There was a lively start to Spurs’ Premier League opener in north London today, with the hosts falling behind early courtesy of James Ward-Prowse’s smart volleyed finish. However, Antonio Conte’s men quickly turned things around, with Ryan Sessegnon’s first top-flight goal for the club and Eric Dier’s first goal at all for three years quickly making it 2-1 to the hosts.
Six new players have arrived at Tottenham so far this summer with a little under a month left of the transfer window. However, none made full debuts today, with Richarlison suspended and Yves Bissouma joining Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet, Djed Spence and Fraser Forster on the bench, with the former trio making late cameos.
Tottenham nevertheless got off to a flyer against a Southampton team that many are tipping for relegation this term. The Saints handed debuts to Gavin Bazunu, Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia as they looked for back-to-back away league wins at Spurs for the first time since 1971, but confirmed defeat courtesy of Mohammed Salisu’s horrendous own goal after the interval before Dejan Kulusevski capped off a fine performance with a late goal. Follow reaction LIVE below!
Tottenham vs Southampton highlights
GOAL! Kulusevski makes it four for rampant hosts
GOAL! Spurs extend lead after Salisu howler
GOAL! Dier smartly converts Son’s cross
GOAL! Sessegnon heads in quick equaliser
GOAL! Ward-Prowse volleys home opener
Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 - 1 Southampton FC
Dan Kilpatrick at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
18:18 , George Flood
Spurs start the season with a win which justifies the pre-season optimism, albeit against a Saints side many have predicted to struggle.
Felt like a few games from February last season when Spurs just went up a level in the second half and blew their opponents away. Kulusevski was outstanding.
16:53 , George Flood
Tottenham 4-1 Southampton
16:50 , George Flood
90 mins: It only took Bissouma 30 seconds to pick up his first Spurs booking!
Three minutes of added time have been signalled at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
But this has long since finished as a contest.
16:46 , George Flood
85 mins: Spurs’ electric front three are all involved in a decisive breakaway as they hunt for a fifth goal late on, but Son’s low drive is easily saved by Bazunu.
Lenglet and Bissouma are now on for their debuts, along with Lucas and Doherty, with Kulusevski, Davies, Bentancur and Emerson making way.
16:43 , George Flood
82 mins: Bissouma and Lenglet are set to earn their Tottenham debuts now with late cameos from the bench.
Lucas Moura will also enter the fray.
16:37 , George Flood
Summing up the mood of jubilant Spurs fans right now...
16:35 , George Flood
76 mins: Emerson misses the target for Spurs but Southampton, while well beaten, aren’t downing tools, with new boy Aribo forcing Lloris into a smart low save.
Ibrahima Diallo replaces Romeu.
16:32 , George Flood
72 mins: Hasenhuttl makes his third change of the afternoon, with Djenepo replaced by Perraud.
Purely damage limitation for Southampton from this point on.
16:29 , George Flood
65 mins: Romero flies in with a woeful challenge and somehow avoids a yellow card from referee Andre Marriner.
Perisic is on for his Spurs debut meanwhile, replacing the impressive Sessegnon.
Dan Kilpatrick at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
16:26 , George Flood
‘Antonio’ is ringing around the stadium now with Spurs flying towards another impressive home win under the Italian.
Emerson, who is so often the weak link, has two assists in as many minutes, while Kulusevski has got the goal his performance deserves.
GOAL! Tottenham 4-1 Southampton | Dejan Kulusevski 63'
16:23 , George Flood
63 mins: All of a sudden it’s four!
Kulusevski is fed by Emerson, curling the Brazilian’s cutback beyond Bazunu and into the far corner.
Game, set and match. What an opening day this is turning into for Conte and Co.
Ivan Perisic is preparing to come on for his Tottenham debut.
GOAL! Tottenham 3-1 Southampton | Mohammed Salisu OG 61'
16:20 , George Flood
61 mins: Oh dear, oh dear.
