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Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris shine at opposite ends as Spurs comfortably beat Southampton

Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris shine at opposite ends as Spurs comfortably beat Southampton

ESPN

Mauricio Pochettino fears Kieran Trippier has developed a persistent groin problem due to his exertions at the end of the World Cup after the right-back limped off against Southampton.

Trippier, who had been out of action since Nov. 10, played from the start in Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Saints and played a key role in Spurs' third goal -- but he had to leave the field in the 87th minute.

"I think it's the same problem -- the same problem that started in the World Cup," said Pochettino in a post-match news conference. "If you remember the semifinal against Croatia, when he left the pitch, I think to play after three days against Belgium, I think maybe it affected [him] a little bit. Now he's suffering in that situation.

"In situations like today when the pitch is not in a good condition, this area -- the groin -- suffers more when the pitch is different.

"It's a thing that we need to care a lot for him, protect him. He needs to work a lot to protect and sort that problem. It will be a long period for him suffering this type of problem.

"When I was in Argentina as a 19-year-old I suffered and it is an area that is difficult to sort out. But I don't believe it's a big thing. It's only he needs to start to accept that situation and live with sometimes some pain, and play."

Tottenham were always in control against Southampton, having taken the lead through Harry Kane's ninth-minute strike, and were 3-0 up 10 minutes into the second half. But they then took their foot off the gas and their visitors ended up having 18 shots -- five more than Spurs -- with five on target.

"I was saying that maybe we conceded more chances in the last 30 minutes than in 90 minutes against Arsenal," said Pochettino. "With 3-0 maybe we drop a little bit in our concentration. I think we start to think the game was over and always it's so dangerous when there's so much time to play. In the end [Hugo] Lloris was man of the match.

"In the same way I try to understand, it was a tough evening, difficult to play the three emotional games we played last week [against Chelsea, Inter Milan and Arsenal].

"You pay. It's not easy to feel fresh in your legs or your mind -- whether you play or not play. Players that don't play are the same.

"For me the most important thing is to keep going -- 33 points, third in the table, and I think a fantastic Premier League season."

Wembley was almost two-thirds empty as only 33,012 people turned out at the 90,000-seater arena, but Pochettino said: "I think we cannot ask more from our fans.

"Of course it was a difficult evening, but it is for the players and fans and we cannot ask for more.

"After the defeat to Arsenal you can understand the disappointment of the fans and this evening, to come here to Wembley is so tough.

"I hope in the future to provide better performance and make happy our fans and [make] our fans want to come here to share the happiness. But today there's nothing to say, because to come to Wembley was tough and I understand why Wembley wasn't great in the atmosphere."

Arsenal coach Unai Emery fears that centre-back Rob Holding suffered "a big injury" in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Wednesday, but hailed his team's fighting spirit despite giving up two equalizers.

Holding had to be carried off on a stretcher in the first half after injuring his knee in a tackle near the sideline, and Emery indicated that the 23-year-old could be facing a lengthy layoff.

"The worst for us today was the news with Rob Holding. We are going to wait for what the doctor tells us but it is maybe a big injury," Emery said. "We are going to wait, it is his knee."

Aaron Ramsey also had to come off at half-time with an ankle problem, but Emery said that only appears to be a "small injury."

Arsenal twice took the lead through Shkodran Mustafi's first-half header and Alexandre Lacazette's second-half strike. But they couldn't stay ahead for long, with United's second equalizer coming just 74 seconds after Lacazette's goal.

Arsenal were trying to follow up their 4-2 win over Tottenham on Sunday by knocking off another rival. But the draw means Arsenal still haven't won in the league at Old Trafford since 2006, although they extended their current unbeaten streak to 20 games in all competitions. And Emery seemed to take mainly positives from the result.

"We could not control the game like we wanted for the 90 minutes, but for the second half it gives us confidence this draw. It is not the best, but it is not the worst," he said. "I'm not frustrated, I am very proud of the players because they had a very good match for every supporter. Everyone who loves football will see that this was a good match for us. ... We were playing against a very competitive team and I think our spirit is good.

"We got up after conceding twice in the 90 minutes and we tried to find the victory every time. I think this is our spirit. Usually United create a lot of chances here, and I don't think we conceded a lot of chances. For us, for our confidence, our level in the competition and our way, I think we can think very positively."

While Holding may be out for the long term, Emery said captain Laurent Koscielny could soon be ready to make his first start of the season -- possibly in next week's Europa League match against Qarabag.

"Laurent is very close to playing for us," Emery said. "When are we thinking he will start playing with us? I don't know if Saturday [against Huddersfield] is a possibility, but we're thinking the Europa League game against Qarabag could be a good match for him."

MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho claimed Manchester United continue to "shoot" themselves in their bid to claw their way back into the top four after the draw with Arsenal.

Mourinho's side put in a much improved performance to earn a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford on Wednesday night but the Portuguese coach insisted his team are not making things easy for themselves after conceding their 24th and 25th goals of the season thanks to mistakes from David De Gea and Marcos Rojo.

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"We scored four goals and we drew 2-2, but we score four goals and even in matches like today where we play well we always shoot ourselves," Mourinho told a news conference.

