Tottenham Hotspur stuttered in their pursuit of the Premier League top four on Wednesday as they opened the new year with a 1-0 away defeat against Southampton, with captain Harry Kane forced to limp off late in the game due to an injury. Hosts Southampton went close on 12 minutes as Nathan Redmond showed some neat control in Spurs' box before forcing Paulo Gazzaniga into a sharp save. They then took the lead through in-form Danny Ings on 17 minutes when the striker flicked the ball over Toby Alderweireld and finished smartly past Gazzaniga for his 13th league goal of the season. Spurs' Tanguy Ndombele was soon substituted after sustaining an injury, and Ralph Hasenhuttl's side applied the pressure, with Redmond again almost scoring shortly after the half-hour mark when his close-range effort was deflected over by Alderweireld. Just minutes later Jan Vertonghen had a clear opportunity to bring the visitors level as the first half neared its end, but the Belgium international failed to find the net despite getting on the end of a corner at the back post. Thirty seconds into the second half Redmond was put through on goal, but again failed to punish Spurs, who were without the injured Danny Rose and ill Eric Dier. A VAR check on 48 minutes ensured Southampton were not awarded a penalty after the ball struck Alderweireld's hand in the visitors' box, and another check on 72 minutes supported the on-pitch officials' decision to rule Kane offside after the striker found the net for Spurs. To make matters worse for the north London side, Kane injured himself in the process and was forced off while clutching his hamstring. then coach Jose Mourinho was given a yellow card after seemingly confronting members of Southampton's coaching staff. Of the incident, Mourinho said after the final whistle: "I think [my] yellow card was fair as I was rude, but I was rude to an idiot." The Portuguese gaffer also commented on Kane and Ndomble's injuries, saying: "[Kane's] is negative, hamstring is always negative. Is it a tear, is it a small thing, is it a contraction? At this moment I cannot say. "[Ndombele] is always injured. He's injured, he's not injured, he plays one match. This is since the beginning of the season." Mourinho was also frustrated with VAR's involvement in the game and said he believed his side should have been awarded a penalty. "For me, at this moment, the referees are not the referees," he said. "VAR should be called video referees. Our [disallowed] goal I also don't know, but I confess that I didn't watch it yet. What I know is that the Dele Alli penalty was a penalty." The defeat saw Spurs remain on 30 points, six behind fourth-placed Chelsea. It also meant the club's wait for a clean sheet away in the Premier League extended to exactly one year.
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