Ings fires brace but Saints well beaten

By SFC Media time Sun 20 Sep Saints v Tottenham Hotspur
Photo by Matt Watson | Danny Ings
Sun 20 Sep 12PM
Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur
Ings [32' 90']
Heung-Min [45+2' 47' 64' 73'] Kane [82']
Romeu (5') Adams (39') Bertrand (44') Stephens (68')
yellow card
Ndombele (45+1') Doherty (79') Lo Celso (90+3')
Referee: David Coote | Venue: St Mary's Stadium | Attendance: 0

Southampton were on the receiving end of a masterclass in finishing from Son Heung-min, as the South Korean forward scored four of Tottenham Hotspur’s five goals at St Mary’s.

Saints were the better team in a VAR-dominated first half, deservedly edging in front through Danny Ings’s sharp angled shot across Hugo Lloris, but Son’s first of the game arrived seconds before the interval and served to transform the match.

His second came immediately after the restart to turn the tide in Spurs’ favour, while Harry Kane tapped in number five late on after assisting all four of Son’s goals.

Ings bookended the scoring by converting a late penalty, awarded after referee David Coote consulted the pitch-side monitor to penalise Matt Doherty for handball.

Ralph Hasenhüttl welcomed Stuart Armstrong back into his starting line-up after the Scot missed Saints’ first two games of the new season with injury, but Nathan Redmond was sidelined by an ankle problem.

Nathan Tella was among the substitutes after making his first senior start against Brentford in the Carabao Cup, while Moussa Djenepo got the nod on the left flank.

The winger was soon in the wars when he was floored by a challenge from Doherty, before the Tottenham man thought he had assisted an early opener for Kane, only for VAR to intervene.

Son raced away down the left touchline, latching on to a ball over the top and producing a deep cross nodded back across goal by Doherty for Kane, who expertly volleyed through the legs of Alex McCarthy.

But the technology proved Son had set off fractionally early and was just offside, denying Kane his first Premier League goal of the season.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Kyle Walker-Peters assisted Saints' opener against his former club

Meanwhile, ex-Saint Pierre-Emile Højbjerg was on the receiving end of a hefty challenge from former midfield partner Oriol Romeu, who found himself in the book inside five minutes.

Having been handed a reprieve by VAR, the hosts set about taking the lead themselves, with only a spectacular save from Lloris keeping Ché Adams at bay.

When Ryan Bertrand’s free-kick fell kindly for the striker, he struck the ball cleanly on the half-volley, shooting high to Lloris’s right, but the Frenchman threw an instinctive right hand at the ball and somehow diverted it over the crossbar. 

Sometimes an early start can take a while to come to the boil, but this high-noon showdown was action packed from the first kick.

Next to have the ball in the net was Ings, who thought he’d continued his happy habit of scoring against Spurs with a typically opportunist finish, only to be penalised for handball.

Ings was certainly onside when Adams released him in behind the defence, but as Lloris raced from his goal line, the goalkeeper headed the ball against Ings’s elbow, before the front man showed admirable composure to find the unguarded net.

Alas it was to no avail, but there were increasingly promising signs for Saints going forward.

Djenepo’s tricky feet then bamboozled Doherty on the byeline, picking out Adams who this time was thwarted by a flying block from Davies, before Ward-Prowse ballooned the rebound into the air on the volley, forcing Lloris to punch out to Bertrand, whose driven shot was deflected behind for a corner.

Djenepo was threatening again soon after, this time striking the base of the post with a cleanly-struck left-footed shot from 20 yards that had Lloris scrambling across his goal.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Ché Adams of Southampton reacts after his shot is saved during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Ché Adams could not believe Hugo Lloris kept his early shot at bay

But as was the trend throughout the first half, after one team went close at one end, the other responded, and Kane had the ball in the net again when Lucas Moura squared the ball across the box, but the Brazilian was retrospectively flagged offside.

Undeterred, Saints kept coming and a game that was somehow still goalless finally had its breakthrough after 32 minutes thanks to the predatory brilliance of Ings.

