And Spurs are back in the

Sessegnon, Dier & Kulusevski score in opening day win | EXTENDED HIGHLIGHTS | Spurs 4-1 Southampton


Well, the Premier League kicked off with an in the end comfortable route of Southampton that put Spurs top of the table for the week at least.

It all looked a touch familiar to begin with as Conte put out a starting XI that would have been his starting XI last season, with none of the new faces making that lineup

Bissouma, Perisic, Lenget, were all on the bench, Richarlison was suspended from last season. They would be seen later, what with the new five subs allowed thing.

What was also familiar was the sluggish start from Spurs, that unsurprisingly led to Southampton opening the scoring. There was plenty of opportunity for Spurs to clear their area, there was penlty of Spurs players in the box to do something but Emeerson was off his man and let him get a cross in to the wide wide open Ward-Prowse, for him to score.

That had the kick up the arse effect, they seem to need quite a bit. It took another nine minutes before the equaliser, but it was pretty much all Spurs from then. The equaliser came from the man-of-the-match and maybe the surprise of the match.

Kulusevski who was the only choice for the MoM award put in a glorious left-footed cross from the right. Dangerously across the box, it was met by Sessegnon at the back post, heading in only his second goal for the club, his first in the league. It’s exactly what the wing-backs should be doing, getting in at the back post when the ball comes from the other side.

And all of a sudden he looks a far more confident player. Now is it having a full pre-season of Conte? Is it having the confidence of Conte, knowing that the manager is looking to keep him and offload Reguilon? Is it the threat of Perisic? Could be all of them. One thing that helped him on the day wasn’t the threat of Perisic but the help of the Croat, who apparently told Sess to attack the Southampton right-back, ex-Spurs Walker-Peters.

Even for the goal today, he [Perisic] literally told me get in the back post and you will score. That helped me today. He said Kyle Walker-Peters is quite small at the back post so if a ball goes in make sure you are there to head it in.Ryan Sessegnon

The winning goal came from another unexpected source. Dier hadn’t scored for over three years, before his perfectly deflected header from Son’s cross went in, some ten minutes later. The third came a half hour later and again heavily involved a surprising player. Emerson started it all, taking the ball off a Southampton player, continuing his run he picked the ball up again when Kane lost it. He played it on to Hojbjerg, whose ball was behind Son and seemed to have stopped things. but Emerson had made a good diagonal run into the box, where Son found him. The Brazilian’s cross which was going across the face of the goal, was then shovelled into his own net by a Southampton player.

The fourth and final goal came minutes later. A deserved one for that MoM, Kulusevski, who had shown some great touches , passes and crosses throughout the game. Hojbjerg played a cracking ball through to the rampaging Emerson, Kulusevski in the box dropped back and received the ball, one touch to kill the ball and turn his body so he could put it in the far post with his left.

As someone pointed out on Twitter, would Kulusevski be a Spurs player if Liverpool hadn’t jumped in to get Diaz? Their goals and assist stats are close, same amount of goals with six, but Kulu with 9 has four more assists. You never know how things will pan out, but I’m grateful to be living in the age of Kulu.

Whatever he does compared to Diaz, he’s a massive upgrade on what we had. He has an end product more times than not. Are those on the bench an upgrade, well we didn’t really get to see. The game was over Southampton had left the building and it was a going through the motions last half an hour. Perisic came on first but the others had to wait until just a few minutes before the 90 were up.

Son and Kane didn’t have their best game, neither on the scoresheet, but you can’t see Richarlison starting ahead of the front three. Hojbjerg and Bentancur had a quietly excellent game in the middle. While Davies wasn’t that test and Sess looked better than he has. So, will any of them get that starting spot? With five subs allowed, does it really matter?

What with the slow start, conceding and what went on against Southampton last season, it was a good victory and quite comfortable in the end. Chelski up next…

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