Heading into Saturday’s clash against Tottenham, there was a feeling of confidence amongst the squad and fans. Yet Southampton did the typical thing and bottled it.
It was an opportunity too good to miss for the Saints. The south coast side travelled to the English capital to face a Spurs team that were not only low in morale and short of ideas as Jack Pitt-Brooke wrote for The Athletic, but also a squad coming up against Southampton on the back of two consecutive defeats, one of which was against League Two side Colchester United.
Yet despite these seemingly crucial factors going overwhelmingly in Southampton’s favour, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side fell to a disappointing 2-1 defeat, a loss made even more frustrating as Tottenham played over an hour of football with 10-men following the dismissal of Serge Aurier.
And the numbers from WhoScored, also, paint a picture that the Saints missed their chance to secure anything against Tottenham.
Southampton had more possession than their north London opposition with 58.6% as well as managing more shots in total as well as on target with 6, with Hugo Lloris managing to save 5 of them in a game were Spurs made their few chances count.
Dominating the game against a side down a defender as well as on a poor stretch of form and coming away with nothing is unacceptable, and although the more optimistic of Southampton supporters will point out that their side did well and on another occasion the Saints could have departed Tottenham with something, that is all beside the point.
Southampton went to north London as the plucky underdog brimming with confidence in challenging the Premier League elite and came away with nothing despite officiating and statistical findings all going their way.
It will be hard for the Saints to face another side in the top-six this season with as perfect conditions as this, and the south coast team, on the back of one of their great performances against Portsmouth, blew it.