New England Soccer Today

Dempsey Scores in Spurs Win

Dempsey scored his second game-winning goal for Tottenham in their 2-1 at Southampton on Saturday. (Photo: Tottenham Hotspur)

Tottenham Hotspur continued their fine run of form on Sunday with a 2-1 win over Southampton. Former New England Revolution star Clint Dempsey scored his second Premier League of goal of the season — both game winners — for Spurs in the match.

The win moved Tottenham (5-2-2, 17 points) into fourth place, putting them into a Champions League qualifying position, while Southampton (1-7-1, 4 points) stayed in 19th place, mired in a relegation battle. The win improved Spurs to 5-1-1 in the Premier League (6-1-4 overall) since Dempsey joined the club on August 31st. Spurs only loss with the U.S. International came last Saturday in a 4-2 defeat to defending UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea.

Spurs completely dominated the opening 45 minutes, not allowing their hosts a sniff at goal. Jermain Defoe, who probably could’ve had a hattrick with the number of chances he had, came close to opening the scoring in the scoring in the 14th minute, but missed just wide from the top of the box.

A minute later, after some clever work from Defoe on the wing, the English International picked out Tom Huddlestone who sent a lob to Gareth Bale streaking into the left side of the box. Bale directed a powerful long range header past Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc and inside the far post to open the scoring.

After coming close on several occasions, Spurs finally doubled their lead through Dempsey in the 39th minute. A perfect through ball from Aaron Lennon sent Defoe alone into the box, and the diminutive forward slotted a slow rolling shot past Boruc. A Southampton defender ran back to clear it off the line, but Dempsey had followed the play and was there to knock it into the empty net.

The second half looked to be more Spurs domination, but Southampton finally found some space in the attack and made a breakthrough in the 66th minute. The Saints earned a free kick just outside the Spurs box and Daniel Fox sent it towards the penalty spot. The service was flicked past former U.S. International ‘keeper Brad Friedel, but Maya Yoshida couldn’t put it away, inches from the goal line.

The ensuing corner kick would pull the Saints back within one. Friedel saved Jose Fonte’s initial close range header off a Fox corner, but was helpless as Jay Rodriguez finished off the rebound to make it 2-1.

The match became a back-and-forth affair from there, with Spurs keeping it tight defensively. Only a brave block by Sandro on a powerful strike from Morgan Schneiderlin in the 90th minute kept Spurs slim advantage alive till the final whistle.

Dempsey was substituted out in deep into stoppage time for defender Michael Dawson.

Tottenham returns to action on Wednesday with a trip to face Norwich City in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup. Spurs next Premier League fixture is Saturday, at White Hart Lane, against Wigan Athletic.

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