Tottenham suffer VAR frustration in draw with Southampton

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Tottenham were frustrated by VAR as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at 10-man Southampton.

Spurs had two second-half goals controversially ruled out as they chased the three points at St Mary’s after Harry Kane’s penalty had earlier cancelled out James Ward-Prowse’s stunning opener for Saints.

Ward-Prowse found the far corner with a first-time effort in the 25th minute but Kane rifled in from the spot after Son Heung-min was chopped down by Mohammed Salisu, who was shown a red card.

Harry Kane, centre, scores Tottenham's equaliser

Harry Kane, centre, scores Tottenham’s equaliser (Andrew Matthews/PA)

It was all Spurs after the break and Kane saw a goal cancelled out for offside which did not look obvious on VAR and then referee Anthony Taylor adjudged Fraser Forster to have been fouled when he dropped the ball under an innocuous challenge from Matt Doherty.

Spurs had other chances through Doherty and Bryan Gil but they had to settle for a draw which sees them miss the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Arsenal.

Still, avoiding defeat means that Antonio Conte becomes the first manager in Tottenham’s history not to lose any of his first seven league games and they are undoubtedly heading in the right direction under the Italian.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will be proud of his side’s rearguard effort and they have lost just one of their last six games.

Both sides were in action just 48 hours ago but with the hosts making six changes to Tottenham’s three, they enjoyed a livelier start as Adam Armstrong put a header wide and Yan Valery shot off target from the edge of the area.

They were worthy of their opening goal in the 25th minute as Ward-Prowse delivered a real moment of quality.

James Ward-Prowse, second left, fires Southampton in front

James Ward-Prowse, second left, fires Southampton in front (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A loose ball from a long throw fell to the England international on the edge of the area and he cut across a first-time shot which took it away from Hugo Lloris and into the far corner.

Southampton were dominating but the complexion of the game changed five minutes before half-time as Spurs levelled and Southampton were reduced to 10 men.

Harry Winks played Son in and he was fouled in the penalty area by Salisu who, having earlier been booked, was given his marching orders by referee Anthony Taylor.

Kane made no mistake from the penalty spot, sending Fraser Forster the wrong way to make it three goals in his last three Premier League games.

Spurs had all the impetus going into the second half as they tried to make their numerical advantage count and they thought they had made a breakthrough in the 54th minute.

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Winks’ through-ball was perfect for Kane, who finished in clinical fashion only for the dreaded perpendicular lines of VAR to rule it out, even though the England captain looked onside.

They again had the ball in the back of the net midway through the second half when Forster dropped Lucas Moura’s cross and the ball got deflected in, but Taylor whistled for a foul by Doherty where contact looked minimal.

Spurs did fashion other opportunities as Forster made three big saves as he kept out Doherty, palmed away a Moura shot and then turned over Bryan Gil’s effort at the death as they were left to rue VAR’s intervention.

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