as Anthony Taylor had confirmation from VAR that the goal was offside, Kane tapped his head as he looked at his teammates, as if to signal the concentration they needed. The goal would’ve given Spurs the lead and perhaps allowed them to relax a tad more, but the goal being disallowed meant, even more so, the away side needed to keep concentration and not let it knock them.
Kane’s signal tried to help them do exactly that and they did have more chances in the second half, likely to have been helped by the home side going down to ten men. However, it wasn’t enough for Conte’s side to get the win.
The Italian would’ve hoped his side could get three points on their travels to the south coast, to help close the gap to the top four but the point will still help and they still have some games in hand over the teams above them.
Source by Football London