Spurs surely wrap up three points on opening day after a comical own goal from Saints centre-back Salisu, who, with his body position all wrong, meekly sticks his foot out to meet Emerson’s low cross and it spins behind him and into the net.
Horrendous for Southampton, who had been threatening in the last few minutes.
16:18 , George Flood
58 mins: Southampton’s forays forward have become increasingly rare, and ironic cheers greet a poor effort from Ward-Prowse after the Saints had forced a corner.
16:15 , George Flood
55 mins: Tottenham turn the screw once more as Bazunu comes out confidently to beat Sessegnon to a lofted ball forward into the box.
While he successfully makes the catch, he also connects painfully with his own defender in Walker-Peters, who stays down in need of treatment.
I think he’s taken a knee to the back of the head there.
16:13 , George Flood
53 mins: Kulusevski is just a brilliant talent, isn’t he?
A penny for Richarlison’s thoughts as the confident Swede flights in an enticing cross for Romero, who is inches away from connecting with a header.
16:12 , George Flood
51 mins: Conte’s side are oozing confidence, with Kulusevski’s fine pass teeing up Sessegnon, whose shot is blocked.
The pressure doesn’t relent and Kulusevski combines nicely with the fleet-footed Romero inside the box, but he can’t get an effort on target.
16:10 , George Flood
49 mins: Tottenham are asking plenty more questions of this Southampton defence early in the second period.
Their wing-backs bomb on once more, with Davies’ deep cross from the left headed onto the roof of the net by Emerson.
Those half-time changes not having an impact for Southampton at the moment.
16:06 , George Flood
46 mins: GOOAA.... NO!
Sessegnon rifles home with his weaker right foot from the edge of the box, but the offside flag is up.
What a start to this second half that would have been for Spurs.
Sessegnon terrific today.
Second half underway
16:05 , George Flood
We are back underway in north London.
Two changes at the interval from Hasenhuttl as Southampton desperately seek a route back into this game.
Stuart Armstrong replaces namesake Adam, with Valery also making way for Jack Stephens.
Spurs goal milestones
16:03 , George Flood
Important to point out that was Ryan Sessegnon’s first-ever Premier League goal in the first half.
While for Eric Dier, that was his first goal for some THREE YEARS.
What a relief for the England man.
Dan Kilpatrick at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
15:53 , George Flood
Spurs are living up to expectations so far. A goal up but they should be further ahead, with Bazunu making a couple of smart saves, including from Kane in stoppage time. Sessegnon and Hojbjerg are looking particularly sharp.
15:49 , George Flood
Tottenham 2-1 Southampton
15:49 , George Flood
48 mins: Spurs are determined to notch a third goal before the interval.
Kane spins and unleashes a powerful drive that is well stopped by Bazunu!
There will be just enough time for the corner.
15:48 , George Flood
45 mins: Two minutes of added time have been signalled at the end of this eventful first half.
Davies’ drilled cross to the front post is gathered by Bazunu.
15:47 , George Flood
44 mins: Bazunu’s kicking has left a lot to be desired on his Southampton debut thus far.
The visitors are caught out in their own half once more as Valery is dispossessed and Spurs are on it in a flash.
A falling Romeu wisely avoids making contact with Son in the box, with the South Korean drifting horizontally across the area before his eventual shot is driven over.
15:44 , George Flood
42 mins: Danger for Southampton as the interplay between Son, Kulusevski and Kane is delightful once more.
Djenepo manages to clear and later goes down holding his face after a tussle with Emerson.
15:43 , George Flood
9 - Dejan Kulusevski has assisted nine goals in the Premier League since making his debut in February earlier this year, the most of any player, while across Europe's big five leagues his figure is bettered only by Ousmane Dembélé (11). Laser. pic.twitter.com/l2sDN7Tbct
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 6, 2022
15:42 , George Flood
40 mins: A warning for Spurs not to get complacent with the lead as Ward-Prowse finds himself open in the box, but the lofted pass is delayed and his first touch is iffy.
The Saints have to make do with a corner, which is scrambled away by white shirts.
