Struggling Southampton battle to a point against Spurs

Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Gylfi Sigurdsson of Everton during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton at Wembley Stadium on January 13

The Saints were value for their lead though after they proved a constant threat down both flanks with the Tottenham full-backs getting caught high up the field on numerous occasions.

The game was being played at breakneck speed and the opening goal took only 15 minutes to arrive as Southampton stormed into a shock lead.

After a weekend when all of their closest rivals won, Tottenham's slip has handed Liverpool, who play bottom of the table Swansea tonight, the chance to move five points clear of them and tighten their grip on a top-four slot.

The Saints have been in poor form and have failed to win their last six Premier League games. Southampton pressed and chased like rabid terriers, double teaming Kane and Alli at every opportunity. The ball had already ricocheted around the Spurs box and this time Davinson Sanchez attempted to take more decisive action by intercepting - only to slide in, toe-poking the ball goal-wards with it rebounding off the near post and squirting over the line to beat the stranded, stand-in goalkeeper, Michel Vorm.

At the other end Southampton centre-half Jack Stephens was left unmarked but headed over the bar from a fine cross by James Ward-Prowse.

The rain relented but the intensity of the game did not in the second half.

Burnley's English-born Scottish defender Phil Bardsley tackles Tottenham Hotspur's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen during the English Premier League football match between Burnley
Harry Kane would not be at Spurs if he had Aubameyang's pace – Tim Sherwood

The second half proved a tight competition between the sides much like the first half, Tottenham really struggled to create any opportunities on goal in what was a very tiresome game.

Now he has returned to the starting line-up results are back on track, after a minor blip, and Eriksen has heaped praise on his team-mate who he says does the work that often goes un-noticed. The club is bigger than me and the players. Had it not been for a last-gasp touch by Southampton's rearguard, Lamela would have scored the victor in final 10 minutes. Harry Kane is, once again, banging in goals and is now the league's top goalscorer with 20.

"Maybe he will play in the FA Cup, we will have all the week and we will see if he is in good position to play". If Saints can shut out Spurs the way they did against United, they give themselves the best possible chance.

What's more, the Spurs hitman has enjoyed playing Southampton in recent seasons, bagging a hat-trick against the Saints on Boxing Day, as well as notching in his last two trips to St Mary's.

Pochettino agreed with his fellow Argentinian's assessment of an even contest, refusing to make excuses despite a virus that depriving him of Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen and leaving many of his players feeling jaded in hard conditions on the south coast. "A lot of people love us and we love them".

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