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Sigurdsson winner caps superb Spurs fightback, Stoke crush Villa
 
 
 

LONDON - Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a stoppage-time winner after Christian Eriksen's double as Tottenham Hotspur stormed back from 2-0 down to beat Southampton 3-2 in the Premier League on Sunday. Sigurdsson converted Denmark midfielder Eriksen's layoff to keep alive Spurs lingering hopes of a top-four finish. They are fifth on 56 points, six behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played one more match.
"You have to find a way to win, it wasn't free-flowing, it wasn't fantastic football but at the end of the day you have to find a way to win," Spurs manager Tim Sherwood told reporters. "We have come back and on the back of two or three really poor results, we have shown character and that's what I am looking for." In Sunday's other match at Villa Park, Stoke City came from behind to beat Aston Villa 4-1 and climb to 10th in the table on 37 points from 31 matches, one place and three points above their defeated opponents.
Southampton dominated the opening period with delightful one-touch football and two mistakes from Spurs right-back Kyle Naughton enabled the visitors to take a 2-0 lead after 28 minutes. Jay Rodriguez pounced on a loose ball after Naughton misjudged a clearance in the sunshine from goalkeeper Artur Boruc, allowing Rodriguez to impress watching England manager Roy Hodgson.
Rodriguez, one of four Saints players chasing a place in Hodgson's World Cup squad, placed a perfect angled shot wide of Spurs goalie Hugo Lloris for his 15th goal of the season after 19 minutes. Saints doubled their lead after Naughton's next mistake when he failed to clear on the edge of his own box with Adam Lallana eventually planting the ball past Lloris for their second.
Another mistake, this time from right-back Nathaniel Clyne, allowed Spurs back into the game four minutes later when he let a cross from Naughton under his studs allowing the ball to run on to Eriksen who slammed in from close range. Within a minute of the restart Spurs were level when Roberto Soldado out-muscled defender Dejan Lovren before crossing for Eriksen to score from point-blank range.
Sigurdsson, a halftime substitute for Moussa Dembele, rounded off with the winner from a low drive with time running out. "We were 2-0 up and were heavily punished for some mistakes, but we deserved more against a very good Tottenham side," lamented Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino. "Their second goal immediately after halftime changed the dynamics of the game completely and we need to deal with that sort of thing better."
Five more goals at Villa Park took the weekend's tally to 42, the most in the Premier League since December 2012, putting the gloss on a fine round of matches.
Belgium striker Christian Benteke put Villa in front on five minutes when he crashed the ball into the roof of the net after smart build-up play. But Mark Hughes's Stoke, who had won only one away league game this season, equalised on 26 minutes when Peter Odemwingie raced on to Peter Crouch's headed knockdown and fired the ball past Brad Guzan.
Stoke took the lead four minutes later when left back Erik Pieters crossed for an unmarked Crouch to side-foot home and, after more haphazard Villa defending, Steven N'Zonzi provided a clinical finish from the edge of the box on 42 minutes. American Geoff Cameron added the fourth a minute from time.


RESULTS


Tottenham    3
Southampton    2
Stoke    4
Aston Villa    1


 


 


POINT TABLE


Club    M    P    D    L    GF    GA    Pts
Chelsea    31    21    6    4    62    23    69
Liverpool    30    20    5    5    82    38    65
Man City    28    20    3    5    76    27    63
Arsenal    30    19    5    6    53    34    62
Tottenham    31    17    5    9    40    40    56
Everton    29    15    9    5    43    30    54
Man Utd    30    15    6    9    48    34    51
Newcastle    30    14    4    12    38    40    46
Southampton    31    12    9    10    45    40    45
Stoke    31    9    10    12    36    45    37
Aston Villa    30    9    7    14    33    42    34
Hull    30    9    6    15    32    37    33
Norwich    31    8    8    15    26    48    32
West Ham    30    8    7    15    32    40    31
Swansea    30    7    8    15    40    46    29
West Brom    30    5    13    12    33    45    28
Crystal Palace    30    8    4    18    19    39    28
Sunderland    28    6    7    15    26    44    25
Cardiff    31    6    7    18    26    58    25
Fulham    31    7    3    21    30    70    24

 
 
on epaper page 16
 
 
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