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    Saturday, March 18, 2023

    Tottenham Wastes 2-Goal Lead to Draw 3-3 with Southampton

    Tottenham missed out on the chance to move up to third in the Premier League by throwing away a two-goal lead Saturday as James Ward-Prowse’s stoppage-time penalty earned last-place Southampton a 3-3 draw.

    Tottenham had taken a 3-1 lead after Pedro Porro and Ivan Perisic netted their first goals for the club and Harry Kane scored his 23rd of the campaign.

    Southampton had only scored twice in its previous five league appearances but the hosts showed the same fight that saw them recently take points off Chelsea and Manchester United to come back and boost their survival hopes.

    Ward-Prowse’s late penalty, after Pape Sarr had fouled Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the area, added to second-half efforts by Che Adams and Theo Walcott to earn Saints a point.

    Both teams had to make early substitutions after Tottenham forward Richarlison limped off after five minutes with an injury and Southampton’s Armel Bella-Kotchap was forced off in the eighth with an injury to his right arm.

    Jan Bednarek then had to come off in the 34th for Southampton, and Tottenham’s Ben Davies became the fourth player to have to be substituted shortly afterward.

    That forced Maitland-Niles into the unusual role of playing center back, and Tottenham quickly pounced to break the deadlock in first-half stoppage-time.

    Son Heung-min spotted Porro in space on the right and passed the ball into the path of the January recruit, who took a touch and thundered an effort in off the crossbar.

    It took just 43 seconds for Adams to level for Southampton after the halftime break. Romeo Lavia sent a perfectly weighted ball into Walcott, who squared for Adams to slide in for his 10th goal of the season in all competitions.

    Tottenham reclaimed the lead when substitute Dejan Kulusevski floated a ball to the back post where Kane powered home a header. When Perisic opened his account for Spurs in his 36th appearance with a half-volley beyond Gavin Bazunu in the 74th minute, the points appeared wrapped up for the visitors.

    But Walcott reduced the deficit from Sekou Mara’s knock-down three minutes later to set up a dramatic finale.

    Former Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster thwarted Mara from close range soon after but the hosts would not be denied.

    Sarr caught Maitland-Niles in the area following a corner and Ward-Prowse, who saw his last spot kick against Leicester saved, made no mistake this time and fired into the corner to secure what could be a crucial point.

    Southampton remained in last place but is just two points from safety — and four points below Crystal Palace in 12th place.

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