SOUTHAMPTON 2-5 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
- Goals: Danny Ings (£8.4m) x2; Son Heung-min (£8.9m) x4, Harry Kane (£10.5m)
- Assists: Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m), Moussa Djenepo (£5.5m) | Kane x4, Erik Lamela (£5.9m)
- Bonus: Kane x3, Son x2, Ings x1
Son Heung-min (£8.9m) responded to his price drop by scoring four goals in a remarkable display against Southampton’s high defensive line, all assisted by Harry Kane (£10.5m), as Spurs came from behind to beat the Saints 5-2.
Jose Mourinho’s side can’t stop making headlines right now. Their All or Nothing series is sparking constant discussion, whilst they announced the spectacular return of Gareth Bale alongside Sergio Reguilon over the weekend.
Yet the current stars concluded an uncomfortable week of matches by operating a second-half demolition job, rounded off by a goal from Kane. He injured his hamstring in last season’s equivalent meeting but, this time, became the first man in Premier League history to assist the same goalscorer four times in one match – each one looking eerily similar.
In first-half stoppage-time, some brilliant midfield work by Tanguy Ndombele (£6.0m) ended up at Kane’s feet and his first-time pass set Son clear through. The South Korean international blasted his right-footed finish inside Alex McCarthy’s (£4.5m) far post.
“I know that everyone will say Sonny is man of the match because it’s an incredible achievement to score four goals in the Premier League, but I am a team coach, I am all about my team and what Harry did for us is an example of the guy who is not going to have the highlights on him, but is fundamental for the team.” – Jose Mourinho
Early in the second half, Son’s next two goals were almost identical. Both were Kane through balls from deep, both put Son one-on-one with the goalkeeper and both were clinical finishes that exploited a poorly applied high defensive line. Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will be raging.
They combined a fourth time after 73 minutes, with Kane fetching the ball out wide and curving a wonderful cross for Son to chest then prod home with his left foot. It was a truly magnificent display by Son, who is well-positioned to score over ten times for a fifth consecutive season. Kane finally got his goal nine minutes later, tapping in after substitute Erik Lamela’s (£5.9m) shot hit the post.
“We had a strong first half with some very good scenes, with a lot of chances from our side. We were compact and disciplined but had one silly mistake before half time to bring them back to 1-1. Our heads went a little bit down, their heads a little bit up.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
However, it doesn’t explain a first half which saw three disallowed goals and some Southampton domination. In fact, Son’s opening goal was the only first half shot mustered by Spurs and the only touch in their opponent’s box.
Danny Ings (£8.4m) had a strike ruled out after Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) surged out of his box to head the ball against Ings’ arm. The striker put the ball into the net but it was correctly disallowed.
It was a good day for Ings’ FPL managers, though. He scored twice himself to punish the 240,000 sellers who had lost faith after an opening-day blank at Crystal Palace. His 22 goals of last season made him an almost must-have asset but he became a victim of the devastating number of price changes going on right now.
Ings put Southampton ahead in the 32nd minute, after being put through by a long Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m) ball. Fairly wide, a good first touch was followed by a crisp finish into Lloris’ bottom corner. He scored in three of the four matches against Spurs last season, adding a second here via a late penalty given for Matt Doherty’s (£6.0m) handball.
It was interesting that Ings still took the spot-kick, despite set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m) being on the pitch. With upcoming games against Burnley (a) and West Brom (h), it’s certainly worth considering keeping hold of the reliable Ings for the foreseeable future.
His strike partner Che Adams (£6.0m) had some online love heading into Gameweek 1. Priced much cheaper than Ings, he scored four times in the nine Project Restart matches and is seemingly ahead of Shane Long (£5.5m) in the pecking order. He had the chances here but couldn’t quite get on the scoresheet.
After ten minutes, a free-kick landed at Adams’ feet by the penalty spot but his powerful shot was saved well by Lloris. He may have scored shortly after, if it wasn’t for a great Ben Davies (£5.0m) block. Later given a yellow card, Adams began the second half with an on-target effort to finish a free-flowing attack. It was comfortable for Lloris.
On the one hand, it may encourage managers that Adams has started both league games and got himself into the right positions from which to cause trouble. But seeing Ings bag a brace will hurt, especially when fellow cheap striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.0m) registered 12 points on Saturday.
Despite Southampton ranking third amongst the nine Project Restart games – five wins and three draws – Hasenhuttl has given off some negative vibes in press conferences recently. He believes that “with the team we have, it will be very difficult to win games”, even though they followed October’s humiliating 9-0 defeat to Leicester by being the league’s seventh-best team during the subsequent 28 matches.
“When you have no pressure on the ball you cannot play such a high line. We still did it, and this is not possible. We must come back, close the gaps and defend our own box with everything we have.” – Ralph Hasenhuttl
Perhaps he is a visionary, judging by how badly they defended this time. It was far too easy for Son to stroll through and for Kane to be a creative maestro. Walker-Peters assisted against his former side but owners of goalkeeper McCarthy may start to worry that his place is under threat.
Elsewhere, Stuart Armstrong (£5.5m) made a quiet return to midfield after picking up a thigh injury on Scotland duty, whilst Moussa Djenepo (£5.5m) looked bright and hit the post.
For Spurs, Doherty assisted the first disallowed goal, nodding Son’s cross into a Kane volley that was ruled out for an earlier offside. It was encouraging to see him so far forward but the Irishman ended up without any attacking returns, before being booked and conceding a late penalty with his handball.
It will be fascinating to see what is next for Tottenham. The big team news involved Dele Alli (£7.9m) being completely left out, following last week’s half-time withdrawal against Everton. His appeal as an FPL asset will be extinguished once Bale has built up match fitness. With Reguilon’s addition, they now possess attacking full-backs on both flanks and perhaps this will lead to a formation change.
Successfully negotiating a brutal fixture list is their first priority. They play 48 hours later against Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup, then 48 hours after that in North Macedonia against Shkendija in the Europa League. Beat those sides and it’s the same schedule next week, starting with their home game against Newcastle. It is a horrific diary and Mourinho’s squad management could throw up some shocks for the Fantasy managers who have invested in the Lilywhites.
Southampton XI (4-4-2): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Stephens, Bednarek, Bertrand; Armstrong (Tella 68’), Romeu (Smallbone 55’), Ward-Prowse, Djenepo; Ings, Adams (Long 80’)
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-3-3): Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Sanchez, Davies; Hojbjerg, Winks, Ndombele (Lo Celso 46’); Lucas (Lamela 61’), Son, Kane (Bergwijn 84’)
FPL Lessons Learned from Gameweek 2
- Everton 5-2 West Bromwich Albion
- Leeds United 4-3 Fulham
- Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace
- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United
- Southampton 2-5 Tottenham Hotspur
- Newcastle United 0-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
- Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool
- Leicester City 4-2 Burnley
- Aston Villa 1-0 Sheffield United
- Wolves 1-3 Manchester City