Despite a rough start to their match against Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur showed some fighting spirit and battled back to claim a 3-2 win at White Hart Lane. After going down 2-0, it would have been easy for Spurs to collapse, especially considering their recent run of poor results. Instead, a Christian Eriksen brace and a last-minute winner gave them all three points. What a difference a few days makes.
The opening half was an unhappy one for right backs. All three goals were a direct result of errors from either Kyle Naughton or Nathaniel Clyne, and it was Naughton who won the impromptu comedy battle with a pair of absolutely ridiculous mistakes.
Southampton had been threatening Tottenham's high line from the offset. Rickie Lambert wasted a good chance when played through one-on-one, and Jay Rodriguez had a neat finish that was chalked off for offside, and it came as no surprise when the visitors went ahead. The manner in which they did so, however, was more than a little embarrassing.
With Rodriguez lurking behind him, Naughton misjudged a simple bouncing ball, allowing it to get past and sending the England man through on goal. Rodriguez made no mistake, gliding his shot past Hugo Lloris and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
The Saints' second was no less humiliating for Naughton. Attempting to mop up a botched clearance, the right back failed to control the ball, presenting possession straight to Lambert. With an unmarked Adam Lallana steaming into the box from his right, Lambert went for the simple layoff, and Lallana met the pass with a finish that matched Rodriguez's.
Spurs were down 2-0, but thanks to their individual quality they were hardly out of the match. Roberto Soldado in particular was causing problems with some clever one-touch passes, and Eriksen was a constant threat on the ball. It was the former Ajax man who got the hosts back into the game, but it took a horrendous error from Clyne to give him the chance; the Southampton defender completely missed a Naughton cross to present him with a simple near-post finish to make it 2-1.
Both sides had more chances to score before the half was out. Lloris saved well from Lallana after a neat pass from Jack Cork, and Artur Boruc did him one better by blocking a point-blank effort from Eriksen. But Boruc was helpless to prevent Tottenham going level within minutes of the restart.
Dejan Lovren was furious that no foul was given after Soldado bullied him off the ball near the corner flag, but his protests (rightly) made no impression on referee Anthony Taylor, who waved play on as Soldado surged into the area and picked out Eriksen for an easy tap-in.
At 2-2, it was anyone's game, but Spurs seemed the more likely side. Their tails were up and Southampton's rhythm seemed to have evaporated in the second half. But after 90 minutes, the score was still level, and it looked like Tim Sherwood's side would have to settle for a point.
Enter Gylfi Sigurdsson.
On at halftime as a substitute, the Icelandic international picked up a pass from Eriksen, looked up, and slammed a low effort past Boruc and into the far corner from fully 25 yards. It was not a vital goal -- Tottenham's season is all but over at this point -- but it's certainly a morale-boosting one. Until now, Spurs haven't been able to turn games around under their new manager, but this was a comeback of the highest order.
Tottenham Hotspur starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris; Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton; Mousa Dembele , Nabil Bentaleb; Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen, Aaron Lennon ; Roberto Soldado.
Goals: Eriksen 31' 46', Sigurdsson 90'.
Southampton starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Artur Boruc; Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne (Callum Chambers 45'); James Ward-Prowse, Jack Cork; Jay Rodriguez (Gaston Ramirez 65'), Adam Lallana, Steven Davis; Rickie Lambert (Sam Gallagher 90').
Goals: Rodriguez 19', Lallan 28'.