Seven tackles, five headers won: Tottenham star's dominant display vs Southampton

Brian Heffernan April 22, 2021
Seven tackles, five headers won: Tottenham star's dominant display vs Southampton
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Serge Aurier was one of the stand-out players for Tottenham Hotspur as the north London side beat Southampton last night.

Spurs put their European Super League saga behind them but it was far from easy at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Saints striker Danny Ings opened the scoring on the half-hour mark but, 30 minutes later, Gareth Bale brought Spurs level with a fine strike.

To continue the pattern of a goal every 30 minutes, Son Heung-min scored in the 90th minute from the penalty spot to seal all three points for Spurs in Ryan Mason’s first match in charge.

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Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

And, despite the lack of a clean sheet, Aurier produced some impressive defensive stats.

Aurier – 111 touches

The Spurs defender was a busy man last night. Aurier touched the ball 111 times, more than any other player on the pitch. The only player close to matching that was Sergio Reguilon, with 97 touches.

Aurier also completed seven tackles and won five aerial duels. Once again, no other player could match those stats.

Eric Dier was one aerial duel away, while Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu was one tackle away from matching Aurier.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

What’s next for Mason?

Ryan Mason faces the toughest test in English football for his next game in charge. Tottenham meet Manchester City in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Spurs have had mixed success against the Manchester giants, winning two of the past six meetings. City have won three, with one draw.

But this is a cup final at Wembley, after all, so form may not come into it. With fans there too!

Can Mason, who created history last night by becoming the youngest manager since the Premier League began, finally break Tottenham’s trophy hoodoo?

What a day that would be.

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Brian Heffernan is head of recruitment at Horsham FC. He has also scouted for League Two and Danish clubs and worked freelance in the Russian Premier League. Brian’s work includes trialling and signing players and creating detailed opposition dossiers for first-team managers. He’s also a sports journalist specialising in football.