Tottenham follow familiar pattern as Yves Bissouma struggles continue

Spurs fought back to win against Luton (Steven Paston/PA Wire)
Spurs fought back to win against Luton (Steven Paston/PA Wire)

Heung-min Son scored four minutes from time as Tottenham left it late to beat struggling Luton 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

Tahith Chong's third-minute strike gave the Hatters a surprise lead and Spurs struggled to make inroads before the interval, although Timo Werner missed a great chance and a Son effort came back off both posts.

Spurs rallied after the restart and half-time substitute Brennan Johnson's cross was turned into his own net by Issa Kabore before the winger teed up Son's late winner.

Match follows familiar trend

Another comeback win followed a by-now familiar pattern for Spurs at home: they were flat in the first half, fell behind but rallied to a stirring win after the break.

It was the same story in the games here against Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace since the end of January, while the 2-1 defeat to Wolves appeared to be following the same script before the visitors' winner.

Spurs have now gone seven straight home games without a first-half goal (it is six games in a row, including away fixtures) and their last 12 goals have all been scored in the second half.

Postecoglou pointedly denied post-match that the performance was part of a pattern and has said it makes no difference when goals are scored.

But it feels like a stretch to say the run of similar results at home are purely coincidental.

While Spurs' habit of comebacks demonstrates their spirit and quality, they need to be starting games with more impetus and pep because coming from a goal down is not sustainable indefinitely -- as Wolves illustrated.

It was too easy for Luton to hold Spurs at arm's length after Chong's brilliant early strike and better teams will take advantage of their slow starts.

Johnson the super-sub

For a fourth time in Spurs' last five home fixtures, Johnson changed the game from the bench, setting up both the goals.

After twice featuring for Wales in the break, Johnson was replaced in the XI by Timo Werner -- Spurs' only change from the 3-0 defeat at Fulham -- but by half-time, Postecoglou had seen enough and he was on for Dejan Kulusevski.

Within six minutes, he made the breakthrough, exchanging passes with Pedro Porro and crossing for Kabore to calamitously turn into his own net under pressure from Werner.

His second assist was equally impressive as Johnson kept his balance to deftly touch Werner's cross into the path of Son, who crashed in the winner.

Johnson continues to impress for Spurs (REUTERS)
Johnson continues to impress for Spurs (REUTERS)

In between the Spurs goals, Johnson was millimetres from one of his own when Alfie Doughty scrambled his shot off the line with ten minutes to go. Replays showed only a fraction of the ball remained the wrong side of the line in one of the closest calls since the introduction of the technology.

Johnson's menacing, man-of-the-match display added to the sense of familiarity about this game after he scored in the comeback wins over Brentford and Brighton at home, and got two assists from the bench against Palace. He also scored in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa, albeit as a starter.

Plainly, Postecoglou's use of Johnson as a super-sub at home is working but there is a growing case to start playing the summer signing from the start.

Bissouma off the boil

It was another underwhelming display from Yves Bissouma, who was among the Spurs players at fault for the Luton goal after a limp attempt to tackle Andros Townsend.

The former Spurs winger skipped away from Bissouma and his cross found Chong, via Ross Barkley, to open the scoring emphatically.

Bissouma's season began to nosedive in the reverse fixture at Luton when he was sent off for two bookable offences before half-time -- the second a rash dive on the edge of the Hatters' box.

Before the game Postecoglou admitted Bissouma had struggled to maintain his early-season levels amid a stop-start campaign, disrupted by three suspensions and the African Cup of Nations, but his form is concerning for Spurs.

There is no-one else in the squad as capable of playing the defensive pivot role as the Malian, and when he is off the boil Spurs are less smooth in transition and more susceptible to being pressed.

With Rodrigo Bentancur pushing for more minutes, there is a growing case to take Bissouma out of side for Tuesday's visit against West Ham.