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Spurs v Southampton, 06.08.22

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 6TH AUGUST, 2022
(3pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(2) SOUTHAMPTON 1(1)

Spurs scorers:-
Sessegnon, 21
Dier, 31
Salisu, (o.g.), 61
Kulusevski, 63

Southampton scorer:-
Ward-Prowse, 12

Attendance:- 61,732

Referee:- Andre Marriner
Assistants:- Simon Long, Richard West
Fourth official:- Tim Robinson
VAR:- Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR:- Natalie Aspinall.

Teams:-
Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Romero, Dier, Davies (sub Lenglet, 86); Emerson Royal (sub Doherty, 87), Hojbjerg, Bentancur (sub Bissouma, 86), Sessegnon (sub Perisic, 66); Kulusevski (sub Lucas Moura, 86), Kane, Son

Subs not used:- Forster; Sanchez, Spence; Gil

Booked:- Sessegnon (foul on Walker-Peters), Bentancur (foul on Lavia), Bissouma (foul on Lavia)

Southampton (3-5-2):- Bazunu; Valery (sub Stephens, 46), Bednarek, Salisu; Walker-Peters (sub Redmond, 90+2), Ward-Prowse (Capt.), Lavia, Romeu (sub Diallo, 75), Djenepo (sub Perraud, 72); Aribo, Adam Armstrong (sub Stuart Armstrong, 46)

Subs not used:- McCarthy; Bella-Kotchap; Elyounoussi, Adams

No Bookings

Impressive win for Spurs old guard

Spurs v Southampton - 6th August, 2022

Tottenham was heaving. The weather was hot as was the atmosphere generated by a near 62,000 crowd excited at the prospect of seeing some of the six new signings acquired in the summer. Richarlison had to sit this game out due to his over-excitement when a flare was thrown at Goodison Park towards the end of their season. Former “Saints” keeper Fraser Forster stayed on the bench, as did Djed Spence, but three of our new boys at least got a sniff of the White Hot Lane atmosphere after the win had been secured with an impressive performance by the same team which had beaten Norwich 5-0 on the last day of last season – with the exception of Romero for Sanchez.

Any game in the Premier League is a potential banana skin and last season Ralf Hasenhuttl’s men took four points off Spurs and even won at The Lane. When skipper James Ward-Prowse put them into a 12th minute lead it looked briefly as if “Saints” might spoil the party again, but Spurs soon responded with two goals by defenders to take a first half lead. Last season’s top scorers Son and Kane were very much reduced to playing second and third fiddle as Dejan Kulusevski continued his fine figures with a goal and an assist together with some super skills.

Hasenhuttl chose his 20-year-old signing from Manchester City in goal, and another signing from City – 18-year-old Romeo Lavia – in front of his back three. A third signing – Aribo from Rangers – played up front with Adam Armstrong, but neither made much headway against a Spurs defence which blocked effectively but did not always pass the ball as well as they should in their final third. That said, Bentancur continues to be a good ball winner and often broke up the opposition play before sending his attack forward to good effect. Emerson had an impressive game going forward, often combining very well with Kulusevski.

Southampton kicked off and played towards the South Stand, which looked resplendent in shirt-sleeved white. The visitors had an early free kick near the corner flag on the right, taken by Ward-Prowse but Hugo collected that ball. Emerson won a corner on the right with strong forward play, after which Kulusevski crossed to Sessegnon who fed Kane. Harry hit the ball in to the 6-yard zone but that was collected by Bazunu. There was a nice exchange between Emerson and Kulusevski before Emerson was fouled. Nothing came of the free kick.

Southampton’s surprise lead came in the 12th minute. Of all people, Romero had missed a cross hit from the right of the box. This reached Djenepo who had the beating of Emerson and crossed into the back of the area for Ward-Prowse. His shot bounced into the ground before beating Hugo to his right.

