ottenham justified pre-season optimism by beginning the new Premier League campaign with a 4-1 thrashing of Southampton.
Trailing to James Ward-Prowse’s fine volley, Spurs led at the interval through headers by Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier.
A comical own goal by Mohammed Salisu and Dejan Kulusevski’s top strike completed the scoring after the break as Antonio Conte’s side began the season with a statement performance.
Dan Kilpatrick was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to rate the Spurs players…
Hugo Lloris 7
Could not get to Ward-Prowse’s well-taken volley but saved well from Joe Aribo on an otherwise quiet afternoon.
Cristian Romero 8
Set the tone by flying into tackles in a typically assertive and commanding display. Used the ball well as Spurs built from the back.
Eric Dier 8
Scored with a deft header from Son’s cross and led Spurs’ defensive rearguard, helping to repel the Saints’ occasional threat from Ward-Prowse’s set-pieces.
Ben Davies 8
Stepped out of defence expertly and tested Gavin Bazunu with a long-range effort in the first half. Aribo got behind him on one occasion but Lloris made the save.
Emerson Royal 8
Went to ground too easily on the byline, allowing Djenepo to cross for the opening goal. Made amends with two assists in as many minutes at the start of the second half.
Ryan Sessegnon 9
Showed he is up for the fight with Perisic and already learning from the Croatian legend with an encouraging display. Showed killer instinct at the back post for the equaliser and had a second goal ruled out for offside on an afternoon when he repeatedly got into dangerous positions.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 8
Got caught under Djenepo’s cross for the Saints’ goal but started the move leading to Dier’s goal with a raking pass for Son and created another great chance for the Korean with a chipped ball.
Rodrigo Bentancur 8
Typically calm in possession, using the ball well from the base of midfield and snapping into tackles.
Dejan Kulusevski 9
Continued where he left off last season with an outstanding display. His brilliant cross set up Sessegnon and he got the goal he deserved in the second half. A constant threat down the right flank.
Heung-min Son 8
Crossed for Dier’s goal and was unfortunate not to score himself in a lively display. Saw a goal-bound effort strike Jack Stephens’ arm and blazed over from a good position.
Harry Kane 7
Looked a little clunky, which is often the case at the start of the season. Showed a few nice touches and forced Bazunu into a smart save in first-half stoppage-time.
Ivan Perisic (Sessegnon 66’) 7
Showed what he will bring to the squad with a powerful run to the byline on debut.
Lucas Moura (Kulusevski 86’) N/A
Yves Bissouma (Bentancur 86’) N/A
Booked within seconds of coming on for a late sliding lunge.
Clement Lenglet (Davies 86’) N/A
Matt Doherty (Emerson 86’) N/A
Not used: Forster, Sanchez, Gil, Spence.