Davis brace makes Spurs sweat for second

Saints were the better side in the second half and grabbed the winner 18 minutes from time when the former Rangers man Davis beat Hugo Lloris from the edge of the box. The victory takes Southampton into sixth-place, one point ahead of West Ham.

Published : May 08, 2016 19:59 IST , London

A rare brace from Southamtpon's Steven Davis (left) ensured a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.
A rare brace from Southamtpon's Steven Davis (left) ensured a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.

A rare brace from Southamtpon's Steven Davis (left) ensured a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.

Steven Davis boosted Southampton's European hopes with a goal in either half as the the visitor came from a goal down to beat Tottenham 2-1 at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.

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The Northern Ireland international produced a fine winning goal in the closing 20 minutes to seal all three points and move Ronald Koeman's side above West Ham and into the final Europa League place.

Spurs — which is in danger of losing its grip on second spot — went into the game having seen its title aspirations ended by Chelsea last time out, but it started well and was ahead early on through Son Heung-min.

Davis pegged the Whites back with a simple finish that Hugo Lloris should have done better with, while Shane Long missed an early second-half chance to put the visitor ahead.

It mattered little, though, as Davis placed a low effort beyond Lloris to complete its comeback and deliver another blow to Spurs' chances of surpassing its best Premier League points total of 72.

Defeat means Mauricio Pochettino's side needs to beat Newcastle United on the final day to move on to 73 points and guarantee its place in the top three, without having to rely on other results.

Davis' day

With plenty on the line for both sides the game began at a frantic pace and the impressive Christian Eriksen was immediately to the fore, the Denmark international testing Fraser Forster in the fifth minute.

Having soaked up the early Spurs pressure, Southampton — unchanged from its win over Manchester City — enjoyed success on the counter-attack, with Dusan Tadic and Ryan Bertrand flashing low crosses across Lloris' goal.

It was the host which broke the deadlock, though, as Son collected Eriksen's pass before dancing around Forster and two defenders to tap into an unguarded goal in the 16th minute for Spurs' 68th of the season — its most in a single Premier League season.

Harry Kane and Eriksen both wasted chances to double Spurs' advantage and it was made to pay as Davis levelled just after the half hour, the midfielder converting Tadic's pass from close range.

The home side — which recalled Ryan Mason for the suspended Mousa Dembele — should have been back in front by the break, but Forster was on hand to deny Kane in stoppage time.

Long was presented with a glorious chance from Tadic's pinpoint cross nine minutes after the restart as the Republic of Ireland international rose above Danny Rose, but failed to get enough on his header.

After a water break in the 69th minute due to the soaring temperatures, Southampton caught its host napping with the winning goal.

Davis exchanged passes with Tadic on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, jinked away from one defender and found the bottom corner with a precise finish.

Pochettino's men pushed for an equaliser in the closing minutes, but Kane and Erik Lamela were wasteful and Nacer Chadli was brilliantly denied by Forster as Southampton clung on for the win, moving them onto 60 points — equalling its club record set last season.

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