WHO says the FA Cup is dead?

On last night’s evidence, it’s alive, well and showing no signs of being buried just yet.

Saints will be wondering how they haven’t left Tottenham’s White Hart Lane with a fifth-round tie against Norwich to look forward to.

They battered Spurs at times and, had they been more clinical, could have won by some margin.

But it wasn’t to be, and they were punished for those missed opportunities as the clock ticked down, thanks to a Lucas Moura strike and a Son Heung-min penalty.

Both Ralph Hasenhuttl and Jose Mourinho deserve full credit for picking strong sides, evidence that they were both playing for the win.

The only shadow cast over the enthralling encounter was the way James Ward-Prowse left the pitch in the first half.

Ward-Prowse collided with Spurs defender Ryan Sessegnon in the 38th minute and suffered a nasty cut, leading to him being stretchered off the pitch whilst receiving gas and air.

Up until that moment, the 25-year-old had played in every game this season – the only Saints player to do so.

It’s hoped that the injury won’t be anything too serious that would keep him sidelined for a sustained period of time.

In that regard, the winter break, although a few days late, has come at the perfect time for Hasenhuttl’s side.

They put in an excellent shift at White Hart Lane and can now enjoy their time off until the manager wants them back in for training next week.

Once they return to Staplewood, all the attention will be on trying to finish as high up the Premier League table as possible.

And they have winnable games on the horizon.

They’ll play both Burnley and Aston Villa in their next two matches before travelling to freefalling West Ham United at the end of the month.

This presents Hasenhuttl’s side the opportunity to rack up more than enough points to surpass the 36 their manager has been talking about in recent weeks.

The only dilemma on the horizon for Saints’ boss is that by being knocked out of the FA Cup last night, Saints will now have a three-week window where they won’t play any football.

Hasenhuttl didn’t enjoy this break last season and it’s highly unlikely he’ll appreciate it this time around.