|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 (2)||SOUTH COAST BIG CLUB 1 (1)|
|Date : – 6th August 2022||Kick off : – 15.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 61,732|
|Referee : – Andre Marriner (West Midlands)||Linesmen : – Mr. Simon Long; Mr. Richard West|
|Fourth official : – Tom Robinson|
|VAR official : – Paul Tierney||VAR Assistant : – Natalie Aspinall|
|Weather : – Sunny, very warm|
|SCBC kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 5 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||SOUTH COAST BIG CLUB|
|Sessegnon 20m 37s (assist by Kulusevski)||Ward-Prowse 11m 18s (assist by Djenepo)|
|Dier 30m 58s (assist by Son)|
|Salisu (o.g.) 60m 03s (assist by Royal)|
|Kulusevski 62m 10s (assist by Royal)|
|Sessegnon (foul on Walker-Peters) 24|
|Bentancur (shirt-pull on Lavia) 75|
|Bissouma (foul on Lavia) 88|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||SOUTH COAST BIG CLUB|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||31.||Gavin BAZUNU|
|17.||Cristian ROMERO||2.||Kyle WALKER-PETERS ( 11. Nathan REDMOND 90+2)|
|15.||Eric DIER||43.||Yan VALERY ( 5. Jack STEPHENS 46)|
|33.||Ben DAVIES ( 34. Clement LONGLET 86)||35.||Jan BENDAREK|
|22.||Mohammed SALISU (o.g)|
|12.||Emerson ROYAL ( 2. Matt DOHERTY 87)||19.||Moussa DJENEPO ( 15. Romain PERRAUD 72)|
|30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR ( 38. Yves BISSOUMA 86 )||8.||James WARD-PROWSE (c)|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON ( 14. Ivan PERISIC 66)||45.||Romeo LAVIA|
|6.||Oriel ROMEU ( 27. Ibrahima DIALLO 75)|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 27. Lucas MOURA 86)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||7.||Joe ARIBO|
|9.||Adam ARMSTRONG ( 17. Stuart ARMSTRONG 46)|
|20.||Fraser FORSTER||1.||Alex McCARTHY|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||37.||Armel BELLA-KOTCHAP|
|24.||Djed SPENCE||24.||Mohammed ELYANOUSSI|
|11.||BRYAN Gil||10.||Che ADAMS|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Ralph Hasenhuttl|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Hummel|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Sportsbet.io
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – JD
|Colours : – White shirts with Navy blue and Volt yellow collar and cuffs, Navy blue shorts, White socks||Colours : – All racing green with one red, one white, one yellow and one blue flash on the side of the shirt.|
|There’s always a lot of hope on the first day of the season and when a goal is conceded in 12th minute, things suddenly take a nose-dive, but hope springs eternal and with a quick turnaround and a dominating second half performance produced a convincing 4-1 win over South Coast Big Club.
In bright, warm sunshine, the new players Tottenham had signed during the summer were introduced before the game and a buzz around the stadium before kick off. The Spurs crowd were in good voice and when SCBC kicked off, the already high temperature ratchetted up a bit. In the opening exchanges, both teams were a little erratic in their passing, but a Ward-Prowse free-kick gave the visitors the first chance, but Salisu glanced his header well off target. With Saints trying a new tactic of playing out from the back, they forgot that it requires players able to do it and when Bendarek had no way out, he knocked it back to keeper Bazunu without looking as to where he was. Luckily, it didn’t have enough weight on it to reach the goal as it went to the keeper’s right, but the poor kick out brought the ball back to be put out for a corner after Emerson Royal and Dejan Kulusevski had linked well on our right. The corner came to nothing, despite the introduction of a new set-piece coach in the summer as the ball didn’t beat the first man.
There was a collective intake of breath as SCBC forward Joe Aribo moved across the halfway line, but the crowd had seen Cristian Romero start moving in to tackle from ten yards away and fortunately, he missed both player and ball ! However, it was the opposition who took a 12th minute lead when they worked the ball from left to right and Kyle Walker-Peters’ ball into the box was flicked wide by a Spurs had and fell for Moussa Djenepo on their left wing inside the penalty area. He moved the ball to give him an opportunity to cross it despite the attentions of Royal and it just cleared Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s jump and dropped for James Ward-Prowse to dig a volley into the ground, with the bounce taking it away to Hugo Lloris’ right and into the net. It was a dampener on a hot afternoon, coming so soon and with expectation high.
