After conceding an early goal, Tottenham settled down nicely and were dominant in their 4-1 win over Southampton on the opening day of the 2022-23 campaign.
Tottenham didn’t get off to the start they envisioned, as James Ward-Prowse found some space near the top of the box and bounced a volley past Hugo Lloris. Moussa Djenepo dummied numerous times to create the space he needed to knock the ball into a dangerous area.
Pierre Hojbjerg misjudged the flight of the ball and whiffed on his header attempt, allowing Ward-Prowse the space to knock it home.
Aside from that momentary lapse and a few careless passes, Spurs were in control for most of the opening 45 minutes. It took a while for Son Heung-min and Harry Kane to make an impact, which was not the case for Dejan Kulusevski, whose early whipped cross to the back post found Ryan Sessegnon.
The English left back smashed his header home from close ranger to equalize just nine minutes after Southampton’s opener.
Sonny made his presence felt in the 31st minute when he found Dier with a precise low cross which the centre back flicked home with the deftest of headers. It was a finish an accomplished forward would be proud of.
Kane and Son started to combine more as the half went on. The South Korean star should have done better in the dying embers of the first half, but held onto the ball too long, frustrating Kane who had found acres of space at the back post. Kane showed his displeasure after Son fired well over from close range.
Antonio Conte will be fairly content with the first half. He won’t like the goal his team conceded, but will pleased with how easily Spurs created chances.
Spurs played with boundless confidence and impetus after the break. Kulusevski was dangerous with every touch. His crosses were teasing and his movement was sharp. Every player benefitted from the Swede’s unblemished performance.
Southampton scored an own goal which was followed by Kulu’s sublime left-footed finish to put the match well out of reach. Kane and Sonny both had their moments and will be happy with the result, especially considering neither star was at their best.
Tottenham could have had more goals, as Sonny’s goal-bound attempt was handled near the line. No penalty was called as the contact was though to be incidental. Ivan Perisic made his Tottenham debut and showcased his lethal cross from the left.
Spurs created bundles of scoring chances and, for the most part, were solid at the back. Spurs had an 8-2 advantage in shots and were superior in every way. What a way to start the new campaign.