Southampton recorded a memorable 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon against top-four chasing Spurs.
The win compounded Tottenham’s end-of-season collapse that has seen them drop out of the Premier League title race so drastically, while it also edges Southampton that little bit closer to safety.
Harry Kane put the visitors in front during the first half, but young Yann Valery was once again among the goals to pull the Saints level.
The inform James Ward-Prowse scored the winner for the hosts and here are some key talking points from the game.
Sims has to start
Sims was instrumental in our dramatic second-half turnaround adding a breath of fresh air to an otherwise stale and fragile, first-half, team display.
Not only did he add pace up front but he also kept the ball well and made smart decisions – something that Nathan Redmond needs to learn.
The Saints have lacked penetration in the final third for some time and Sims could provide the key to unlocking this as we head into the critical closing stages of the relegation battle.
False nine when Ings is out
With Charlie Austin hopelessly out of form and to be frank, a liability with his lack of pace in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, and Shane Long needing a compass to locate the goal, would it not be more productive to use Redmond as a false nine in the absence of Ings?
This may be a controversial point with Ings set to return soon but with his injury record – for how long? This would allow Sims and Stuart Armstrong to operate either side of Redmond, surely providing more of a goal threat than having Austin or Long wondering around aimlessly upfront?
While a vastly improved player under Hasenhuttl’s regime, Redmond still needs to add some intelligence to his game to take it to the next level.
How often does he waste a good attacking movement, often instigated by himself, with a poor final ball or an over-dribble into traffic? He has great pace, sublime skill and a good shot on him but needs to add that extra bow, something that the likes of Raheem Sterling has done at Manchester City.
He could and should be a goal and assist machine with his talent.
Let’s be honest, we could have easily been down 3-0 at half time in the games against both Spurs and Man United.
On both occasions, some outstanding individual goals masked the continuing cracks in our leaky defence. Around the box some individuals are allowing opposing players to get around and past them too easily – Yoshida and Bertrand come to mind here – there needs to be more commitment in the tackle.
Secondly, we seem very vulnerable to long balls into the box often losing the second ball or failing to clear properly. Jannik Vestergaard was caught ball watching for Kane’s goal and why was he playing on the left flank when he should be in the middle as the tallest and slowest of the centre backs?
Small details can make a difference
Has anyone noticed how many of our own throw-ins we lose? Especially in the opponents half of the pitch. We give away more than half, something we cannot afford heading into the relegation battle.
We also seem to struggle to maintain possession when holding a lead in the closing minutes of a game. The team needs to be more compact and play the ball in triangles to keep the ball away from the opposition heading towards the final whistle.
First win over a top four side in three years
Overall a fantastic performance. The Saints showed they have plenty of fight and character in them, something that has been lacking for a couple of seasons now.
This is the first win over a top-four team since beating Man City 4-2 in the 2015/16 season. We have been too scared of taking the top teams on and the second half showed that bravery and playing higher up the pitch is worth the risk.