Against Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur were the makers of their own misfortune. A series of illogical, overconfident mistakes created a much tenser, difficult afternoon of Premier League football than should have faced the London club.
Tanguy Ndombele had fired Spurs into the lead early in the match with a fearsome driven effort that was helped ever so slightly by turning Southampton defender Jan Bednarek.
However, their lead and control of the match didn’t last quite as long as they would have hoped.
Serge Aurier was the first of the guilty parties in a afternoon filled with foolish mistakes. Just past the half hour mark, the Ivorian defender saw himself dismissed for a second yellow card in only a matter of minutes.
Despite some protestations over whether Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had managed to keep the ball in play, Aurier could have few complaints after hauling Ryan Bertrand down as the Southampton man beat him in the footrace. It wasn’t the firmest of pulls on the shirt, but it was asking for a caution. Plus, the Ivory Coast international was lucky not to have seen a straight red for his first caution after a reckless scissors challenge.
Having been reduced down to 10 men, Spurs knew the afternoon was set to get tougher, but they did themselves no favours just before the interval.
Their usually solid, dependable captain Hugo Lloris took it upon himself to have a moment of madness, attempting to invite in Southampton striker Danny Ings before beating him with a Cruyff turn.
While good in premise, the French goalkeeper entirely fluffed his contact with the ball and was left scrambling as Ings’ quick reactions allowed him to pounce and half-bundle, half-dribble the ball into the back of the Tottenham net.
From what seemed like almost nothing, Southampton now found themselves level. Lloris made a similar mistake overplaying with the ball in the World Cup final against Croatia in the summer of 2018, but this howler was truly one step further. While he might have been left in blushes, seeing the headline-grabbing mistake might have at least offered Sheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson some solace this weekend.
Luckily for Tottenham, and particularly Lloris, the London club’s ever-dependable talisman Harry Kane was on hand in the second half to finish off a brilliant attacking move and ensure that they still earned an important three points.
While the result still went their way, and Spurs fans will just mark it down as a game to forget, it can’t be overlooked just how much unnecessary mistakes turned what should have been a simple victory into a complete fiasco.