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Tottenham Hotspur vs Southampton. Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur StadiumAttendance61,732.

Tottenham Hotspur 4

  • R Sessegnon (21st minute)
  • E Dier (31st minute)
  • M Salisu (61st minute own goal)
  • D Kulusevski (63rd minute)

Southampton 1

  • J Ward-Prowse (12th minute)

Tottenham 4-1 Southampton: Spurs ease past Saints on opening weekend of new Premier League season

Free highlights and match report as Spurs begin the new Premier League season with a comfortable 4-1 home win over Southampton; James Ward-Prowse had given Saints the lead but Spurs responded with goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, Dejan Kulusevski and a Mohammed Salisu own goal

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Southampton in the Premier League

Antonio Conte believes it was "common sense" to not start any of his new summer signings as his Tottenham side began their new Premier League season with a comfortable 4-1 home win over Southampton.

The visitors took a surprise lead in the 12th minute through James Ward-Prowse's superb downward volley, but the home side equalised just nine minutes later as Ryan Sessegnon scored his first Premier League goal for Spurs with a back-post header.

Conte's side went ahead 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 with Dejan Kulusevski immediately adding a fourth with a neat curling finish.

But the victory came as the Spurs head coach decided against starting any of his new signings with Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Clement Lenglet, Fraser Forster and Djed Spence all beginning on the bench, while Richarlison was suspended.

Perisic, Bissouma and Lenglet were brought on in the second half, but when asked why he did not start the new signings, the Italian explained: "I'm not surprised because I think I used common sense.

"In this moment we are starting the new season and the old players reached a big achievement last season to get a place in the Champions League. In the last 10 games, I think we played really well and we had fantastic results.

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Antonio Conte was happy with Tottenham's performance as they swept Southampton aside to win 4-1

"My message was very clear. I trust a lot in the old players and in this moment they are more reliable than the new players because they need to continue to work with us and to implement their football knowledge.

"With the old players, I am a step forward than the new players. For this reason, I prefer to count on the old players. I think that it was right after this game and the final result.

"But I am really happy because we have new signings who will go into our process and they will help us to improve but at the same time they have to know that they have to fight and give me the possibility to rotate.

Tottenham Hotspur's Ivan Perisic during a pre-season friendly match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday July 23, 2022.
Image: Spurs new signing Ivan Perisic made a second-half substitute appearance against Saints

"Now we are going to play one game in a week, but in September we start to play every three days and for sure I have to rotate. It's important for a club like Tottenham to not drop the level or drop the quality when rotating.

"I think it was the first target and I was very clear with the club and the club totally agreed with me."

How Spurs recovered emphatically against soft Saints...

There was plenty of optimism at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after a busy period of transfer activity as Spurs fans looked forward to a home Premier League game at 3pm on Saturday in nearly three years.

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 Perisic, repaid Conte's faith by quickly equalising from Kulusevski's whipped cross.

Ryan Sessegnon celebrates scoring Spurs' equaliser
Image: Ryan Sessegnon celebrates scoring Spurs' equaliser

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 (61) as he miskicked his clearance.

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.

Analysis: Sessegnon and Royal impress for Spurs

Sky Sports' Declan Olley at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Sessegnon and Royal both delivered superb performances that justified Conte's decision to start the wing-backs against Southampton.

A few eyebrows were raised before kick-off as the Italian opted to start Sessegnon ahead of new signing Perisic, while Royal got the nod ahead of Matt Doherty and new arrival Spence.

But after surprisingly going behind, the pair shone to drive Spurs to a comfortable win.

On the left, Sessegnon headed in Spurs' equaliser as he went on to produce the best passing accuracy in the final third of any Tottenham player. He also delivered four crosses - only Son delivered more - in an eye-catching display that saw the home crowd chant his name.


The Spurs faithful may soon need a song for Royal too after an equally impressive showing. He provided two assists in the space of two second-half minutes as he forced Salisu's own goal before some superb work to tee up Kulusevski's goal.

