Tottenham quickly recovered from a goal down and beat Southampton 4-1 in the opening game of the Premier League on Saturday to show the team’s new strength in depth.
Attacking duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min failed to score, but it was striker Dejan Kulusevsky who orchestrated the comeback.
The Swedish international set the equalizer for Ryan Sessegnon before scoring the fourth goal himself after the break after Eric Der’s header and Mohamed Salisu’s own goal.
And it bolstered the growing expectations around Antonio Conte’s team, which many are tempted to join champions Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race.
James Ward-Prowse put Saints in the lead early on, but the hosts immediately regrouped to start the new campaign in strong fashion, despite none of the six new signings in the starting line-up.
It took 12 minutes for their first legitimate opportunity to present themselves and Southampton took full advantage of scoring through Ward Prowse.
Moussa Djenebo slipped off Emerson Royal down the left and returned to the edge of the area as Ward Prowse curled into the net, rebounding his attempt to the ground and edging past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
The hosts were only nine minutes late.
After Southampton handled a number of early crosses in the area, they had little answer in the 21st minute when Kulusevsky rebounded to his left foot and curled a ball for Sessegnon, who jumped over Kyle Walker Peters to score the equaliser.
Conte’s team completed the transformation on the 31st through another unexpected source.
Son saw an initial corner kick cleared, but quickly reclaimed the ball and fired a fine shot into the wing, which proved perfect for Dier to bend down the corner to make it 2-1.
Sesson hit the net again immediately after the end of the first half, but his right-footed shot was canceled for offside.
Spurs should have already had two goals to improve with Kane who was denied by Pazono before the break and Son wasted from six yards when he could have passed to his teammate.
While the duo scored 40 goals between them in the league last season, it was Kulusevsky who took center stage on the occasion.
The Swede almost promised Sijson again with a delicious pass before the third reached the host in the 61st minute.
Emerson led a counter-attack and exchanged passes with Pierre-Emile Hojberg and Son before being crossed by an unbalanced Salisu.
Kulusevsky saved the best until the end when he took advantage of Emerson’s pass, opened his body and fired the ball into the bottom corner to make it 4-1 and give Spurs a second goal within two minutes.
Conte made a late four-way substitution and gave Ivan Perisic, Clement Lenglet and Yves Bisoma their debuts.
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