If that is the season that Spurs are lastly residing as much as the excessive expectations of their long-suffering followers, this was some method to begin. A formidable comeback fueled by the dazzling ft of Dejan Kulusevsky confirmed Antonio Conte’s facet recovered from the shock of being left behind to an early shot from James Ward-Prowse to attain a convincing win on opening day.
The objectives of defenders Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier have been confirmed for Tottenham within the second half, earlier than Muhammed Salisu scored a comic book personal objective and a fourth objective from the excellent Kulusevsky to finish an ideal afternoon for the hosts.
“It was actually necessary to get that response from my crew,” Conte mentioned. “We saved our calm and saved enjoying the best way we all know it. Certain, we noticed as we speak that this crew has seven months of labor on its again. For me that is crucial as a result of we are able to take one other step to attempt to be stronger.”
There was a variety of anticipation on this a part of north London in latest weeks after a summer time of early acquisitions, though Conte opted to go away 5 of his signings – Ivan Perisic, Yves Bisuma, Clement Lenglet, Fraser Forster and Jed Spence – on the benches. the bench. .
The primary three have been solely made after Kulusevki put the rating past doubt halfway by way of the second half as Spurs repeatedly labored their means by way of Southampton’s porous protection, however their arrival ought to imply Conte has a squad able to mixing it up with the perfect. However whereas Spurs are nonetheless driving the euphoria that wrapped up final season after qualifying for the Champions League in dramatic vogue, one level from their final six video games the earlier season meant there wasn’t a lot positivity amongst Southampton followers.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has included three new faces – goalkeeper Gavin Pazono, teenage Romeo Lafia and striker Joe Aribo – in his beginning lineup, however has been dissatisfied by the acquainted failures going ahead. “It sort of felt like our opponents went to the following degree after 20 minutes and we could not proceed,” Hasenhuttl mentioned. “It was irritating to see how massive the hole was between the 2 groups.”
Whereas the bronzed and comfortable-looking Conte opted for a polo shirt on a steamy day, his Austrian counterpart went for a bra, tie, and sneakers with out socks. Powerful second within the opening exchanges when Pazono – the 20-year-old Republic of Eire participant who spent final season on mortgage at Portsmouth from Manchester Metropolis – virtually obtained caught on Jan Bednarek’s again cross and did little to settle it. nerves.
Nonetheless, it was Ward Prowse who silenced the vast majority of the 60,000 spectators after a intelligent Moussa Djenebo cross cross picked up the England midfielder, who hit the bottom with Hugo Lloris hanging within the air. Some voices of discontent from a bit of the house followers have been virtually audible, however their temper improved in simply eight minutes as Sessegnon’s cross from Kyle Walker-Peters netted a Kulusevski cross and his first Premier League objective for Tottenham.
Spurs’ confidence visibly grew instantly and Pazono may do nothing to cease Dier’s intelligent header to transform Son Heung-min’s cross. It may have been worse for Southampton had the goalkeeper not acted rapidly to disclaim Ben Davies after which Harry Kane from shut vary, whereas Son was uncharacteristically roaring within the first half after a foul by Jan Valery.
Sessegnon’s second objective inside 60 seconds of the second half was correctly transformed for offside however – with Kane and Kolosevki persevering with to seek out area at will – it was solely a matter of time earlier than Spurs cemented their lead.
The objective ultimately arrived through an sudden supply when an inexplicably weak Emerson Royal effort was handed into his web by the unlucky Salisu. Barely a minute glided by earlier than Royal netted one other cross, chopping the ball again to an impressive Kolosevki to strike Pazono and put Spurs out of sight.
Sessignon left the sector to standing ovations to get replaced by Perisic, and the Croatian was amongst these protesting a penalty in opposition to Jack Stevens when the ball appeared to hit his arm late. However whereas that decision could also be in opposition to his facet, there are nonetheless many explanation why Conte and Tottenham are optimistic.