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Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report
Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Southampton
Spurs got their Premier League campaign underway with an impressive 4-1 victory over woeful Southampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Looking to continue the positive vibes collected during the latter part of the last campaign, those of a Spurs persuasion arrived in N17 brimming confidently that success of some description might now be just around the corner
Lilywhites boss, Antonio Conte, seemed to agree: “We are ready for the start of the season,” the Italian enthused.
“We’re excited to be back in our stadium and to play the first game of the season against Southampton.
“We’re looking forward to this game. It won’t be easy. You know very well that last season we drew away and then lost at home. For this reason, we have to pay great attention. We are talking about a really good team.”
A raucous reception greeted Tottenham. The shirt-sleeved crowd was drenched in sunshine and high expectation. Nevertheless, during a frenetic start, there was an early shock for the hosts as James Ward-Prowse arrived to volley the saints into a twelfth-minute lead following Moussa Djenepo’s toil down the left.
Expectation turned to agitation. Spurs swiftly responded. Ryan Sessegnon ghosted in at the far post to meet Dejan Kulusevski’s pinpoint centre. Saints stopper, Gavin Bazunu, stood little chance as the ball fizzed into the net.
Bazunu blocked from Heung-Min Son. But when the home side recycled the resulting corner, Son crossed for Eric Dier, who beat Bazunu with the faintest flick header.
Bazunu pushed aside an effort from Ben Davies as Spurs turned the screw. The visitors were now firmly on the back foot. Meanwhile, Son uncharacteristically blazed over after dribbling through a static Saints backline.
Immediately after the restart, Sessegnon was thwarted by an assistants’ flag, while Kulusevski’s centre eluded everyone as Spurs searched for a third. On the hour they got it.
Son and Emmerson Royal combined down the left. The unfortunate Mohammed Salisu turned the resulting centre into his own goal from a little over two yards out.
The punch-drunk Saints were soon further behind. Kulusevski curled beyond Bazunu after Royal had fashioned an opening. It was all too easy for the North Londoners.
Hugo Lloris saved low to his left from Joe Aribo. But Southampton were done and indeed looked every bit early-season contenders for the drop. Meanwhile, Son passed up another decent opportunity to add a fifth after Harry Kane had slid him in on goal.
Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Sunday, August 14, when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (4:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Royal (Doherty 87′), Romero, Dier, Davies (Lenglet 87′), Sessegnon (Perisic 68′), Bentancur (Bissouma 87′), Hojbjerg, Kulusevski (Lucas 87′), Son, Kane Subs not used: Forster (GK), Spence, Lenglet, Sanchez, Bryan
Booked: Ryan Sessegnon (foul), Rodrigo Bentancur (foul), Yves Bissouma (foul)
Goals: Ryan Sessegnon 21′, Eric Dier 31′, Mohammed Salisu (own-goal) 61′, Dejan Kulusevski 63′
Southampton: Bazunu, Valery (Stephens 46′), Salisu, Bednarek, Walker-Peters (Redmond 90+1′), Ward-Prowse (Capt), Romeu (Diallo 75′), Lavia, Ayodele-Aribo, Djenepo (Perraud 72′), A Armstrong (S Armstrong 46′) Subs not used: McCarthy, Adams, Elyounoussi, Bella-Kotchap
Goals: James Ward-Prowse 12′
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Long and Richard West
Fourth Oficial: Tim Robinson
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Natalie Aspinall