Tottenham started their 2022/23 Premier League campaign in fine form as they recovered from a 1-0 defeat to beat Southampton 4-1 on Saturday.
Mohammed Salisu’s shambolic own goal embodied the Saints’ defensive efforts as they were simply overwhelmed and unable to maintain their initial advantage.
The game started off with a bang for Spurs as they were ahead within the opening ten minutes, but soon found themselves trailing against the run of play.
James Ward-Prowse temporarily silenced the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the opener after 12 minutes.
Moussa Djenepo did well down the left to pull away from Emerson Royal and escaped at the edge of the area where Southampton captain Ward-Prowse flew home to put the visitors ahead.
“What a volley from James Ward Prowse,” said talkSPORT’s Perry Groves in commentary, “Really good game from Southampton.
“Emerson Royal should do better to stop the cross.”
Nine minutes later however, Spurs were level.
Dejan Kulusevski got back on his left foot and produced a magnificent cross from the right.
The ball found Ryan Sessegnon who beat Kyle Walker-Peters through the air to head home from close range and make it 1-1.
In the 31st minute, Tottenham turned the game upside down.
Southampton cleared Heung-min Son’s initial corner but the ball came back to the South Korean and his cross was cleverly headed in by a leaning Eric Dier to make it 2-1.
Groves reacted: “Well, Southampton’s defense has been disastrous in the wide areas and Dier is making them pay for it.
“It’s such a smart header from Dier. On the balance of play, Spurs deserve the 2-1 lead.
Early in the second half, Sessegnon briefly thought he had bagged a brace, only to be denied the offside flag.
Tottenham made it 3-1 in the 61st minute thanks to a helping hand from Mohammed Salisu.
Royal led the breakaway and traded passes with Son before his scuffed cross was chaotically placed into his own net by Salisu.
“It’s really bad defense from Salisu,” Groves said.
“Royal was just wide, he flashed it with his left foot and Salisu can’t seem to adjust his feet.
“He’s completely out of balance, it looks like the ball took him by surprise and he actually had plenty of time to see the ball coming towards him.
“It’s a really bad defense from Salisu.”
Two minutes later, Spurs extended their advantage to three goals.
Royal was again released and reduced for Kulusevski, who opened his body and curled into the bottom corner to cap off a magnificent individual display.
Groves reacted: “Southampton have completely lost their form, lost their faith.
“Kulusevski has no Southampton player with him, puts the ball on his left foot, and how composed he is, opens up his body, passes the ball past Bazunu.
“A shocking defense from Southampton, but a clinical finish from Tottenham Hotspur.”
Luckily for the visitors, there were no more goals at home and the match ended 4-1.
“I have to mention Kulusevski,” Groves pointed out full-time, “I thought he was absolutely exceptional.
“He was dangerous. One goal, one assist. »
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