Football Features

Dejan Kulusevski slays the Saints as Spurs get off to a superb start with a 4-1 Premier League win

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:13, 6 August 2022

In a dominant afternoon of football, Spurs smashed Southampton 4-1 at Tottenham Stadium.

Dejan Kulusevski only joined Spurs in January, but he has already become an essential part of the starting XI and key to the way Antonio Conte’s side works, and today was another superb display from the Swede.

Kulusevski ended the night with 3 chances created, 5/11 take-ons completed and 4 tackles. And moist crucially of all, one goal and one assist. Kulusevski’s goals came at crucial moments to shape the game immensely.

With Spurs trailing early, it was Kulusevski’s outrageous left-footed cross that boomed over the entire Southampton defence to find Ryan Sessegnon at the back-post. With the equaliser secured, Spurs took over the game and massacred the Saints.

They took the lead, then extended that to make it 3-1. That’s when Kulusevski showed up, latching on to a lovely cross from Emerson he measured a gorgeous shot low into the far corner of the net to make it 4-1 and totally kill off Southampton.

Despite all the attention being on Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and new striker Richarlison, this game was a stark reminded that Kulusevki is a quality footballer who must be regarded in the same bracket as Kane & Son.

He has the most Premier League assists in 2022 (9) and when compared across Europe’s top five leagues only the outrageous Ousmane Dembélé and the literal greatest player of all-time Leo Messi have more than him so far this year.

Kulusevski is a man to be taken very seriously.

The last time Spurs managed to score four goals on the opening day of the season was 27 years ago in 1995 when they beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-4 at Hillsborough.

That day Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton gave Spurs a 2-0 lead before Dan Petrescu and a Colin Calderwood own goal levelled things up. Nicky Barmby and Jurgen Klinsmann struck to give Spurs a commanding lead that even David Hirst’s late goal couldn’t damage.

The dominance of Spurs’ showing against Southampton at Tottenham Stadium was made all the more remarkable by the fact that they fell behind early on after a super James Ward-Prowse strike.

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Kulusevski’s ridiculous cross boomed in to set-up Ryan Sessegnon and draw Spurs level. Conte’s men kept on pushing forward and took the lead when Heung-min Son’s own centre led to Eric Dier heading home.

Things stayed the same until around the hour, when a lively counter-attack led to Mohamed Salisu unfortunately putting the ball into his own net. Then of course Kulusevski completed the rout two minutes later.

That Spurs scored four goals and neither of Harry Kane nor Heung-min Son got on the scoresheet should concern the rest of the Premier League, especially if Dejan Kulusevski keeps playing at this ridiculously high level.