Referee Andre Marriner (in charge of Spurs for the 50th time) was not interested when Emerson seemed to be clipped in the box, and VAR clearly supported the referee’s decision not to award a penalty. Ben Davies found Sessegnon ahead of him to his left and Sessegnon’s cross was put out for a corner on the right. Spurs had another corner after Kane had fed the ball to the impressive Kulusevski. In an attack following that corner, Kulusevski sent a perfect cross towards the back post from the right and Ryan Sessegnon met it perfectly to head home his first Premier League goal for Spurs. Remember his first Spurs goal had been in the Champions League away to Bayern Munich in December 2019 which was played a few days after Spurs’ last home Saturday 3pm game.

It wasn’t long before Sessegnon was booked for a heavy challenge upon former Spur Kyle Walker-Peters, who needed treatment, but was able to carry on. Eric Dier picked out “Sonny” with a good long ball and from the left side of the box, Son forced a save from Bazunu and another Spurs corner. A great goal soon followed, as after the corner taken on the left, the ball was returned to Son whose well-directed cross was headed across the keeper and into the net with a fine stooping header by Dier. It was Eric’s first Spurs goal since May 2019 at home to Everton. The Spurs crowd rewarded him with a resounding “We love Eric Dier”.

Emerson, Kane and Kulusevski attacked in impressive style down the right flank. Hojbjerg slipped a ball to Ben Davies who fired goalward from 25 yards. The keeper couldn’t hold the ball and Spurs had another corner. At the other end, a poor free kick out of defence by Romero led to a rare Southampton attack and a corner. Hojbjerg broke p the play and hit a long ball to Son who ran left to right inside the area, seemingly waiting to pick his spot for a shot. That shot when it eventually arrived was skied, and Harry Kane, waiting for a pass, was livid. In added time, Kane had a shot well saved from a sharp angle.

Immediately after the interval Sessegnon had the ball in the net at the end of an attack down the left but was adjudged offside because he moved forward prematurely to receive Son's pass. Early in the second half, Emerson met a cross from the left, but headed wide back across the goal. After a good run by Kane and a pass to Kulusevski the ball was crossed to the left where Walker-Peters made a great goal-saving tackle to prevent Sessegnon from scoring again. Spurs won a corner on the right after another Kane/Kulusevski combination. Son took a short corner to Kulusevski, whose shot passed wide of the far post. Spurs were camped in the Southampton half but there was no sign of a third goal as yet.

Djenepo won a corner in a battle with Emerson. This was taken by Ward-Prowse but collected by Lloris. Ward-Prowse had another shot pass wide. Spurs did extend their lead just after the hour mark. It came after forward play by Kane, Hojbjerg then Emerson, whose cross from the left of goal was somewhat inexplicably turned into his own net by Salisu. Last season, Spurs had been the beneficiaries of no less than 10 own goals in all competitions. Own goals are off to a good start!

Spurs’ fourth goal came two minutes later. After good dynamic forward play and a pass from Emerson, Kulusevski hit a fine left-footed shot past Bazunu in similar style to one of his goals at Norwich in May.

Romero escaped a yellow card but was admonished by Mr. Marriner following a powerful scissor tackle upon Romeu. Ivan Perisic received a fine ovation when he replaced Sessegnon who was applauded off himself. After a Hojbjerg pass to Kulusevski, “Kulu” passed inside to Son whose shot was deflected for a corner. Spurs wanted but failed to get a handball decision in their favour.

Lloris made his hardest and a good save with his left hand from a shot by Aribo. Inevitably, the game fizzled out somewhat and Conte made four of his substitutions in one hit with just a few minutes remaining. Bissouma was one of those subs and he quickly saw a yellow card for a foul on Lavia. In added time, Hugo held a 25-yard shot by Ward-Prowse and Bissouma had a good run and a shot past the post.

This was our biggest opening day win in the Premier League, and our reward was to top the table overnight and to climb above Arsenal! Next week’s trip to Stamford Bridge will be a bigger challenge.

Spurs Odyssey man of the match - Dejan Kulusevski

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