Tottenham fought back to beat Southampton 4-1 and get their 2022-23 campaign off to a winning start, with Dejan Kulusevski proving key.
Antonio Conte elected not to hand starts to his new signings, five of which were on the bench while Richarlison served a one-match suspension, but the old guard proved to be fully capable on Saturday.
James Ward-Prowse volleyed Southampton into an early lead but Spurs hit back before half-time – Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier both heading home to turn the tide.
Further gloss was added in the second half, with Mohammed Salisu turning the ball into his own net before Kulusevski capped off a fine individual display with a goal as Spurs eased their way to all three points.
9 - Dejan Kulusevski has assisted nine goals in the Premier League since making his debut in February earlier this year, the most of any player, while across Europe's big five leagues his figure is bettered only by Ousmane Dembélé (11). Laser. pic.twitter.com/l2sDN7Tbct— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 6, 2022
Southampton came flying out the blocks and took the lead with in the 12th minute, as Moussa Djenepo clipped a byline cross to Ward-Prowse, who finished in style.
Spurs were soon level, though, with Sessegnon on hand at the far post to head in Kulusevski's inviting cross.
The hosts' dominance paid dividends with a second 10 minutes later – Son Heung-min the provider as his corner was headed in by Dier.
With Spurs in full flow, Ben Davies tested Gavin Bazunu from distance and Son drilled over after dancing through Southampton's defence.
Any threat of a Southampton comeback was quelled in the second half, with Salisu diverting Emerson Royal's cross into his own net.
Having teed up Spurs's equaliser and generally proving a menace throughout, Kulusevski grabbed a deserved goal of his own just after the hour, cutting inside and sweeping home a left-footed shot to wrap up a statement victory for Conte.
What does it mean? Spurs show strength
Investing heavily in the transfer window, Spurs were able to sweep aside Southampton without relying on their new additions and a dominant play displayed the strength in depth that Conte has at his disposal.
While Kulusevski starred, Son also helped pulled the strings in the final third, creating four chances and contributing seven crosses – both of which were more than any other player.
Kulu the key man
A first-half assist was Kulusevski's ninth since making his debut for Spurs in February, more than anyone else in the Premier League and only behind Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele (11) across Europe's top-five leagues in that time.
Adding his own name to the scoresheet in the second half, despite having a personal expected goals (xG) of just 0.08, the Sweden international's showing suggests he can compete amongst the best across the continent, and Spurs new boy Richarlison might be hard pushed to displace him when he returns to the fold.
Kane's slow start
Spurs had three separate scorers and as many different players setting up a goal but Harry Kane's name was not among them, with the England captain overshadowed by those around him.
Slow starts are nothing new for the striker, however, with Kane finding the net just once in nine opening day appearances in the Premier League.
Tottenham travel across London to challenge Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next Sunday, while Southampton host Leeds United a day earlier.