Antonio Conte gives his verdict after Tottenham Hotspur defeat Southampton
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur got off to a resounding start as they trashed Southampton 4-1 in their opening match of the 2022/23 season.
Goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, Dejan Kulusevski and an own goal from Mohammed Salisu made sure that Spurs walked out of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the three points.
According to the club’s official website, coach Conte was pleased with his side and said he saw a lot of positive things. He was happy with the reactions of the players and how calm they were. This was Tottenham’s biggest ever opening-day victory.
“Today, I have seen a lot of positive things. We are working under many aspects, especially tactically, to try to improve what we did in the past seven months, high pressure, good intensity, the desire to win the ball when we lost it.”
Southampton took an early lead with a well-worked goal from James Ward-Prowse. But Spurs managed to keep their calm and were 2-1 up at half-time. The second half continued with the North Londoners dominating the play and two quick goals put the result beyond doubt.
New signings Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma and Clement Lenglet made their debuts. Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were excellent in the middle of the park while Emerson Royal continued his fine form from last season.
There was excitement all around as Conte began his first full season at the club. The pressing intensity was top-notch and was a treat to watch. The fact that the players were still pressing in the 80th minute after being three goals up, clearly shows the hard work everyone has put in during the pre-season.
Fans will hope that this is just the prelude to better things to come. After spending and recruiting heavily this summer, Conte will be hoping to deliver silverware this season. The players looked sharp and Conte has said that we have only just started.
“We know very well though this is only the first game. We have to be pleased, because this showed the way is right, but, at the same time, we have only just started.”
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It will be wise for the players to keep their cool after such a good start. The league is a marathon and not a sprint race, something which they will be aware of. Hopefully, the players carry their same form for the derby game against Chelsea next Sunday.