THE EMIRATES FA CUP FOURTH ROUND
SATURDAY 25TH JANUARY, 2020
SOUTHAMPTON 1(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0)
Referee:- Peter Bankes
Assistants:- Neil Davies & Derek Eaton
Fourth Official:- John Brooks
VAR:- Jonathan Moss
AVAR:- Edward Smart
Southampton (4-4-2):- Gunn; Danso (sub Boufal, 71), Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong (sub Djenepo, 43), Ward-Prowse, Hojbjerg (Capt.), Redmond; Obafemi (sub Adams, 74), Ings
Subs not used:- Lewis; Yoshida; Smallbone, Romeu
Booked:- Bertrand (foul on Lo Celso), Bednarek (foul on Son)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Tanganga; Gedson Fernandes (sub Lamela, 56), Winks; Lo Celso, Dele (sub Dier, 88), Son; Lucas Moura
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Vertonghen, Foyth; Sessegnon, Ndombele
Winter break curtailed
Both managers sent out strong teams, no doubt with every intention of finishing this tie on the day. At the end, when the match was drawn, both managers bemoaned the fact that their forthcoming winter break would be curtailed, as they will have to replay at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday 5th February, thus reducing the two-week break to one of 10 days. The fans can look forward to another good game of football, played at pace, but Spurs would have been out of sight had Son and Lucas Moura not failed to score in the first half with two good chances.
Southampton fans had complained about the extra allocation of tickets to Spurs fans, who filled one end with their 5,000 support, but there were empty seats in the home section and the crowd figure was 1700 down on that for the New Year’s Day Premier League meeting.
Mourinho made several changes, including return at left back for Japhet Tanganga and a first start for Gedson Fernandes. Gedson played to the right of Harry Winks, who somewhat miraculously was fully fit after what had looked like a nasty injury against Norwich last Wednesday night. Christian Eriksen was absent from the squad, and the word is that a move to Inter is being finalised. Mourinho also moaned about the timing of Inter’s dealing, but surely that has been down to Daniel Levy’s bargaining strategy. Giovani Lo Celso started on the right of the three-man midfield behind Lucas Moura. Ralph Hasenhuttl also made changes with Angus Gunn in goal, Danson at right back and Obafemi starting next to top scorer Danny Ings.
The Southampton programme remains the most expensive in the Premier League (£4) and is on the flimsy side too. Depending on which end you opened it, the programme served both this game and the “Saints”’ women’s’ FA CUP game being played today (Sunday 26th January).
Spurs kicked off and played away from their fans towards the South Stand. The ball was soon coming towards the Spurs goal and when Redmond whipped in a cross Hugo caught the ball cleanly. Spurs had a free kick after 8 minutes, and initially played the ball backwards, but ultimately the ball was fed forward through Lucas Moura an d Dele to Son on the left in a very good shooting position. Son’s conversion rate of chances has been very poor of late, and this shot was no exception, passing wide across the goal when it should nave been in the net, in my opinion.
Both sets of fans sang “Pochettino – he left ‘cos you’re s**t!” Southampton started that one.
Gedson sent a long ball towards Dele in an advanced position, but Gunn got to the ball first. Southampton then had a spell of pressure following a free kick when Redmond crossed low from the left and Danson’s goal-bound shot was well blocked by Tanganga. Southampton then had three successive corners which thankfully came to nought.
Lo Celso tried to put Dele through but Southampton defended that opportunity. Redmond and Bertrand advanced and combined on their left flank and when Bertrand finally crossed, Toby Alderweireld cleared. Lo Celso sent a good ball to Son, still working the left side, but Son managed to lose possession. Ii shouted “Use it, don’t lose it!” in my frustration.
Even centre-back Bednarek was turning up in an attacking position and it wasn’t even a dead ball situation for the “Saints”. Bearing in mind their excellent recent league form Hasenhuttl seems to have found the “on” button for this side. Spurs had the ball in the net after 27 minutes, but it didn’t count. It had been a good move too with Lucas Moura and Dele involved before Lo Celso hitting a left foot shot across Gunn. The ball had apparently taken a deflection off Son, who had been marginally offside. Spurs had another good attack from their own half when Winks sent Son away. Son passed inside when Lucas Mora and Dele combined before Dele’s shot was blocked.
Spurs’ second excellent scoring chance fell to Lucas Moura, following good work by Lo Celso and Dele. Lucas was towards the left of the area, and it seemed he must score, but Gunn managed to make a save and conceded a corner.
Southampton had a good chance following a free kick with Lloris getting too far forward in his area. Ings’ effort was goa-bound but it was Tanganga who made the precious clearance. Tanganga was tending to leave too much space on his flank when defending, but he has already had two most valuable clearances of this nature in his short first team career.
“Sonny” made a length run from his own half, but lost the ball, and there would be no “Burnley goal” here. Serge Aurier was required to play a more defensive role today, and he did it well generally, making a good tackle on Bertrand. Armstrong needed treatment an d had to be replaced before the break by Djenepo – another attacking player.
Southampton had a free kick a minute before the break, but Lloris held Ward-Prowse’s effort.
After the break, and following a Dele and Lucas Moura attack, Lo Celso was fouled on the edge of the box by Danson. In the absence of Eriksen, Lucas Moura took on the free kick, but hit it straight at the goalkeeper.
Southampton went close after 52 minutes when Obafemi crossed hard and low from the right. Ings was on the scene, but the ball passed wide across the 6-yard zone. Gedson was replaced by Erik Lamela after 56 minutes. I’d seen little action by our latest acquisition to be honest. Lo Celso fell back to make way for Lamela. Southampton threatened again through Hojbjerg and Ings, but Hugo saved the day.
Spurs took the lead in the 58th minute. The goal started with a fantastic run from the deep by Lo Celso, leaving various opponents in his wake, before he passed to Lamela who fed Son to his left. This time Son made no mistake and hit a well-placed shot just inside Gunn’s left post. We did have to endure a protracted VAR review, first for offside and secondly for a possible foul. This was for a possible push by Dele Alli in the build-up, but the goal stood and we celebrated for a second time. Son had another chance from a similar position when he received a long ball by Lo Celso, but this shot was skied as Son tried a first-time shot.
Good play by Lamela in his own half led to a chance for Dele, but Gunn was out to the ball first. Hasenhuttl took off defender Danson for attacker Boufal. Spurs made a break through Dele and Son, but the move fizzled out. Now Obafemi was replaced by Che Adams. Southampton were certainly going all out for a goal. Redmond had switched to the right, no doubt to test Tanganga to the full. The winger crossed with the ball intended for Ings. Sanchez was unconvincing with his attempted clearance but the ball went off Ings for a goal kick.
Lo Celso needed treatment after a clash with Bertrand, but was able top carry on after treatment. Ings had a shot which passed wide of the post, and he had another half-chance when Djenepo crossed from the right, but the ball ran to Lloris. Yet another chance for Ings was offered by Redmond, but this one was headed wide. After such pressure the equaliser when it came was no surprise, and in truth not undeserved. Aurier had made one good challenge but lost possession to Hojbjerg who passed to Ings on the left. Ings cut the ball b ack and Boufal fired home from just inside the area.
Now Jose Mourinho sought to shore up his defences by bringing on Dier for Dele. We had four minutes of added time and the best chance fell to Spurs when Bednarek was booked for a foul on Son, but Lo Celso hit the free kick well over the target. We are in the draw for fifth round, but Southampton will not make it easy for us in the replay.
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