Tottenham 4-1 Southampton: Kulusevski shines in opening-day win

Tottenham vs Southampton recap: Spurs fell behind early but scored the next four goals to open the 2022-23 Premier League season with a win in north London on Saturday.

James Ward-Prowse gave Saints the lead after 12 minutes, then came the goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier,

Mohammed Salisu (own goal) and Dejan Kulusevski as Antonio Conte’s side picked up where they left off at the end of last season.

Stars of the show:- Dejan Kulusevski – Watching him play, it’s very easy to forget that the Swedish international is only 22 years old and only been at Tottenham for eight months.

James Ward-Prowse – The more everything else changes, the more he stays the same and remains the one consistent constant for Southampton. His goal to give Saints an early lead was nothing short of brilliant.

What’s next?  Up next for Tottenham is their first London derby on the season, as they’ll head to west London to face Chelsea next weekend.

As for Southampton, next Saturday’s visit by Leeds United could be key for Hasenhuttl as early-season pressure mounts and the fixture list gets no kinder the next few weeks.

Tactical focus: -  Spurs’ first two goals came via crosses from very wide areas, with Kulusevski and Son doing as much creating out wide as combining in the middle.

Maintaining width, whether through the wingers or overlapping full backs, is hugely important in Conte’s system.

Anytime you play three at the back, there’s a risk of becoming far too narrow in possession,

which results in very little build-up in the final third. Son and Kulusevski are most dangerous in the channels and running off Kane,

but they’re both equally willing to stretch the field to put someone else into a dangerous area.

Spurs will struggle to break sides down when the midfield and attack get too compact and narrow and the wing backs are forced deeper defensively.

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