Tottenham went clear in fifth place after they came from a goal down to beat 10-man Southampton 4-1 at St Mary’s on Wednesday.
- Southampton 1 Tottenham 4
- Van Dijk heads Saints in front
- Alli header restores parity
- Kane header gives Spurs the lead
- Redmond sent off for hosts
- Late Son and Alli goals seal win
Mauricio Pochettino's side struggling to get going early on as the Saints scored after just two minutes with a header from Virgil van Dijk. But the north Londoners were back in the contest on 19 minutes as Dele Alli headed home the equaliser, with the two teams going into the break level pegging.
Harry Kane then headed the visitors in front eight minutes into the second half before the south-coast club were reduced to 10 men when Nathan Redmond was given his marching orders for pulling back Alli. However, Kane fired over from the spot, although the miss didn’t prove too costly as Son Heung-Min and Alli scored in the closing stages in inflict the Saints’ heaviest defeat on home soil in nine-and-a-half years.
The hosts got off to a dream start when they won a free-kick on the left and James Ward-Prowse's pin-point delivery was headed home by Van Dijk from eight yards out after just 69 seconds.
Spurs were completely out of sorts in the opening quarter of an hour and were harried into numerous mistakes, although Kane had a chance on five minutes when he hit a snap-shot over the crossbar from just outside the area.
Three minutes later Jay Rodriguez was sent through on goal by Nathan Redmond on the right, but he fired well wide of the left post, while the former Norwich winger did the same from a similar position on 16 minutes after being played in by Steven Davis.
The visitors then found their feet and a sustained spell of possession led to a 19th-minute equaliser when Danny Rose's cross took a wicked deflection off Ryan Bertrand, and Alli out-jumped Van Dijk to head in off the right post.
? Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see Tottenham win away! ? pic.twitter.com/ndnHN5Oinz
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 28, 2016
The promising start fizzled out, though, as neither keeper was tested in the remainder of the opening 45 minutes, with Christian Eriksen seeing his effort deflected wide of the left post on 31 minutes before the Dane blasted way over the bar moments later after Kyle Walker's low cross found him outside the box on the left.
The final chance of the first half came to Alli on 40 minutes but he skewed his strike well wide of the left post after latching onto a weak clearance from the Saints defence.
Spurs took the lead with the first opportunity of the second half as Kane powered a free header past Fraser Forster at his near post from Eriksen's corner on 52 minutes.
Claude Puel's men looked for an immediate response from a Ward-Prowse free-kick, which was headed over by Jose Fonte from 12 yards out a minute later.
The Saints were then dealt a massive blow when Redmond was shown a straight red card on 55 minutes for tugging Alli's shirt as he raced onto Moussa Sissoko's through-ball before firing wide of the right post, with referee Mike Dean subsequently pointing to the spot. But Kane blazed high over the bar from 12 yards out to give the hosts a glimmer of hope.
Forster was called into action for the first time on 67 minutes when he pushed a rising shot from Victor Wanyama over the bar.
The woodwork came to the home team's rescue on 71 minutes when Rose's cross picked out Eriksen, who took one touch before crashing his shot against the crossbar, while the left-back fired wide of the near post moments later after running onto the Dane's ball over the top of the defence.
Substitute Son sealed the win three minutes after his introduction with a clinical finish into the bottom-right corner of the net after latching onto Eriksen's through-ball, which took a telling deflection off Oriol Romeu, and Alli added some gloss to the scoreline soon afterwards he placed a shot into the same spot after being found in space on the left by Rose.