Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Southampton 1.
Tottenham overcame the absence of leading scorer Harry Kane to secure a hard-fought win over Southampton that ensures they remain second in the table heading into the international break.
Goals from Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli - the latter a penalty - in an effective display underlined that Spurs are more than just their talismanic 24-goal striker.
The win extends Tottenham's club-record run of successive home Premier League wins to 10, the same number of points by which they trail leaders Chelsea.
Southampton lost in-form striker Manolo Gabbiadini to injury in the first half but gave a good account of themselves in the second, at the start of which James Ward-Prowse scored from close range.
But they were unable to gain parity as Tottenham's stubborn backline and industrious central midfield held them at bay.
Defeat leaves the Saints 10th in the table and needing an improbable 30 points from the 33 available to them to match last season's tally of 63.
With Chelsea in superb form, this season's title race is unlikely to go as deep into the season as the last campaign, but Tottenham will be hopeful of improving on their third-place finish by at least one spot.
No Kane, but Spurs remain able
Prior to Sunday's match, Spurs had won just three of nine top-flight games without Kane this season, during which they had managed just eight goals.
However, one of those victories was the impressive 2-0 triumph over Manchester City in October, illustrating there are goals elsewhere in this talented side - a fact Eriksen and Alli demonstrated on Sunday with their 10th and 17th goals of the campaign respectively.
Eriksen's strike was powerful, low and accurate to find the bottom corner of Fraser Forster's net, while Alli's penalty was efficiently dispatched after he had been fouled in the box by Steven Davis.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had urged summer signing Vincent Janssen to step up in Kane's absence, but opted instead to start Son Heung-min, who scored a hat-trick in last weekend's 6-0 FA Cup win over League One Millwall.
The South Korean had two good chances to carry on Kane's good work but failed to convert either as Forster turned away his shot in just the third minute before his sluggishness in the box allowed a tackle to deny him once more.
He was replaced by Harry Winks as Spurs were forced into a more conservative approach in the second half, while Janssen was handed a late cameo that saw him draw a good save from Forster with a powerful drive.
Saints go down fighting
Southampton have beaten Tottenham just once in their past nine league meetings and have enjoyed just three victories in 17 Premier League visits to White Hart Lane.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, having lost the exciting Gabbiadini during a largely passive first-half display, it looked like being a miserable afternoon all-round for Southampton.
However, they came out with renewed vigour and intent in the second half and immediately got themselves back into the game through Ward-Prowse's goal, set up by a low cross from Ryan Bertrand that evaded Jan Vertonghen.
Tottenham, though, have conceded just seven goals in 14 matches at White Hart Lane this season and their three-man defence of Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier, shielded by the hard-working Victor Wanyama and Dembele, wrestled back control of the game and saw it out.
Having lost 4-1 at home to Pochettino's Spurs in December and 3-0 at Ronald Koeman's Everton the following month, Southampton will be glad to see the back of sides managed by their former bosses for this season.
Man of the match - Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)
'We were better and deserved to win' - What the managers said
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "To get three points you need to work hard. It was difficult. In the end we were better and deserved to win.
"First half we played very well. Second half we conceded a goal with our mistake and we allowed Southampton to score. It is another victory, we keep our position second and we have reason to be happy.
"The aim is the next game. We have 10 days without our players we hope nothing happens and all will arrive in good position."
Southampton manager Claude Puel: "It was strange. In the first half without pressure we took two goals and it is difficult to accept this.
"In the second half we came back with good attitude and scored quick. At 2-1 there was a possibility to come back. In the end a draw would have been normal. It is disappointment. It was difficult for us but also for Tottenham."
Spurs eye unbeaten home season - the stats you need to know
- Spurs have now won 10 successive league games at White Hart Lane - their longest run since October 1987 (14 in a row).
- The only previous top-flight season that Spurs have remained unbeaten at home was 1964-65 (21 games, 0 defeats).
- Alli has scored in three successive league appearances at White Hart Lane for the first time in his career.
- Alli is the third Spurs player to score a penalty in the Premier League this season (after Kane & Janssen). Only in one previous Premier League season have Spurs seen 3+ players score a penalty for them - 1993-94; Sheringham (4), Barmby (1), Hazard (1) & Gray (1)
- James Ward-Prowse has scored three goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season; the same tally as he had scored in 107 Premier League appearances before 2016-17.
After the international break Tottenham have successive away games at Burnley on 1 April and Swansea four days later. Southampton are at home against Bournemouth on the Saturday and at St Mary's again on the Wednesday when Crystal Palace are the visitors.
- 15DierBooked at 11mins
- 2WalkerBooked at 39minsSubstituted forTrippierat 78'minutes
- 12WanyamaBooked at 61mins
- 23EriksenSubstituted forJanssenat 86'minutes
- 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forWinksat 75'minutes
- 2Cédric Soares
- 14RomeuBooked at 90mins
- 11TadicSubstituted forBoufalat 69'minutesBooked at 81mins
- 22RedmondBooked at 26minsSubstituted forRodriguezat 80'minutes
- 20GabbiadiniSubstituted forLongat 32'minutes
- Andre Marriner
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Southampton 1.
Foul by Jack Stephens (Southampton).
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Ryan Bertrand (Southampton).
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Oriol Romeu (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Oriol Romeu (Southampton).
Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Offside, Southampton. Oriol Romeu tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by James Ward-Prowse.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Fraser Forster.
Attempt saved. Vincent Janssen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Mousa Dembélé.
Attempt blocked. Jay Rodriguez (Southampton) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cédric Soares.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Vincent Janssen replaces Christian Eriksen.
Sofiane Boufal (Southampton) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sofiane Boufal (Southampton).
Substitution, Southampton. Jay Rodriguez replaces Nathan Redmond.
Offside, Southampton. Steven Davis tries a through ball, but Shane Long is caught offside.