Bale back with a goal as Mason’s Spurs reign starts with a victory

Date published: Wednesday 21st April 2021 7:54 - Matthew Briggs

Gareth Bale Tottenham TEAMtalk

Gareth Bale scored on his first start since mid-March as Ryan Mason’s Tottenham reign got under way with a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Bale’s classy 60th-minute strike cancelled out Danny Ings’ smart header before Son Heung-min scored from the spot in the final minute after Tottenham saw a free-kick upgraded to a penalty.

The win was enough to put Spurs within two points of fourth place.

Tottenham were without Harry Kane as they began life after Jose Mourinho against Southampton.

Kane injured his ankle against Everton on Friday and was unavailable for Ryan Mason’s first game in interim charge.

Bale, who is a former team-mate of Mason, started his first game since the north London derby as Mason made three changes.

Southampton made a number of changes from the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Leicester on Sunday. Ryan Bertrand was not involved, while Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo dropped to the bench.

And it was Saints who were on top in the first half. Hugo Lloris had made a couple of timely interventions before Saints took the lead on 30 minutes.

James Ward-Prowse’s corner was met by Danny Ings, who got in front of Serge Aurier, to send a glancing header in off the far post. 

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Spurs should have levelled in first-half injury time as Son Heung-min played Aurier’s cross back across goal and it fell to Lucas Moura, who skied the ball over at the far post.

Spurs improved hugely after the break and levelled on the hour through Bale. A nice move saw Moura’s shot blocked but the loose ball fell to the Welshman at the far post and he curled a delicious effort into the far corner.

Spurs thought they were ahead on 74minutes after Son capped off a slick passing move with a low finish into the corner. However, a VAR review adjudged Moura to be in an offside position and in Alex McCarthy’s v line of sight, so the goal was chalked off.

Mason brought on Harry Winks, who had been jettisoned by Mourinho. While Bale made way for Steven Bergwijn and Erik Lamela also got a late run-out.

And Tottenham won a late penalty when Djenepo’s rash challenge on Son on the edge of the box. David Coote gave a free-kick, but after a VAR review it was upgraded to a penalty. And Son (90) stepped up from the spot to send McCarthy the wrong way.

READ MORE: New details emerge of debate between Mourinho and Levy that led to exit


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