Tottenham 4-1 Southampton: Rampant Spurs brush Saints aside after early scare to start season with a flourish

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Running riot: Tottenham were in inspired form on the opening day at home  (PA)
Running riot: Tottenham were in inspired form on the opening day at home (PA)

Tottenham recovered from an early setback to thrash Southampton 4-1 and make a flying start to the new Premier League season.

Spurs surprisingly fell behind inside 12 minutes of their home opener in the north London sunshine, with Saints captain James Ward-Prowse defying an intense start from the hosts to volley home Moussa Djenepo’s cross from 18 yards.

But Tottenham were not behind for long as the impressive Ryan Sessegnon headed in Dejan Kulusevski’s ball at the back post, his maiden Premier League goal.

That was followed 10 minutes later by Eric Dier’s first goal for some three years, with the versatile England international stooping to deftly flick Heung min-Son’s cross beyond Gavin Bazunu, one of three Saints debutants on Saturday along with Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia.

By contrast, Tottenham’s first XI contained 10 of the 11 players who started on the final day of last season, with Richarlison banned and fellow newcomers Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, Djed Spence and Fraser Forster all on the bench.

But it mattered little as they continued to dominate proceedings, creating plenty more chances to extend their lead either side of the interval, with Sessegnon seeing a second ruled out for offside.

The third goal eventually came just past the hour mark, with Southampton centre-back Mohammed Salisu comically turning Emerson Royal’s low cross into his own net.

An opening-day rout was wrapped up two minutes later, when the excellent Kulusevski - looking to keep his place in the front three alongside Harry Kane and Son and ahead of Richarlison - got the goal his display fully merited, curling Emerson’s cutback into the far corner.

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