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Steve Wilson reports for the BBC
"Southampton were absolutely awful - and yet they led twice"
 real 28k

Saturday, 11 March, 2000, 18:16 GMT
Hoddle humbled on Spurs return

Iversen fires his second and Tottenham's sixth
Tottenham 7-2 Southampton

Glenn Hoddle suffered a miserable return to White Hart Lane as Spurs gave his Southampton side a sound beating.

The relegation-threatened visitors twice took the lead, but they spectacularly surrendered the advantage in a bizarre first half that saw six goals scored in a 20-minute spell.


Hoddle admitted later he was "shell-shocked" by the result
And the second half was little more than a procession as the Tottenham faithful were given something to cheer at last.

Spurs have struggled to score all season and manager George Graham has made no secret about his desire to sign new strikers.

But Graham's front pairing of Steffen Iversen and Chris Armstrong finally clicked, as the Norwegian grabbed a hat-trick and his English strike partner claimed two more.

Hoddle had graced this corner of north London for more than 10 years, with some of the finest individual skills Tottenham fans have seen.


We've been struggling to score more than a goal a game this season. But today we made the most of our chances.

Steffen Iversen
Sadly his latest trip down memory lane did not inspire a similar effort from his new team.

Both defences were poor, but Southampton's suffered a shocking afternoon.

At least four of Tottenham's goals were the result of errors at the back - and the result has given Hoddle much to contemplate for the remainder of the season.

Defensive howlers

Southampton's new signing from Benfica, Moroccan international defender Tahar El Khalej, was given a terrifying introduction to English football as David Ginola raced past him in only the second minute and almost got Spurs off to a flying start.

Match facts
26: Tessem blasts Saints ahead
28: Richards puts through his own net
33: El Khalej scores on his debut
39: Anderton levels
41: Armstrong hits his first
45: Iversen makes it 4-2 at half-time
64: No.2 for Armstrong
78: Iversen claims his second
90: Iversen hits his hat-trick
But Saints keeper Paul Jones got down sharply at his near post and produced a superb one-handed save to turn away Ginola's goal-bound shot.

Spurs were well on top in the early stages - and Chris Armstrong should have opened the scoring in the 20th minute, when he suffered the kind of lapse in front of goal that so infuriates Spurs fans.

Iversen caught Saints full-back Francis Benali in possession just outside the box and squared the ball for his strike partner - but with an open goal at his mercy, Armstrong contrived to fluff his shot.

Saints capitalised on Armstrong's miss to take the lead against the run of play.

Hassan Kachloul caught Tottenham's defence flat-footed with a neat through-ball and Jo Tessem finished with style from a tight angle.


Ginola tussles with Southampton's Oakley
The visitors' lead lasted just two minutes, as Sol Campbell rose with Dean Richards at an Anderton corner and the under-pressure Saints centre-back headed into his own net.

The scoring frenzy continued as Saints took the lead for the second time, as new-boy El Khalej stole in to head Marian Pahars' free-kick past Spurs keeper Ian Walker.

And there was more to come as Tottenham again equalised. Ginola's cross created havoc in the Southampton area, Richards and Benali failed to clear the danger and Anderton pounced to slam the ball home.

Four minutes before half-time Spurs took the lead for the first time. A long ball sent Armstrong clear and he smacked a stunning first-time shot on the half-volley that beat Jones at the near post.


Taricco launches an assault down the flanks for Spurs
A remarkable first half was completed when Iversen scored the sixth goal of the game in stoppage time - and again it was the result of a defensive blunder.

Jones miskicked a clearance, the ball arrived at the feet of Benali - but he failed to clear the danger and Iversen took advantage of the goalkeeper's absence to stroke the ball into an empty net from 35 yards out.

Hoddle's half-time team talk did little to improve the quality of defending as Southampton's goal led a charmed life in the early stages of the second half.


Treble top: Three-goal Iversen forces his way past Richards
El Khalej felled Armstrong in the box and was fortunate not to concede a penalty, while Iversen drove just past the post.

Goal number five duly arrived for Spurs, Armstrong meeting Stephen Carr's low cross with a cute flick over keeper Jones.

Pahars missed from close range for Saints before Iversen tapped in Mauricio Taricco's excellent cross.

And the Norwegian wrapped up his hat-trick right at the end, after Southampton had failed to clear Ginola's long-range shot.

Teams:

Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Perry, Campbell, Taricco, Leonhardsen, Anderton, Freund, Ginola, Iversen, Armstrong. Subs: Baardsen, Ferdinand, Korsten, Young, Clemence.

Southampton: Jones, El Khalej, Richards, Benali, Tessem, Oakley, Kachloul, Marsden, Bridge, M Hughes, Pahars. Subs: Moss, Le Tissier, Beattie, Rodrigues, Soltvedt.

Referee: M Halsey (Welwyn Garden City)

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