No Harry Kane, no problem. Tottenham overcame the absence of its injured star striker to record its 10th straight Premier League home victory as it beat Southampton 2-1 Sunday at White Hart Lane.
First-half strikes from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli proved enough for victory as Spurs survived a second-half fightback from Southampton after James Ward-Prowse scored for the visitors.
The victory kept Tottenham within 10 points of league leader Chelsea, but perhaps more importantly extended its advantage over fifth-placed Champions League qualification rival Manchester United to seven points.
Both sides struggled to deal with each other’s high pressing in the early stages, but Spurs’ greater quality didn’t take long to show with Eriksen the main creative force.
The Denmark midfielder first played Heung-Min Son through on goal with an inch-perfect pass, only to see Kane’s replacement foiled by a strong save from Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Eriksen took matters into his own hands in the 14th, as he picked the ball up 25 yards from goal, took a touch and then found the bottom corner with his weaker left foot.
Midtable Southampton had scored four goals in each of its two previous Premier League outings and posed a real threat going forward.
Dusan Tadic was guilty of one of the misses of the season in the 29th. With the Tottenham defense thinking the ball was going out, Nathan Redmond flicked it back to Tadic, who unchallenged from six yards (meters) out managed to fire over the bar.
The visitors were almost immediately punished as Alli beat Steven Davis to a bouncing ball in the Southampton area and was felled by the Saints captain, leading referee Andre Marriner to award a penalty.
With usual penalty-taker Kane absent, Alli stepped up to send Forster the wrong way and double Tottenham’s lead in the 32nd.
Southampton emerged after the break with greater attacking intent and was rewarded seven minutes into the second half.
Toby Alderweireld made a rare error as he miskicked Redmond’s cross from the left, allowing the ball to reach Ward-Prowse at the back post, who made no mistake from close range.
Southampton went in search of an equalizer and made Tottenham uncomfortable but failed to create clear openings. Spurs came closest to adding another goal as substitute Vincent Janssen led a counterattack and forced another good save from Forster.