It was arguably the Brazilian's best performance since joining the club last summer after an underwhelming first season. Defensively he won the joint-most duels (7) of any Spurs player, while going forward he ranked second for shots (3) and touches in the opposition box (6).

It is no surprise that both players' performances have come as a result of new competition in the squad, especially 22-year-old Sessegnon who is now learning from the vastly-experienced Perisic - something Conte acknowledged afterwards.

He said: "I think it's very important that we signed a player like Ivan Perisic because he [Sessegnon] can see the way to learn something about Ivan. We are talking about a very important player in Ivan, a top player.


"Sometimes it's good to bring into your team players even if they are a bit over-age. If they are a good player with experience, they can bring this experience to improve young players in your squad.

"I think Sessegnon is doing this. I was really pleased because today he played a good game. Emerson played a good game."

Eyebrows will now be raised if Sessegnon and Royal do not start against Chelsea next Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

Analysis: Saints' new recruits offer Hasenhuttl hope

Sky Sports' Declan Olley at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

It may have been a heavy defeat for Saints at Spurs but boss Ralph Hasenhuttl would have been encouraged by the performances of his three new summer signings - Gavin Bazunu, Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia.

The latter in particular was a standout as the 18-year-old midfielder from Man City belied his age and inexperience to put in a strong display on his Premier League debut.


Lavia made the most accurate passes (50), won possession the most times (13) and won the most fouls (4) of any Saints player.

Goalkeeper Bazunu, who also joined from City, was not at fault for any of the goals and made five saves to keep the scoreline down. He looked confident at claiming crosses too and appears Premier League ready.

Forward Aribo does too. The former Rangers player carried much of Saints' threat as he drew a save from Lloris in the second half and was good aerially winning seven duels - the most of any Saints player.

Hasenhuttl said of his new debutants: "There was a reason why he [Lavia] had the chance to start immediately. It was not easy for the young lads to come in here. They have been brave and tried to compete."

But there was nothing new about the manner of Saints' defeat: self-inflicted goals, poor defending and a soft underbelly.

"This is simply not good enough at this level," the Austrian said.

Hasenhuttl knows that this side of his team must improve if they are to avoid a relegation battle this season.

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.

Fantasy Premier League stats

Tottenham vs Southampton FPL stats

Goals Sessegnon, Dier, Salisu OG, Kulusevski; Ward-Prowse
Assists Kulusevski, Son, Royal (2); Djenepo
Bonus points Kulusevski (3pts), Ward-Prowse (2pts), Royal (1pt)

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Opta stats: Spurs' biggest opening day win since 1986

  • Tottenham's 4-1 victory is their biggest win on the opening day of a league season since August 1986, when they defeated Aston Villa (3-0).
  • Southampton have lost all four of their opening games of a Premier League season under Ralph Hasenhuttl - the worst 100 per cent losing record for a manager in the competition.
  • Tottenham have won 10 of their last 12 home Premier League games against Southampton (L2), scoring at least twice in nine of those matches.
  • Having lost their final four Premier League games of last season, Southampton have lost five consecutive league matches for the second time under Ralph Hasenhüttl, after six defeats in a row in February 2021- Saints have won just one of their last 13 in the competition (D2 L10), shipping 34 goals in total.

Hasenhuttl: Frustrating to see how big the gap is between the two teams

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl:

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Ralph Hasenhuttl admits his Southampton side were not good enough as they lost 4-1 at Tottenham despite taking the lead through James Ward-Prowse

"It felt a little bit like the opponent switched into the next gear and we cannot follow," he said.

"This was frustrating to see how big the gap is between the two teams. After the first goal we had the feeling they were absolutely in the game and they smashed us with their crosses and we couldn't defend."

What's next?

The London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge will be live on Sky Sports. Kick-off is at 4.30pm on Sunday August 14.

Live Renault Super Sunday

Southampton are set for the visit of Leeds at St Mary's on Saturday August 13 at 3pm.

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