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Spurs v Southampton, 09.09.01

SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER, 2001
BARCLAYCARD FA PREMIERSHIP
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0) SOUTHAMPTON 0 (0)

Scorers:-
Ziege, 76
Davies, 87

Referee:- Mr A. Wiley

Attendance:- 33,668

Teams:-
Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; Doherty, Bunjevcevic, King; Taricco, Anderton (sub Leonhardsen, 79), Freund, Davies, Ziege; Sheringham (Capt.), Ferdinand

Subs not used:- Keller; Perry; Etherington; Rebrov

No bookings

Southampton (4-4-2):- Jones; Delap, El-Khalej, Richards (Capt.), Bridge; Svensson (sub Draper, 72), Oakley, Tessem (sub Murray, 81), Pahars (sub Beattie, 72); Davies, Rosler

Subs not used:- Moss (GK); Benali

No bookings

Rupert Lowe's "bigger club than Tottenham" returned to their new St Mary's stadium pointless and goal-less after managing to frustrate Spurs until the last quarter of an hour, by closing down all the creativity in the home side, and creating more threatening chances of their own. Until that last period, Paul Jones had hardly been directly threatened, whereas Neil Sullivan had a number of saves to make, not least from that man Richards, who played competently in defence and had two decent headed chances on target from long throws. From his performance, you would never have guessed that the Southampton Captain could be a Spurs man before the week is out. He was subject of several chants, such as "Yiddo" from the home fans, together with "You're Spurs and you know you are", whilst the visiting support (who only filled just over half their allocation) sang "You can stick your 4 million up your arse", along with regular anti-Hoddle chants. The agendas between these two clubs show no sign of diminishing just yet.

Bunjevcevic was a surprise inclusion in the team, and despite their injury list, Spurs could afford to keep their record signing - Sergei Rebrov - on the bench. Simon Davies got a welcome start, and was to prove a decisive influence, creating the first, and scoring the second goal. Spurs did have the ball in the net after just three minutes, but a foul had been given in the build-up. Too often the Spurs moves would fail at the last hurdle, or their passes would fall short. Each of the defenders started somewhat nervously, as Davies was followed by Ledley King into deep positions, and Tessem and Svensson would take advantage of the space offered. Even veteran Uwe Rosler looked quite sharp.

When they did get their one-touch moves together, Spurs looked impressive, but unfortunately, such moves came in patches only. Soon after the disallowed goal, Ziege , King and Davies forged a path down the left, and crossed for Sheringham, who wanted one touch too many to try a shot, being easily blocked by the defence. Bunjevcevic got forward a few times, and he, Davies and Sheringham gave Ferdinand a chance on the right of the box, but the shot was hit wide. Ferdinand then had a solo run from the left before hitting his shot wide to Jones' right.

Sullivan got down well to the first Richards header after 15 minutes, before Davies gave Ledley King and Ziege the slip to cross from the right, just in front of the reaching Pahars. Davies then had a deflected shot saved competently by Sullivan. After 27 minutes, Simon Davies found Anderton who put a glorious ball in front of Les Ferdinand on the right of the box, just where he likes it. The powerful shot beat the keeper but rebounded into play off the bar.

Ziege was getting some decent crosses into the danger area, and after one such cross was somehow cleared for a corner, Darren and Teddy tried the old corner trick to no avail. Kevin Davies continued to threaten at the other end, but Sullivan was equal to any shots on target. It was a while before any decent chance was created in the second half, but Teddy found Taricco on the right with time to measure a left foot shot that went over the target. Until this time, Jones had not been forced to make a save, but the Spurs support was marvellous, constantly chanting "Glenn Hoddle's Blue and White Army".

The breakthrough came with 15 minutes left. Davies chipped a lovely ball that beat Delap, and Ziege powered his way onto the ball, hitting a delicately placed left foot shot across the keeper into the far corner. Beattie had been introduced by this time, and did get a couple of shots near the mark, but Spurs sealed the game after 87 minutes, when Teddy Sheringham flicked a long Doherty clearance towards Davies who displayed determination to carry the ball past the defence and hit a left foot shot across Jones. The excitement was not over though, as in the last minute Ledley King made a powerful run down the left, crossed for Ferdinand, whose header was superbly saved by Jones, reaching behind his body with his left hand to prevent a certain goal.

In closing, the referee, Mr Wiley, merits commendation for allowing the game to flow, and keeping his cards in his pocket. His decisions were pretty fair throughout too. This was the first cardless Premiership game of the season.

Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
Declan Mulcahy's Last Five Stats for this game can still be read here
Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions

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