Tottenham began their new Premier League season with a comfortable 4-1 home win over Southampton, despite the visitors taking a surprise lead.
Saints went ahead in the 12th minute through James Ward-Prowse’s superb downward volley but Spurs equalised just nine minutes later as Ryan Sessegnon scored his first
Premier League for Spurs with a back-post header.
Antonio Conte’s side then took the lead in the 31st minute as Eric Dier’s clever glancing header – his first goal in three years – saw Spurs take a half-time lead.
A comical own goal from Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu in the 61st minute gave Tottenham their third of the afternoon.
Dejan Kulusevski then added a fourth with a neat curling finish to move Tottenham top of the table on goal difference.
Meanwhile, Southampton are bottom having won just one of their last 13 league games since March.
How Spurs recovered emphatically against soft Saints…
Although none of Spurs’ six summer signings were named in the starting XI there was plenty of optimism at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after a busy period of transfer activity.
But that hope was quickly dented as the visitors, who started three new summer signings, took a shock lead through captain Ward-Prowse after he volleyed home Moussa Djenepo’s clipped cross.
Sessegnon, who was preferred at left wing-back ahead of new boy Ivan Perisic, repaid Conte’s faith by quickly equalising from Kulusevski’s whipped cross.
It was another header from a defender that gave Spurs the lead as Dier continued his solid form at the end of last season to deftly nod in Heung-Min Son’s cross.
Sessegnon nearly had a second goal just seconds after the restart but his low finish was ruled out for offside.
Despite Ralph Hasenhuttl’s tactical switch at half-time, Spurs continued to swamp Saints and their pressure paid off as Salisu comically turned in Emerson Royal’s cross-come-shot as he miskicked his clearance in the 61st minute.
A shocked Saints defence then conceded again two minutes later as the outstanding Kulusevski fired in a curling effort to make it a miserable debut for new Saints goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu, who could do nothing about any of the Spurs goals.
Man of the match: Dejan Kulusevski
A goal and assist from Dejan Kulusevski continues his fine form from last season, with his quality on the ball giving Southampton so many problems.
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