Tottenham Hotspur opened the season with a slow start, many knowing that’s how the games go as a Spurs fan. Then the opening goal by Southampton’s James Ward Prowse connected to put the Saints up 1-0.
Oh no, here we go.
Normally it would be a dire fight to get one goal and grab a point to open the season. Not under Antonio Conte. Spurs pulled up their socks and tightened their boots and put on a performance for the home fans and supporters around the world.
Four goals were scored with two coming in each half and some huge contributions by the wing-backs. Yes, the starting XI was the same as the closing matches of last season that pushed the team to the Champions League. Some injuries and others not being fully fit in Conte’s eyes forced him to have Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson Royal to run up the flanks.
Sessegnon scored the opening goal and Royal added an assist (and our best friend own goal) to be the deciding factor in the game.
Eric Dier scored for the other Spurs goal from a defender, his first in over three years (not including his preseason rocket).
Here are a few game notes that came to mind while watching Spurs route to victory
- Sessegnon is big, in a good way of course. He had great pace and Kyle Walker-Peters was bouncing off the 21-year-old. His goal was great to see and his second one, called offside, was brilliant with the pattern looking to be practiced on kickoffs.
- After going down 1-0, Spurs took over on both ends of the pitch. They pressed highly with their fitness levels showing off and the defense put in big tackles to stop anything for Southampton.
- It is frustrating to see Royal take one too many touches inside the box. He is fun to watch and in the second half, he seemed to notice the open spaces with his pass to Dejan Kulusevski for the fourth and final goal.
- Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were off and normally that means doom for Spurs. Not anymore.
- Three new faces made their debuts for the club with Ivan Perisic getting 30 plus minutes and Yves Bissouma and Clement Lenglet getting under 10 minutes. Perisic had the most time to create chances and boy can he deliver crosses with ease. The other two didn’t have much to do with the game in the bag, even though Bissouma teed one off in the final seconds.
- Lucas Moura and Matt Doherty came in during the quadruple subs and didn’t show much but that’s ok.
Game week one is done and Tottenham Hotspur is a force under Conte