Tottenham Hotspur kept their trophy hopes alive by coming back from 2-1 down to win against Southampton in their FA Cup fourth round replay.
The Saints always looked like a stern test for the north London opponents having entered the game in fine Premier League form and on the back of a strong display at Liverpool, despite the 4-0 scoreline.
But just as in the original fixture, it was Tottenham that made the stronger start and they took the lead after just 12 minutes when record-signing Tanguy Ndombele looked to have scored.
Nevertheless, the once-exiled midfielder had his recent luck summed up perfectly when the goal was eventually award to Jack Stephens for deflecting the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Stephens had little reason to fear, though, when one of his teammates threatened to score at the correct end as the prolific Danny Ings gave Spurs a wake-up call by rattling the bar.
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Southampton go 2-1 up
And his strike partner Shane Long then went one better by finding the net on 33 minutes, firing the ball past Hugo Lloris after he initially made a save from Nathan Redmond’s stinging effort.
However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Southampton and fans will be keeping their fingers crossed for James Ward-Prowse after he was stretchered off injured.
Spurs managed to fend off some nerve-wracking opportunities after the break, but the game justly swung in the favour of the visitors with barely 20 minutes left to play.
Moura starts the comeback
Ings – who else? – picked up a smart pass from Redmond in the final third and found the bottom corner with a perfectly-placed finish after getting the better of Japhet Tanganga.
Going behind finally seemed to bring Tottenham to their senses and they pulled their trophy dreams out of the fire by hitting back in the 78th minute thanks to Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian dashed up the pitch by playing a one-two with Dele Alli and proceeded to beat Angus Gunn from outside the box to send waves of celebration around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Did Son dive for the winning penalty?
And Tottenham eventually rode that wave to win the game, but it came under controversial circumstances…
That’s because Heung-min Son won a late penalty, which he later scored to put Spurs 3-2 up, after going down under a challenge from Gunn.
Not everybody was convinced by the legitimacy of the penalty, though, and fans on social media were accusing the South Korean of diving despite the fact VAR didn’t intervene.
Was it a penalty? It’s ultimately subjective and Gunn does indeed touch Son with his right glove, but there’s not enough contact to suggest fans are even vaguely overreacting.
And it’s just one of the reasons why Tottenham, who even Jose Mourinho called the inferior team, should count themselves lucky in a game where they only mustered three shots on target.
Nevertheless, it’s the Spurs and not the Saints that go marching on in the FA Cup…