The Nigerian Online Newspaper

EPL: Dele Alli fires Spurs past Saints

Tottenham Hotspur has strengthened their grip on second place in the Premier League table with a 2-1 victory over Southampton at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
First-half goals from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli proved to be enough to close the gap on leaders Chelsea back to 10 points, despite Southampton rallying in the second half after James Ward-Prowse had pulled a goal back.

The result sees Mauricio Pochettino’s side extend their club-record winning streak at home in the Premier League to 10 matches, lifting them seven points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

It was a slow start for a Southampton side who were in action for the first time in more than two weeks, and they found themselves behind after just 14 minutes when Eriksen collected the ball from Mousa Dembele before cutting inside and passing a classy finish into the bottom corner from outside the area.

That made it four goals in as many Premier League home games against Southampton for the Dane, and Spurs almost made it a quickfire double just a minute later when Alli picked up possession with his back to goal inside the box, only to fire a tame shot on the turn into the arms of Forster.

Claude Puel’s side had Forster to thank for keeping them in touch in the opening 45 minutes, though, with the England international making another stunning save midway through the half when he clawed Toby Alderweireld’s downward header away.

It would prove to be the start of a nightmare few minutes for Southampton, who conceded a penalty shortly afterwards when Steven Davis – a two-goal hero on Southampton’s last visit to White Hart Lane – caught Alli just inside the area.

The England international stepped up to take the spot kick himself and sent Forster the wrong way to make it 11 goals in his last 12 Premier League appearances.

The visitors did give themselves hope of a comeback just seven minutes into the second half, though, as a rare defensive error from Alderweireld allowed the ball to run all the way through to Ward-Prowse, who tucked it home at the back post to celebrate his maiden England call-up in style.

The closing stages were not as comfortable for Tottenham as it looked like they may have been at half time, but the hosts did a good job of keeping the Saints at arm’s length and the visitors could only muster a long-range effort from Sofiane Boufal that flew a few yards wide in the closing stages.