15:40 , George Flood
38 mins: Another Tottenham chance for an unlikely source as Davies’ low drive from the edge of the box is tipped wide by Bazunu at full stretch.
Ex-Spurs man Walker-Peters heads clear the initial corner, but Spurs keep the pressure up.
15:38 , George Flood
35 mins: Spurs had been content to allow Southampton plenty of possession since Dier’s goal, with Ward-Prowse and Armstrong hesitating with a potential chance on the edge of the box.
But Spurs counter with pace and the interplay is smart, with Emerson’s shot inadvertently driven into the path of Kane.
There are more goals in this for the hosts.
Dan Kilpatrick at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
15:37 , George Flood
Well-taken goals by Sessegnon and Dier are an indication that Spurs may well be less reliant on their front three to score this season. They have responded really well to going behind and continue to look sharp.
15:33 , George Flood
32min: Turnaround complete!
Dier gets on his knees to head home Son's cross. Lovely finish.
15:31 , Alex Young
31min: Fantastic long ball forward from Hojbjerg to Son, who brings the ball down inside the area but shoots straight at Bazunu.
15:30 , Alex Young
29min: Heart-in-mouth time for Lloris and Romero as the defender’s header back just reaches the goalkeeper with Armstrong lurking.
15:27 , Alex Young
25min: Walker-Peters will be fine to continue, but that was very late from Sessegnon.
15:25 , Alex Young
24min: Make that involved in everything good and bad as Sessegnon is booked for a late challenge on Walker-Peters.
15:22 , George Flood
20min: All square as Sessegnon heads home Kulusevski's cross.
He’s been involved in everything Spurs do so no surprise to see him on the end of the ball.
15:18 , Alex Young
17min: Dangerous cross from Sessegnon that floats towards the far post but Saints scramble it away.
15:16 , Alex Young
14min: Big penalty calls from Spurs as Emerson goes down, but it's clearly a dive.
15:13 , Alex Young
12min: Somewhat against the run of play, Ward-Prowse hooks a volley home from the edge of the area.
Conte will not be happy with the defending at all!
Dan Kilpatrick reports
15:11 , Alex Young
“Spurs are looking sharp and have started with real intensity. Wing-backs Emerson and Sessegnon, who are facing massive competition this season, both fired up.”
15:09 , Alex Young
8min: A crunching challenge from Dier stops Aribou in his tracks and Spurs are straight back on the counter through Son, but with Kane blocked off a pass out wide to Emerson is poor and the move breaks down.
15:08 , Alex Young
6min: Spurs have been seeing more of the ball in the last couple minutes, unsurprisingly mostly through the wing-backs Sessegnon and Emerson.
15:07 , Alex Young
3min: Early chance for Southampton on the left after Davies wipes out Walker-Peters, but the free kick is easily dealt with.
15:00 , George Flood
The teams are out and we are underway in beautiful sunshine at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium!
Can Spurs get their season off to a flyer?
14:50 , George Flood
None of them are starting today, but a warm reception for Tottenham’s new signings before kick-off...
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) August 6, 2022
Dan Kilpatrick at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
14:44 , George Flood
Standard Sport’s chief football correspondent Dan Kilpatrick is in position and previews this afternoon’s opener at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
🗣️ "A new season and a new sense of optimism... Spurs are expected to deliver."@Dan_KP previews #TOTSOU at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
LIVE: https://t.co/jaauzahR5w#TOTSOU pic.twitter.com/czNv8ZZsom
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) August 6, 2022
14:37 , George Flood
Final preparations in N17!
Transfer rush sparks Spurs delight as new heights beckon
14:29 , George Flood
A lot has changed in the course of 11 weeks at Tottenham. Antonio Conte agreed to stay for another season and has been rewarded with six new signings, leading to soaring optimism among fans.
Harry Kane is open to a new deal, and managing director Fabio Paratici has been busy restructuring the recruitment and scouting teams.
Conte has a new coach in set-piece specialist Gianni Vio and Yaya Toure has joined the academy staff full-time.
