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  • By Charlie Stong at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Spurs thump sorry Saints 4-1 on opening day


Tottenham Hotspur 4

Southampton 1


Goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, Dejan Kulusevski and a comical own goal from the hapless Mohammed Salisu gave Spurs a thumping 4-1 win over a woeful Southampton side on the opening day at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.


Saints led through their talisman James Ward-Prowse on 12 minutes but headers from Sessegnon and Dier put Spurs ahead at the break.


Then two goals in little over a minute around the hour put the seal on the win for Spurs.


Despite the score line, it was not a vintage performance from the home team and, in truth, the visitors were so poor it should have been many more.


Southampton took the lead after 12 minutes, Moussa Djenepo’s cross from the left evaded the Spurs defence and James Ward-Prowse’s volley was struck down into the turf, but bounced up and into the corner of Hugo Lloris’ net to send the Saints’ faithful wild.


Spurs were inches away from an equaliser minutes later, Sessegnon’s left-wing cross headed away from the onrushing Emerson Royal who was perfectly placed at the far post.


But they were level after 21 minutes when Sessegnon got his head to a

Dejan Kulusevski cross from the right, leaving Gavin Bazunu helpless in the visitors’ goal.


Heung-Min Son then created a chance for himself on 31 minutes, beautifully bringing down a long ball on to his left foot in the area, but his shot was straight at Bazunu.


But within 30 seconds Spurs were in front through Dier – who used the weight of Son’s cross from the left and guided the ball into the far corner of the net.


Ben Davies tested Bazunu from range with just over five minutes to go before the break - Southampton on the other hand looked bereft of ideas and it seemed only a matter of time before Spurs would score again.


Son should really have made it three on the stroke of half-time. Yan Valery’s foray up the field saw him lose the ball in a central area, and when the South Korean approached goal you feared for Saints. However his shot was high over the bar.


Then in first-half stoppage time Harry Kane created his first chance, twisting and turning inside the box but seeing his effort stopped at the near post by Bazunu.


Spurs started the second half where they had left the first and had the ball in the net in the opening minute, however the assistant’s flag denied them.


But just after the hour mark two goals in little over a minute wrapped up the points for the home side.


First Salisu got into an almighty tangle, and instead of clearing a cross from the left off his goal line with his right foot, poked it into his own net with his left.


Then Kulusevski cut inside and curled a shot past Bazunu to make it 4-1.


Djenepo then snatched at a shot in the box when under pressure, and any chance Saints may have had went over the bar with it.


Son should have made it five as the clock ticked down. Played in by Kane his shot was weak and straight at Bazunu.


There was still time for cameo appearances from the bench from Spurs’ summer signings Ivan Perisic, Djed Spence, Clement Lenglet and Yves Bissouma, as well as one from Matt Doherty.


None had the time to make any real impact on the game – but it mattered not, and Spurs march on.


Teams:

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Hojbjerg, Son, Kane, Royal (Royal, 86), Dier, Romero, Sessegnon (Perisic, 66), Kulusevski (Moura, 86), Bentancur (Bissouma, 86), Davies (Lenglet, 86)

Southampton: Bazunu, Walker-Peters (Redmond, 90+2), Romeu (Diallo, 75), Aribo, Ward-Prowse, A.Armstrong (S. Armstrong, 45), Djenepo (Perraud, 72), Salisu, Bednarek, Valery (Stephens, 45), Lavia

Referee: Andre Marriner.

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