Antonio Conte has registered his name in the history books of Spurs after his trip to Saint Mary’s. The Italian manager became the first manager of Tottenham to remain unbeaten in the first seven Premier League games. However, this accolade wasn’t enough to hide the anguish which Conte and Kane held as the final whistle blew.
Antonio Conte is a manager who has achieved everything he laid his eyes upon. Juventus era of dominance in the Italian League began under his reign. After a decade he came back to undo what he started in 2011. Inter Milan’s title campaign was the highlight which caught the eye of Tottenham. His new adventure started with a team that lacked motivation. A team that is haunted by the ghosts of their failures, a trophy cabinet that drowns in its emptiness. Nuno left a team that crumbled under the burden of the expectations from their fans, management and the rest of the world. Conte took each piece and started to place them to complete the puzzle. He once again allowed Spurs to dream of the long-awaited glory.
First Half Action
A victory in this fixture would have taken them one step closer to that fantasy. However, a resolute Southampton held their fort to maintain the parity for more than half of the fixture. James Ward Prowse gave the Saints an unexpected leave as a loose ball fell into his path. The English mid-fielder struck a half volley with all his might. The ball swirled and danced in the air as it breezed past Lloris.
Before Southampton could look to grow into the game Salisu’s red card marked the end of the sunshine which they were just getting used to. Harry Kane in front of the spot-kick is the worst nightmare of any team. Within a blink of an eye, the score was level and Southampton with a mountain to climb for the majority of the game.
With seven minutes into the second half, the English Skipper produced a moment of magic from his feet. For a minute Harry Kane was filled with ecstasy and VAR came in to take his moment away from him. The left arm of Kane was a few mm ahead of the defensive line. While Kane tried to maintain the composure and the level of patience in check their frustrations would keep on rising.
As the time started to slip away from their hands, Spurs started to increase the intensity of the game. Their urgency in front of the goal was evident. Each shot from Tottenham was matched by Fraser Foster. The last line of defence in Southampton’s half managed to pull them across the line.
With the level of quality and the efficiency which Spurs has, a victory was never in doubt the moment Salisu walked away from the pitch. Breaking down a ten-man squad provided them with a platform to end this year with a hallmark of their success under Conte. Yet, their struggle only makes their journey in search of the top four spots will be a tough nut to crack.
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