ottenham blew a 3-1 lead with quarter-hour to play to attract 3-3 with rock-bottom Southampton, denting their high 4 hopes and elevating recent questions concerning the viability of Antonio Conte‘s expiring tenure.
James Ward-Prowse transformed a stoppage-time penalty to rescue a potentially-crucial level for Saints after substitute Pape Matar Sarr was judged to have fouled Ainsley Maitland-Miles.
Conte was livid with referee Simon Hooper after the ultimate whistle, however Spurs ought to by no means have allowed Saints again into the sport after Pedro Porro and Ivan Perisic opened their accounts for the membership with sensible finishes both facet of Harry Kane’s header to go away the guests ready of energy.
Hooper’s determination, which was accepted by the VAR, did look harsh however Spurs have been responsible of switching off firstly of the second half, when Che Adams cancelled out Porro’s opener inside seconds of the restart, and for Theo Walcott’s purpose to make it 3-2 simply three minutes after Perisic’s had given them a two-goal cushion.
A match towards the League’s backside membership, with the worst residence file within the division, ought to have been a chance for Spurs to place in a commanding efficiency within the race for fourth place, not least as a result of that they had a full week to arrange for the sport, whereas Saints misplaced to Brentford on Wednesday night time.
Even the lack of Richarlison to damage inside 5 minutes and Ben Davies earlier than half-time weren’t excuses, notably as Saints misplaced their two beginning centre-halves within the first half, leaving Maitland-Niles filling in on the coronary heart of defence the place he was overwhelmed by Kane within the air for his purpose.
However quite than make an announcement or reply to fifth-place Newcastle’s win over Nottingham Forest on Friday night time, Spurs appeared each inch like a crew muddling via below a supervisor with no long-term future, in one other efficiency which relied on particular person moments of high quality, quite than an apparent and well-drilled plan.
Their tender centre was once more obvious right here and, although they’ve been strong at residence of late, they’ve now didn’t win in 5 away video games, together with visits to relegation-threatened Leicester, Wolves and now Southampton.
The way of the late collapse places extra warmth on Conte, who had eased the strain on his job within the aftermath of Spurs’ FA Cup and Champions League eliminations by main the facet to a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest final weekend.
The Italian is meant to be one of many recreation’s foremost coaching floor coaches, who excels when given time to arrange his facet for matches, however Saints had extra of the ball and extra of the nice possibilities at St. Mary’s, and deserved a minimum of a degree in the long run.
The end result means Spurs missed the prospect to maneuver third and will drop to sixth if Newcastle and Brighton win their video games in hand.
If Spurs not look in a robust place for the highest 4, it should ramp up the strain on Conte even additional, so this draw may but be important in figuring out his quick future.
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