From the restart, Spurs attacked and a challenge on Royal looked dubious, but nothing was given, although when a defender hangs a leg out and makes contact sometimes a penalty is given. Ironically a similar challenge on Djenepo five yards outside his own penalty box was given as a foul by the utterly inconsistent Marriner. Royal nearly got on the end of a vicious Ryan Sessegnon cross, but Mohammed Salisu just took it away from him with a faint touch and then Ryan was denied getting on the end of a Rodrigo Bentancur cross by Walker-Peters’ intervention. From the throw-in that was conceded, Spurs worked the ball across the pitch 30 yards out and when it got to Kulusevski on the right wing, he came inside onto his left foot and played a wicked cross in with pace that Sessegnon read and beat Walker-Peters to it this time at the far post to power a header past Bazunu before he could react. Just inside the corner of the six-yard box, there was little chance for the keeper to get anything on it and Spurs were level in the 21st minute. It was a calm, considered phase of passing that stretched SCBC and left them exposed at the far post, with Ryan getting his first league goal for Spurs.
Sessegnon was soon into the action again, but in not so positive a way this time, as his late challenge on Walker-Peters brought the first booking of the season. Apart from a shot from Adam Armstrong from the edge of the area that went off for a goal kick wide of the penalty area, there was little to concern Spurs at the back, as they had been set-up to use their full backs tog et forward, but they weren’t doing that, as they had enough to do going backwards. Dier boomed a diagonal forward pass into the feet of Son and he made a dart into the box from the left and forced Bazunu to scramble the ball around his near post to hand Spurs another corner. The team may have been working on set-pieces, but this was an odd corner from which we scored the goal that put us ahead. The initial ball in was cleared, but when it came back out to Son on the left, his hard low ball in was met by a ducking Eric Dier at the near post and glanced across the keeper and inside the far post to turn the score-line around in Tottenham’s favour.
The atmosphere changed with chants of “I Love Eric Dier” ringing around the stadium, as the South Coast fans who had sung “Is This The Library ?” earlier suddenly seemed to be observing the “Silence please” signs more usually associated with the home of the Woolwich side. SCBC tried an attack, with Aribo putting a ball to Ward-Prowse on the edge of the area, but he left it for Armstrong, but Romero had read it well and moved in to take possession of the ball. Spurs were more effective when they moved forward and it was Ben Davies who popped up 20 yards out after Son had left Djenepo for dead on the right, run across the box and played the ball to him, giving him the chance to drive a low effort at goal across the keeper, which was pushed wide and put out by Salisu for a corner.
Just before the end of the first 45 minutes, Hojbjerg played a delicate ball into the left corner of the box and Son took it down, came inside leaving Romeu on the floor and moved past Bendarek as he looked for the opportunity to shoot, but ended up firing high into the North Stand with Kane and Kulusevski looking for the pass that might have given them the better sight at goal. Even a lay back to Hojbjerg might have seen the Dane have a straight shot at goal, but it wasn’t the last opportunity of the half, as a late corner was met by Romero’s head, but he couldn’t get over it and it went over the bar.
Half-time brought some respite for SCBC, but there was little relief from the heat, as the sun beat down on the East Stand. Ledley King became the third former Spurs player to be interviewed after David Howells and Darren Anderton in the new format of pre-match and in half-time entertainment. But the real entertainment got going 42 seconds into the second half. A pass down the left from Davies to Son was touched past the defensive line for Sessegnon, who slid a right foot shot across the keeper and into the opposite bottom corner of the net. The joy was short-lived as the lineman’s flag was raised for offside, as Ryan had gone just a little too early.
It was all Spurs as Saints were pushed back and Spurs were roared on as the next chance was presented to Emerson Royal at the back post by Davies’ cross, but he wasn’t able to get up high enough either to loop it over the keeper or across to Kane, instead floating it over the bar and onto the roof of the net. Kulusevski bent an effort wide after a period of pressure, before Bazunu took Walker-Peters out as he claimed a high ball into the box. The former Spurs defender was taking a bit of a battering and also being given the run-around by Sessegnon, but when he recovered and was led off, he responded to the applause from the Tottenham supporters with a little clap back to the East Stand.
