Player ratings, analysis and reaction as VAR denies another Bergwijn late show

Tottenham 2-3 Southampton (Bednarek OG ’18, Broja 23, Son ’70, Elyounoussi ’79, Adam’s ’82)

Spurred on by the injustice they felt at a Son Heung-Min goal they thought should have been disallowed, two headers in the final 11 minutes gave Southampton an extraordinary, yet deserved victory.

Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams both guided crosses from the peerless James Ward-Prowse past Hugo Loris as Tottenham capitulated in the north London rain.

Remarkably, given that Southampton had utterly dominated the first half in which they carved out 15 attempts on goal to Tottenham’s two, the home side looked as if they might steal a win to boost their Champions League ambitions.

Son turned home to Lucas Moura’s 70th-minute cross, but that came immediately after Southampton’s Armando Broja was poleaxed by a bludgeoning aerial challenge from Emerson Royal.

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Royal was then at fault for both Southampton goals, losing the scorer on each occasion.

Even then, the drama was not over. Deep into added time, Tottenham substitute Steven Bergwijn turned home a Cristian Romero header only for the goal to be ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

The late chaos reflected a barmy game in which Antonio Conte was given another insight into the two faces of the team he has inherited.

Tottenham’s first-half defending and inability to find teammates with passes was all too much for Conte just before half-time. His exasperation from him at yet another chance presented to the opposition saw the Italian bellow in fury and aim to kick at the water cooler by the Tottenham dugout.

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By contrast Ralph Hasenhuttl must have feared that his side’s crushing superiority in the first period would count for nothing.

After Romero had seen an early finish ruled out, also for offside, and Sergio Reguilon had struck a shot against the hand of the advancing Fraser Forster, Saints defender Jan Bednarek did the home side’s job for them, diverting a low Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg into his own net.

If the goal was meant to settle the barmy openness of the contest, it had the opposite effect. First, Armando Broja somehow dribbled his way to within two feet of Lloris’ post before James Ward-Prowse’s low fizzer was palmed away by the plunging Frenchman.

Stuart Armstrong was the next Saint to unleash a shot before the chaos inside the Tottenham area led to Davinson Sanchez skewing a clearance backwards off the outside of his right boot. The ball eventually fell to Romain Perraud who squared for Broja to side-foot home a deserved equaliser.

Broja and Armstrong twice might have put Southampton in front, while an exquisitely-timed Perraud shot thundered against the Tottenham crossbar just before the interval, which was greeted by howls of derision from the Tottenham faithful.

Tottenham could only improve in the second half. They did so mainly through the introduction of Rodrigo Bentancur on the hour who curbed Southampton’s ability to dominate the midfield.

Harry Kane headed a Reguilon cross down only to see the ball bounce up and over the bar, while Bentancur’s unflappability allowed the home side to wrest back control of the game prior to the craziest of finishes.

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More on Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

player ratings


  • Lloris – 7
  • Sanchez-5
  • Rosemary – 5
  • Davis – 5
  • Royal-3
  • Winks-5
  • Hojbjerg – 6
  • Reguilon – 7
  • Moura – 6
  • Kane-7
  • Are 6


  • Bentancur – 8
  • Bergwijn-6
  • Kulusevsky – 6


  • Forster-7
  • Walker Peters – 6
  • Bednarek – 6
  • Salisu – 6
  • Peraud – 8
  • S Armstrong – 7
  • Ward-Prowse–9
  • Romeo – 7
  • Elyounoussi – 7
  • Adams-6
  • Broja – 8


  • Diallo-6
  • Length – 6
  • Walcott-6

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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