From an orthodox right-back position on the halfway line, Kyle Walker-Peters caught out his former club with a clever chip over the top that was collected and dispatched by Ings in the blink of an eye, as he drove a low shot across Lloris from a tight angle that nestled just inside the far post.

Saints already had a spring in their step, but by now Hasenhüttl’s men were bouncing. Having opted to go alone previously, Djenepo this time fed the overlapping run of Bertrand, whose dangerous low cross was pounced upon by Lloris. 

The manager had rued his side’s lack of intensity against Crystal Palace on the opening day, but first-half yellow cards for Romeu, Adams and Bertrand were symbolic of the extra aggression on show. Hasenhüttl asks for his team to be “nasty” opponents and was getting his wish.

Half time could not come quickly enough for Spurs, but the visitors were able to strike back with a sucker punch in stoppage time completely against the run of play.

Tanguy Ndombele wriggled free of the Saints midfield with some sublime skill, releasing Kane wide on the left, who in turn found Son with a sweeping low ball across the box.

McCarthy seemed unsure whether to come for it but opted to stay put, giving Son time to set himself and rifle an unstoppable shot across the keeper into the far corner for a scarcely deserved leveller.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 20: Danny Ings of Southampton celebrates after opening the scoring during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images)
Danny Ings celebrates making the breakthrough in the first half

Two minutes into the second half, Hasenhüttl must have been wondering how his team were behind, but Spurs’ strike duo combined to deadly effect again when Kane threaded a pass through for Son, who kept his composure to step across the last defender and finish in clinical fashion once again.

In the short time between the goals, another well-worked move from the hosts saw Armstrong pick out Adams, but his first-time shot was too close to Lloris.

The Spurs stopper also had to be alert to keep out Ward-Prowse from distance, whilst Armstrong fired one shot over and another against the keeper’s legs from an Ings cutback, as Saints continued to carve out chances.

But their brave approach in flooding forward was also proving their undoing, as another Spurs counter paved the way for another goal for Son, who completed his hat-trick in the 64th minute.

Again Kane dropped off into a pocket of space to play him in, completing a personal hat-trick of assists in the process, this time lifting one over the top for the South Korean, who once again made no mistake, shooting low between the legs of McCarthy to crown a match-winning performance.

Remarkably, the same combination was still not finished, as Kane’s superb angled cross picked out Son at the far post for his fourth goal eight minutes later.

By this time Hasenhüttl had sacrificed the tightrope-walking Romeu, with Will Smallbone taking his place in midfield, before Tella replaced Armstrong to add to Saints’ youthful core.

Kane added a simple tap-in after McCarthy had tipped Erik Lamela’s shot against the post, before Ings converted a 90th-minute penalty straight down the middle after Doherty handled Djenepo’s deflected cross.


Head to Head Stats

Tottenham Hotspur
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Alex McCarthy (GK)
Jack Stephens yellow card
Jan Bednarek
Kyle Walker-Peters
Ryan Bertrand yellow card
Moussa Djenepo
Stuart Armstrong
replace Nathan Tella (68′)
Oriol Romeu yellow card
replace William Smallbone (55′)
James Ward-Prowse (C)
Danny Ings goal goal
Che Adams yellow card
replace Shane Long (80′)
Jake Vokins
Michael Obafemi
Jannik Vestergaard
Shane Long
Fraser Forster
Nathan Tella
William Smallbone

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris (GK) (C)
Matt Doherty yellow card
Ben Davies
Davinson Sánchez
Eric Dier
Tanguy Ndombele yellow card
replace Giovani Lo Celso (45′) yellow card
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
Harry Winks
Son Heung-Min goal goal goal goal
Lucas Moura
replace Erik Lamela (61′)
Harry Kane goal
replace Steven Bergwijn (84′)
Joe Hart
Giovani Lo Celso
Toby Alderweireld
Steven Bergwijn
Erik Lamela
Serge Aurier
Moussa Sissoko
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