As the game ticked over the hour mark, Tottenham extended their lead and the goal came about in an odd way. Royal broke up a move on the edge of the Spurs box and took the ball on after it came off Kane leaving Spurs four on two against the SCBC defence. He passed to Hojbjerg, who laid it off left to Son and with Hojbjerg wanting the return around the penalty spot, Sonny instead fed it outside Walker-Peters for Royal, who had continued his run across the box. Now on the left, he played a low ball into the goalmouth to nobody in particular, but having taken the goalkeeper at the near post out of the game, the only player where the ball ended up was Mohammed Salisu. With no pressure on him, he inexplicably turn the ball over the goal-line with his wrong foot, even though there was nobody behind him and he could have let the ball go, but it left Spurs 3-1 ahead. He must dread playing against us, as last season he conceded a penalty and got sent off in the process at St. Mary’s.
Once SCBC had gone behind, there was little threat of them coming back from that, but they only had damage limitation in mind. It didn’t work, as three became four within a couple of minutes. A throw-in was taken on our left, as Son, who had won it was waiting for the ball to be returned to him, unaware that the new multi-ball system had allowed Sessegnon to take it quickly. The ball went across the pitch where Djenepo won a tackle, knocking the ball forward, but again it came back. Dier played a short pass to Bentancur, who turned it into the centre-circle for Hojbjerg to move it a foot and leave Romeu going the wrong way. His pass inside the full back gave Royal space on the right to take a touch moving into the area and pull the ball back to Dejan, just inside him. From 12 yards out to the right of the goal, he controlled the ball in front of him, opened his body and from the right hand corner of the six yard box shaped a left foot shot beyond the reach of Bazunu and into the opposite bottom corner of the net. Kulusevski had been having a fine match and the goal was well deserved. Surprisingly, it was the Swede’s first goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Two minutes after the goal, Romero flew into a tackle on Romeu, with his left foot missing ball and player, but he right swept under the Saints midfielder and it looked really bad. Marriner waved a yellow card and it would have been looked at by VAR, with the only thing saving the Spurs defender being that the leg that fouled Romeu was on the ground and deemed not in danger of injuring an opponent, as he did get a fair bit of the ball. With Ward-Prowse lining up to take the free-kick, it was possibly the only way they would get back into the match, but his free-kick was headed clear and when it came back in, Djenepo put a shot over the bar form their left side from inside the box. It was all happening, as Kulusevski broke on the right wing, bamboozled Salisu and played the ball back from the dead-ball line to Heung-Min Son. The Korean’s shot was goal-bound but came off a SCBC defender for a corner, but the Tottenham players all wanted a penalty for handball. On replay, the shot had been swiped wide by substitute Jack Stephens’ arm, but it was decided that he was unaware of where the ball was as his arm was behind his back and was being put down to stop his fall. However, the contention was that his arm only went onto the ground after he had knocked the ball away.
Romeu was whingeing about not getting fouls (and he should know what a foul looks like), while Kulusevski made Djenepo look daft by leaving him behind with an extravagant step-over. Hassenhutl was pacing around his technical area, but could not come up with a solution to his team’s problems, despite looking like a doctor from the 1920s in his waistcoat. Perisic had taken over from Sessegnon as the tormentor of Walker-Peters, getting in a good cross to the far post, where Kane headed it back into the middle of the box and Royal’s overhead kick ended up going wide and was cleared. Aribo had the first shot on target of the second half for the visitors in the 74th minute, getting space and moving into the left side of the box, but he took it a bit too wide and narrowed his angle, allowing Hugo to dive left to keep his low effort out, with Perisic on hand to hack the loose ball away, although there were no green shirts in the vicinity.
Marriner displayed a poor application of the laws of the game, as he decided to book Bentancur for pulling Lavia back 35 yards from goal, while he had allowed Romeu to escape the same offence without a card and let go a bad tackle on Rodrigo from behind. Perraud’s first involvement after coming on was to take out Royal off the ball, with not even a free-kick given and Djenepo’s comical dive near the Spurs penalty area was also unworthy of a yellow card apparently. The match official’s interpretation of how fouls inside and outside the box differed was original and basically, he was just there to enjoy an afternoon in the sun to top up his tan.