Saints hand first starts to three summer arrivals
14:18 , George Flood
There are three debuts for Southampton though, with 20-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu - a £12m arrival from Manchester City - preferred to Alex McCarthy between the posts.
This will be the Republic of Ireland stopper’s first senior game above League One level in England.
Joe Aribo and Romeo Lavia also start, with Ralph Hasenhuttl continuing with a 5-3-2 system that should see Aribo line up alongside Adam Armstrong in attack.
No full debuts for Tottenham
14:10 , George Flood
There are indeed no new signings in that Tottenham starting XI this afternoon, with Bissouma and Perisic both fit enough for the bench, where they are joined by fellow summer recruits Spence, Lenglet and Forster.
In fact, there is only one change to the team that started against Norwich on the final day of last season, with Cristian Romero replacing Davinson Sanchez in defence.
There is no place in the matchday squad for transfer listed quartet Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Harry Winks and Sergio Reguilon, with Japhet Tanganga and Pape Matar Sarr also missing out.
14:01 , George Flood
Starting XI: Bazunu, Valery, Salisu, Bednarek, Walker-Peters, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Lavia, Aribo, Djenepo, Adam Armstrong
Subs: McCarthy, Stephens, Adams, Redmond, Perraud, Stuart Armstrong, Elyounoussi, Diallo, Kotchap
14:01 , George Flood
Starting XI: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Davies, Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon, Kulusevski, Son, Kane
Subs: Doherty, Sanchez, Gil Salvatierra, Perisic, Forster, Spence, Lucas Moura, Lenglet, Bissouma
Lineups on the way
13:51 , George Flood
Less than 10 minutes to go until we get official team news from north London.
Can Tottenham close title gap?
13:40 , George Flood
Conte was also asked if Tottenham could close the gap to Manchester City and Liverpool this season after pipping north London rivals Arsenal to fourth spot and a Champions League return on the final day of 2021/22.
“We are talking about two of the best clubs in the world that are working with the same coaches for seven years,” he said.
“Now they are in my opinion in a position that is very difficult for the others to close the gap but we have to do this.
“If you are with the same manager for many years and you give continuity, and you continue an idea and you continue a vision, then for sure it’s the best situation for the club to improve and to grow season by season.
“I think that this is important. For me, after seven months, it’s easier now to work with the players because the players know what I want.”
Conte brushes off World Cup concerns
13:33 , George Flood
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has insisted that he is not concerned about the potential for Tottenham’s players to try and save themselves for the inaugural winter World Cup in the first half of this new Premier League season.
“Honestly, I don’t care about that,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“I was a player and when you play a game and you want to win, you don’t think you could be injured or you risk injury and can’t play in a World Cup. Honestly.
“The players are really focused to go step by step and go game by game. We have three important trophies in England and then to play an important competition in the Champions League.
“I know my players, their desire and their will. And [I know] also what we did to reach this achievement. Honestly, I’m not worried about this situation. The problems are for all the teams.”
Hasenhuttl happy with Saints push for young talent
13:27 , George Flood
Much has been made of Southampton’s approach to recruitment so far this summer, with the Saints tending to favour young, ambitious talent over trying to compete for big-money signings.
Rangers’ Joe Aribo, their most experienced capture at 26, Bordeaux forward Sekou Mara and Manchester City midfielder Romeo Lavia have all arrived, along with young Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap.
And manager Ralph Hasenhuttl insists he is happy with the business Southampton have done so far.
“I’m still of the opinion that £40 or £50million transfers make no sense for us,” he told reporters yesterday. “But we of course want quality, and if it’s young, OK, no problem, take it.
“This is the way we want to go and it’s good that we have done our job so far. But the transfer window is open so long that, if we do something we have enough time to do it.”
Hasenhuttl added: “I’m not so sure on the effect on prices of the window staying open, some other clubs will also look at first games, how strong they are, or if they have weaknesses.
“So I’m not sure if prices of players will go up or down again even after matches. Then the market is sometimes a bit stupid and strange.
