Tottenham were stunned by a controversial stoppage-time penalty from James Ward-Prowse as a 3-3 draw at rock-bottom Southampton saw Spurs’ grip on fourth loosened.
Antonio Conte’s men appeared to be heading third in the Premier League, providing a fine response to Newcastle United putting pressure on them a day earlier, but Saints battled back from 3-1 down to rescue a point.
Pedro Porro’s first Premier League goal put Spurs ahead at the end of a stop-start first half, before Saints levelled through Che Adams early in the second.
Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic then seemed to have put the game beyond Saints, but Theo Walcott earned them a lifeline and Ward-Prowse’s emphatic late spot-kick left Spurs reeling.
After a bright start, much of the first half was a disjointed affair impacted by injuries, becoming only the second instance in Premier League history of both teams making two substitutions before half-time.
Saints lost first-choice centre-backs Armel Bella-Kotchap and Jan Bednarek, while Spurs had to take off Richarlison and Ben Davies.
Spurs initially adjusted better, going ahead just before the break as Porro latched on to Son Heung-min’s defence-splitting pass and smashed home.
But Adams equalised 43 seconds into the second half, prodding home Walcott’s low cross after Romeo Lavia’s excellent throughball.
Spurs were back in front with 25 minutes left. Kane rose above two defenders to nod in Dejan Kulusevski’s cross, and Perisic’s left-footed volley from the edge of the box increased their advantage.
But Walcott’s tap-in after 77 minutes offered Saints hope, and the contentious decision to penalise Pape Sarr for an apparent foul on Ainsley Maitland-Niles allowed Ward-Prowse to blast his penalty into the top-right corner.