Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino overcame his former side Southampton thanks to a Christian Eriksen strike at White Hart Lane on Sunday. The Argentine boss will be pleased with the team performance as much as the result as Spurs finally showed some cohesion and organisation to beat on-form Saints.
After a good start to the season, in terms of results at least, Tottenham had lost their way, losing their last two league games at the Lane in poor performances against Liverpool and West Brom. However, buoyed by the draw at the Emirates against North London rivals Arsenal, Pochettino's side played like a Pochettino team and secured the points thanks to Eriksen's strike, and some poor Southampton finishing.
Here are the Tottenham ratings:
Hugo Lloris - 7.5
Another clean sheet for Lloris who is having a stellar season in the Spurs goal. Had little to do as Southampton had chances but poor finishing let them down, but had to be alert to save Victor Wanyama's snap shot from eighteen yards.
Kyle Naughton - 7.0
Had regained his place for the North London derby and an impressive defensive display meant he started against Southampton. Went from villain to hero in an instance when a failure to clear a cross let Saido Mane have an opportunity but Naughton recovered to put in a vital block. Was subbed after half an hour when Ryan Betrand went in recklessly and damaged the Spurs right back's ankle. He looks to set to miss several weeks right at the time when he looked to have secured his first choice spot.
Danny Rose - 7.0
Showed good attacking verve and contributed to Tottenham's improved pressing and defensive display. Looks to be growing under Pochettino, as demonstrated by his remonstrations at his centre backs when Mane slipped in unseen for his golden chance late on.
Jan Vertonghen - 7.0
Together with his centre back partner Vertonghen managed to contain Saints front man Graziano Pelle with ease, although was troubled more by runners from midfield.
Younes Kaboul - 7.0
Now, finally, looking back to his old self. The Frenchman has been made captained and is putting in improved displays, although still liable to the odd shanked clearance or lapse in concentration.
Etienne Capoue - 7.5
Marshalled the midfield well, increasingly expansive with his passing, and providing a good shield for the defence.
Ryan Mason - 7.5
One of those players who does much more than the highlights will suggest. Unlike other Spurs midfielders, especially those who cannot even make the bench *cough*, his passing is more adventurous, quicker, and more accurate. Gets Tottenham onto the front foot quicker and this ethos is spreading to his team mates.
Nacer Chadli - 7.5
Looking like one of those players who will be on the fringe of the play before popping up in the right place at the right time. Showed great speed to run clear of the Southampton backline only to see his strike hit the post, and put in lots of effort as Tottenham pressed and worked off the ball much better. Lay off for Eriksen's goal was nice and precise.
Christian Eriksen - 8.0
The Dane has struggled to influence the game as Tottenham get to grip with a new system and game plan, but with Spurs shaping up a lot better both with and without the ball, so Eriksen was much more involved, and more involved in the final third. Took his strike well, forced Fraser Forster to make a scrambled save, and was always involved as the home side went forward.
Erik Lamela - 7.0
Looking settled in the Premier League, if not quite running at 100%. Went close with one strike, but a reluctance to use his right foot spurned a great opportunity to put Tottenham two up in the second half.
Emmanuel Adebayor - 7.5
Took a little time to get involved but as he discovered the team was up for the match, so Adebayor began to roam and find space. It was his burst down the left that led to the only goal, while his through ball led to Chadli hitting the post. Did not have a real sight of goal save a penalty shout in the second half, but a much improved showing.
Eric Dier (for Naughton, 32) - 6.5
Came on for the injured Naughton and did well but still a bit of a square peg in a round hole.
Mousa Dembele (for Eriksen, 82) - 6.0
Added a bit more physical presence in midfield but not really involved.
Harry Kane (for Lamela, 91) - N/A
Showed plenty of energy when he ran on.