"Sometimes we miss chances with an open goal, other times it is defensive mistakes, but we had a fantastic spirit and good performances."

Mourinho, who dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench, was especially pleased with Rojo, Matteo Darmian, Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot, who started as part of a five-man defence despite making a combined five Premier League starts before kickoff.

"Maybe we feel frustrated with the result, frustrated with some mistakes," said Mourinho.

"But we have to be happy with the spirit, the effort, the dynamic, the intensity, the understanding of our difficulties.

"Behind was a kid with a first start [Dalot], was Eric [Bailly] -- half injured -- and without playing for a long time, was [Chris] Smalling injured, I have to say injured, was Marcos Rojo in the first minute of the season, was Darmian with a third start.

"So difficult circumstances and the team as a team had a very good response."

After appearing to criticise Pogba following the draw at Southampton, Mourinho omitted the Frenchman from his starting XI against Arsenal along with Lukaku.

The Belgian came on to play a part in Jesse Lingard's equaliser -- just seconds after Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal 2-1 up -- while Pogba earned praise from his manager for his performance in the last 15 minutes.

"I think Paul played well," said Mourinho. "The 15 minutes he was on he played well. I think Paul came on and gave a good contribution and brought freshness and power and different qualities to the attacking players."

Tottenham responded to their defeat in Sunday's North London derby by securing a routine 3-1 home win over struggling Southampton and climbing two places to third in the Premier League table.

Harry Kane gave Spurs the lead in the ninth minute and Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min then struck early in the second half to put the North Londoners out of sight.

The Saints' new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who watched from the stands, will at least have been pleased to see that his side never gave in.

While the visitors were always second-best, they hit the woodwork three times and deserved their late consolation goal as Charlie Austin struck in injury time.

Positives

This was just what Tottenham needed after their exertions last week against Chelsea, Inter Milan and Arsenal -- a comfortable victory where they barely had to get out of third gear.

The fact that Kane, Lucas and Son all found the net bodes well given that Mauricio Pochettino will need to continue rotating throughout December.

It is an added bonus that Arsenal and Chelsea both dropped points. Having started the day outside the top four, Pochettino's side have now leapfrogged both of their London rivals.

Negatives

Spurs' intensity dropped too far at times. They survived a couple of scares at 1-0 and really downed tools after going 3-0 up.

While that was understandable enough, captain Hugo Lloris looked far from impressed as he became busier, and it was no surprise when Southampton eventually denied their hosts a clean sheet.

Meanwhile Kieran Trippier, who was making his first start after returning from injury, was unable to complete the match. It remains to be seen what the issue is.

Manager Rating out of 10

7 -- Mauricio Pochettino's team selection made complete sense as he rested a handful of his overworked players while bringing in Harry Winks and Lucas and taking the opportunity to reintroduce Trippier and Danny Rose. This relatively stressless evening would have been exactly what he hoped for.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

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GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- Made a number of fine saves, touching Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's 25-yard strike onto the post, denying James Ward-Prowse at close range and then diving to palm Austin's deflected effort away from the bottom corner. He deserved a clean sheet.

DF Kieran Trippier, 8 -- An early header behind the Saints' defence created a chance for Son, who hit the post, and the right-back then did all the hard work for the South Korean's goal as he closed down Matt Targett and deflected the attempted clearance to Kane, who delivered the killer cross.

DF Juan Foyth, 6 -- Faced a limited Southampton side but was a little hesitant and passive at times.

DF Toby Alderweireld, 7 -- Not at his imperious best defensively but did well enough, and his long-range passing was excellent.

DF Danny Rose, 6 -- Made his first start since Oct. 6 and understandably looked short of fitness. Trippier was more effective on the other flank.

MF Eric Dier, 6 -- His raking long pass out to Trippier set up Son's early volleyed chance, but Southampton threatened around the edge of the box on a number of occasions and he was left behind by Austin, appealing in vain for an offside flag when the visitors grabbed their consolation goal.

MF Harry Winks, 7 -- Got plenty of time and space and predictably dictated the game. This was one of his easier outings.

MF Lucas Moura, 7 -- Bright around the box and took his goal well, reacting quickly as Southampton froze and driving the ball past Alex McCarthy.

MF Christian Eriksen, 8 -- Set up another goal after his assists against Chelsea and Arsenal, firing a low cross into the goalmouth to create Kane's early opener. The Dane also forced McCarthy into a save with a free kick, while his incisive passing helped to produce other opportunities.

MF Son Heung-min, 8 -- Hit the post with a smart volley before setting up a chance for Kane with a scything run through the middle and then testing McCarthy with a powerful strike. He is looking dangerous in every match and his goal was fully deserved.

FW Harry Kane, 8 -- Gave his side the early breakthrough with a poacher's finish and then laid on Son's strike too with a low cross. He will surely need a rest at some point but at the moment he keeps delivering.

Substitutes:

MF Moussa Sissoko, N/R -- Replaced Lucas in the closing stages to provide fresh legs.

MF Dele Alli, N/R -- Entered the fray 11 minutes from time and led a couple of breaks.

MF Oliver Skipp, N/R -- The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut late on.

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