“But for us it was a good thing we could do this season some things that we normally could only do after selling a few players.
“This was different this season definitely, and helped you to get some players in that you wish you can get, and what also makes sense for us I think.”
13:18 , George Flood
The calm before the opening day storm in N17!
Lovely weather for the first weekend of the season.
Spurs squad has never been stronger as expectation builds
13:13 , George Flood
After a summer of expectation and uncharacteristic efficiency, Tottenham will begin the season at home to Southampton looking strikingly...familiar, writes Dan Kilpatrick.
Richarlison is suspended and Yves Bissouma is a doubt. Djed Spence and Clement Lenglet are unlikely to be thrown straight in, while Ivan Perisic — the likeliest of the club’s six new additions to start — is still not fully fit.
A £150m war chest and the game’s most demanding coach can still leave you with Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon as wing-backs, and Ben Davies or Davinson Sanchez in the back three.
Still, the familiarity of the XI will not tell the story of Spurs’ impressive progress since Antonio Conte agreed to stay on as head coach on May 27.
Tottenham close to Udogie signing
13:08 , George Flood
Six new summer arrivals at Tottenham seems likely to become seven in the coming days.
Spurs are said to be closing in on the signing of Udinese left-back Destiny Udogie.
Tottenham are believed to have agreed a five-year contract with the Italy Under-21 international, who looks set to be loaned back to his former club for the duration of the 2022-23 campaign.
No full Tottenham debuts today?
12:58 , George Flood
Clement Lenglet, Fraser Forster and Djed Spence are most likely to be kept on the bench for Tottenham today, reports Dan Kilpatrick.
With Richarlison banned, Yves Bissouma doubtful and Ivan Perisic to be assessed, there is the prospect of no full debuts for any of Antonio Conte’s summer signings this afternoon.
Emerson Royal should be favoured over Spence at right wing-back if Matt Doherty is not risked on his return from knee surgery.
Predicted Tottenham XI: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Doherty, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son.
Tottenham vs Southampton prediction
12:49 , George Flood
A straightforward home game would be an ideal start to the campaign for Antonio Conte but don’t expect the goals to glow too fluidly on the first weekend.
A 1-0 Spurs win.
Southampton team news - Livramento, Walcott and Tella out
12:48 , George Flood
Southampton are still missing long-term absentee Tino Livramento, who will not be back before the mid-season break for the World Cup as he recovers from an ACL injury suffered in April.
Theo Walcott is also sidelined with a knee problem, likewise midfielder Nathan Tella.
New signings Gavin Bazunu and Joe Aribo should make their first competitive Saints starts this afternoon.
Tottenham team news - Bissouma doubtful, Richarlison banned
12:43 , George Flood
Tottenham are without marquee summer signing Richarlison this afternoon, with the Brazilian serving the final game of a two-match suspension for his controversial celebration after scoring a crucial winner for former club Everton against Chelsea in May.
Meanwhile, fellow new recruit Yves Bissouma is doubtful with a hamstring issue, while Ivan Perisic will also be assessed as he continues his way back to full fitness after a calf injury suffered at Inter Milan at the end of last season.
Midfielder Oliver Skipp is sidelined with a heel fracture.
How to watch Tottenham vs Southampton
12:38 , George Flood
TV channel: Due to ongoing 3pm blackout restrictions, today’s match will not be televised live on TV in the UK.
However, you can catch highlights on Match of the Day, which starts at 10:20pm BST on BBC One this evening.
It will also be available on iPlayer.
Welcome to Tottenham vs Southampton LIVE coverage!
11:59 , George Flood
Good afternoon and welcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of opening weekend in the Premier League!
Our focus here is on events at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Antonio Conte’s Spurs will be hot favourites to kick off their 2022-23 campaign with a victory over a Southampton side that plenty are tipping to suffer relegation to the Championship this term.
Kick-off this afternoon is at 3pm BST, so stay tuned for build-up, team news and live updates, with expert analysis from Standard Sport’s chief football correspondent Dan Kilpatrick in north London.