Southampton were gifted the lead here, making a slick start which was capped when captain Ryan Bertrand overlapped down the left to collect Tadic's measured pass and crossed low into the penalty area.
The Londoners struggled on what was a heavy pitch, they found it hard to play their usual high-tempo passing game with the wet conditions proving a problem. "A team player who always put his foot in and does the work for the team", the Denmark global told Sky.
Ward-Prowse tested Vorm with a 20-yard drive shortly after the restart, but both teams were struggling for cohesion in driving rain on the south coast.
Sterling won't be giving up the chase just yet, and neither will his City colleague Sergio Aguero, who has 13 goals this season and is the last man to beat Kane to the top of the scoring charts, having taken the golden boot in 2014-15.
"On the pitch, I know if I go forward there is a guy behind me who will try to win the ball back so we can go forward again".
The rain relented but the intensity of the game did not in the second half.
The final 20 minutes represented the final push from Tottenham to find a victor in a game from which they needed three points, especially after wins for Chelsea and Arsenal earlier in the weekend.
"I am proud when my players do their best, give everything". Even when Spurs did find themselves in possession it was hard for them to find a way through the Saints' back line, and the home side looked as if they were content with a draw as the clock ticked down. Kane has 29 goals in as many Tottenham appearances this season. Harry Kane and Dele Alli had frustrating afternoons, and Mauricio Pochettino's side seemed to miss the influence of Christian Eriksen.
Spurs won 5-2 in their last encounter on Boxing Day and unbeaten in their last six games.
The hosts were quick to the ball in midfield and eager to probe down the flanks, displaying an intent that has not always been evident in their approach this season, and they certainly gave their all to make life hard for Tottenham during the first half.