The game took on the look of a pre-season friendly, with SCBC not making much effort to score and Spurs happy to knock the ball about until they could open the visitors up again. With eight minutes left Kane was played through the middle and he set up Son to his left, but the ball wasn’t quite far enough in front of him and he couldn’t get his shot as it was under his feet, allowing the keeper to get comfortably behind it. Three minutes later, a cross from the right gave Perraud a volleying opportunity at the far post and although he met it with his laces, he couldn’t keep it down and the ball few a couple of feet too high. The pre-season feel continued, with the new five subs rule bringing a number if changes, including debuts for Clement Lenglet and Yves Bissouma, who marked his first start by being given a yellow card within seconds of his entrance onto the pitch, when he slid into a challenge on Lavia, who had laid the ball off. ON first sight at the ground and on video replays, he may have been unlucky as he was caught on the shin by Lavia, who had gone in studs up.
When Son was dragged down by Stephens ten yards outside the Spurs box when a SCBC move broke down, Marriner firstly failed to apply the laws even-handedly by not booking him and then when Sonny played it quickly to Lenglet on the left wing in acres of space, the ref brought it back because the ball was moving. Fair enough, the ball has to be still when a free-kick is taken, but Spurs failed to get any advantage from it and then Marriner made a big show of how it should have been taken. As one of the more experienced referees in the top flight, I would expect a consistent performance and one that went un-noticed.
Bissouma nicked the ball away from a Saints player diverting it to Kane, ten yards inside his own half and he tried to beat the keeper form there, but slipped and suffered cramp in an attempt that dribbled along the floor to Bazunu, with Son and Bissouma free to his left. The keeper had been well out of his goal, but was untroubled by Harry’s effort. Walker-Peters made way two minutes into added time, getting a warm ovation as he made his way to the bench from behind the goal that Spurs were defending. Not that there was too much of that to do. When the ball dropped to Ward-Prowse outside the box, thoughts of last season came to mind, but he tried to find Redmond with a dinked pass instead of shooting and it gently drifted to Hugo’s dive to his left. When players have a chance to shoot, they should take it and with the last kick of the match, Bissouma fired an effort in from 25 yards that went a yard wide with Bazunu scrambling across his goal.
With the early scare of conceding a goal, it might have been a wake-up call to kick start Tottenham’s season. With an electrifying performance by Kulusevski, a calm, assured display by Bentancur and Royal and Sessegnon ripping up the wings, Spurs won this game at a canter in the end and without Son and Kane scoring. I overheard people on the train going home saying that the two main men for Spurs weren’t at it today, but Kane’s strength on the ball and Son’s running off it kept the SCBC defenders not knowing what was going to happen next. And it allowed other players the space to play. And with a 4-1 win without Son and Kane scoring, it must be a good sign that the team are not reliant on them for the goals to take Tottenham forward.
The win was impressive not only in the score-line, but in the way the players have adapted to Conte’s style with the new players coming on and fitting in straight away. The fitness instilled in the players in pre-season gave them the impetus to close the Saints down, to be quick to get into position, both in attacking and defensive situations and to have the aggression to dominate the opposition, who admittedly looked like they are in for a long season, relying mainly on Ward-Prowse to pull them through.
It’s only one game in and Spurs are top of the fledgling league table, but next week’s game at Chelsea will be a tougher test and how Spurs shape up in that one might tell us more about the way things might go over the coming months.
|Crystal Palace||0||Woolwich Wanderers||2|
|Leeds United||2||Wolverhampton Wanderers||1|
|AFC Bournemouth||2||Aston Villa||0|
|Newcash United||2||Nottingham Forest||0|
|Mancashter United||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|West Ham United London||0||Mancashter City||2|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|6||Brighton & Hove Albion||1||1||0||0||2||1||3||+1|
|19||West Ham United London||1||0||0||1||0||2||0||-2|
|20||South Coast Big Club||1||0||0||1||1||4||0||-3|