- Jan Vertonghen was lucky not to be sent off for putting his hand in Jay Rodriguez’s face
- Tottenham target Wilfried Zaha has been included in Ivory Coast’s provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations
- Southampton will play three games in the space of 144 hours
Sam Cunningham for the Daily Mail
Claude Puel is becoming known for his rotation policy and he made another four changes to his starting XI to face Spurs. In the Premier League he has made 40 changes to his line-up from the match previous during this season. He is, however, way behind frequent fine-tuner Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, who has made 61.
Claude Puel is becoming known for his rotation policy at Southampton
There was confusion around Toby Alderweireld’s absence, with some Spurs fans accusing manager Mauricio Pochettino of lying about injuries on social media. Pochettino said the centre-back was struggling with a back injury after their last match against Burnley, only for it to be announced that the player had a virus before kick off. Club officials clarified that his back had recovered and was fine — that match was 10 days before this one — and that he was struck down with the illness a few days previously. He is expected back for the New Years Day fixture against Watford.
Toby Alderweireld was absent due to a virus picked up in the last few days
Jan Vertonghen was fortunate not to be sent off for pushing a hand into Jay Rodriguez’s face. Fernando Torres got away with a similar incident with Vertonghen in 2013, prompting a rule change, enabling the FA to charge players even if officials saw an incident.
Jan Vertonghen was caught on camera putting his hand in Jay Rodriguez’s face
Tottenham target Wilfried Zaha has been included in Ivory Coast’s provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations. The Crystal Palace winger turned his back on England last month after growing wary of repeatedly being overlooked. England manager Gareth Southgate and Palace’s new manager Sam Allardyce are desperate for him not to play in the tournament, which could make him absent for up to five weeks next month and would make a Spurs move unlikely.
Tottenham target Wilfried Zaha has been named in the Ivory Coast’s provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations
Dele Alli became the fourth youngest player to make 50 Premier League appearances for Tottenham. At 20 years and 261 days, his start against Southampton placed him behind Aaron Lennon, Sol Campbell and Nicky Barmby in their record books. He marked the occasion with two goals.
Dele Alli scored two goals against Southampton on his 50th Premier League appearance
Television companies continue to pile pressure on players. After not having a match on Boxing Day, Southampton had 10 days free before playing Spurs. Yet this match was the first of three games in 144 hours with West Bromwich Albion following on New Years Eve and Everton on January 2.
Southampton now face two more games – against West Brom and Everton – in 144 hours
Virgil Van Dijk’s header after 69 seconds was the fourth fastest opener in a Premier League game this season. Chelsea’s Pedro tops the list with his strike after 30 seconds against Manchester United. Next is Etienne Capoue, who scored for Watford 32 seconds into their match versus Leicester City. He is followed by Van Dijk’s team-mate Charlie Austin, who netted within 41 seconds against Everton.
Virgil Van Dijk’s goal was the fourth fastest in the Premier League this season