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A late James Ward-Prowse penalty earned Southampton a deserved point in a thrilling encounter as they came from behind against Tottenham at St Mary’s.

A fragmented first half never really got going as both sides were forced into two substitutions apiece with Richarlison and Ben Davies coming off injured for Spurs and Saints’ Armel Bella-Kotchap and Jan Bednarek also replaced.

Pedro Porro broke the deadlock, hammering a shot into the roof of the net just before half time.

Che Adams levelled 47 seconds into the second half, but Saints were staring at defeat with 15 minutes to go thanks to Harry Kane’s header before a fine Ivan Perisic effort.

But Theo Walcott inspired Southampton’s comeback with a slotted finish from Sekou Mara’s header and Ward-Prowse completed it from the spot to secure a vital point.

A point does nothing to improve Southampton’s position in the table as they remain rooted to the bottom, but it does highlight the improvements made under manager Ruben Selles.

They have managed just one win so far under the Spanish coach - against fellow strugglers Leicester in March - but this spirited second-half performance showed promising signs as they face a tough battle to stay in the Premier League.

Saints had to substitute both their central defenders inside 33 minutes with Mohammed Salisu replacing Bella-Kotchap and Ainsley Maitland-Niles returning to the fold after two weeks on the sidelines after Bednarek was taken to hospital with a suspected rib injury.

But the home side were rejuvenated in the second half with Adams’ early goal putting Spurs on the back foot, and they were unlucky to concede the second goal to a quality Kane header. Even trailing by two goals it was Southampton who had the chances as Walcott gave the St Mary’s crowd hope, before Mara went close to an equaliser but was denied by Spurs keeper Fraser Forster.

Southampton were eventually rewarded for their tenacity when Pape Sarr made contact with Maitland-Niles in the box and Ward-Prowse drove a powerful penalty into the back of the net.

Spurs struggle in face of spirited Saints With Manchester United in FA Cup action on Sunday, victory would have seen Spurs move one point above Erik ten Hag’s side in the battle for Champions League football.

In other other games, Leicester City gained a crucial point and ended their five-match losing run as Harvey Barnes netted a second-half equaliser at high-flying Brentford.

Leeds climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone after holding off a late Wolves fightback to win an enthralling game at Molineux. The victory lifts Javi Gracia’s side - who started the day in 19th - four places and two points above the bottom three. Aston Villa claimed their third win in four Premier League games as they cruised past struggling Bournemouth at Villa Park.

English Premier League Saturday results

Aston Villa 3Bournemouth 0; Brentford 1 Leicester 1; Southampton 3 Tottenham 3; Wolves 2 Leeds 4

Clear-cut chances were rare as neither side managed a shot on target in the opening period until Porro broke the deadlock with his first goal since joining Spurs in January.

But Spurs were retreating for much of the second half, Kane’s goal came against the run of play and Perisic’s shot from range bouncing to catch keeper Gavin Bazunu off guard.

As has often been the case this season, Spurs led despite an unconvincing performance and were reliant on moments of quality from talisman Kane, who has now registered 21 goals this season.

Against a team who have failed to score more than once in a home match since August, Spurs seemed to run out of ideas and allowed Southampton to capitalise.

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