Emmanuel Adebayor came out of the metaphorical wilderness to help Tottenham defeat Southampton 2-3 in an open, entertaining fixture at St. Marys. Adebayor himself scored a brace alongside a Jos Hooiveld own goal, whilst Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert flew the English flag as the Saints goal scorers.
We started, once again with true attacking intent that interim boss, Tim Sherwood introduced in the mid-week loss to West Ham. We began once again in the 4-4-2, with Emmanuel Adebayor partnering Robert Soldado upfront, with Erik Lamela and Gylfi Sigurdsson beginning in the berths, with Christian Eriksen and Moussa Dembele filling the middle of the park, meaning that for the second match running, we began the match without a defensive player in midfield.
Southampton dominated the first period of the match and made good of their possession in the 13th minute, when Adam Lallana found space on the edge of the area and took a lovely shot which found the bottom corner of the net well.
Southampton then began to run away with the game, with Tottenham only managing very little possession, before some beautiful link-up play between the newly formed striking partnership between Robbie Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor resulted in the former picking out the latter well, with the Togolese converting expertly with a volley from close range, leaving Gazzaniga with no chance.
Tottenham then went on to feel their way into the match and began displaying the attacking philosophy brought under Sherwood, however they had to wait until after the half-time mark to make good of their dominance. Danny Rose made a good run down the left flank and his resulting cross was met by the Saints centre half, Jos Hooiveld who was unfortunate to put the ball into the back of the net.
Southampton then responded almost immediately, when Adam Lallana picked out fellow Englishman, Rickie Lambert, who side footed past Hugo Lloris to square up the game at 2-2.
However then it turned to us to hit back, with Emmanuel Adebayor scoring his second, our third and what would be the winner on the 64th minute, when he smashed the ball home after a good one-two on the edge of the area.
Obviously the majority of the headlines will be taken up by our large Togolese striker, Adebayor after he seemingly came out of nowhere and in the last two matches has scored three goals, resulting in an interesting statistic of five goals in his last five starts for the club, although before the West Ham match, his last start was away at Chelsea last season. Adebayor has finally seemed to solve the problem of Robbie Soldado’s seeming isolation upfront. Adebayor did exactly what we thought, he was all over the pitch, chasing every ball, dropped off into midfield at times and was at the right place to convert when needed. Could he be the man to turn around our season?
Another worthy shout out should go to Christian Eriksen, of who has received a lot of criticism for dropping off in games, but today he was outstanding. He worked for the side and linked well with the players around him, as well as dropping backwards to help defensively, which was needed at times considering our lack of an anchor-man in the middle.
These three points see us rise to seventh in the table. Considering we’re apparently in complete disarray, sacking our manager, losing heavily week in, week out; we have a lot going for us. We’re six points above last season’s champions, Manchester United, we’re only three points off fifth, four points of fourth, and we have a brace of very winnable matches coming up, with both West Brom and Stoke City visiting White Hart lane in the coming week. Is this the turning point?