Tottenham Hotspur opened their new stadium in style as their Academy team beat Southampton 3-1 in an Under-18 Premier League fixture.
In the first of two test events ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’s inaugural Premier League match, against Crystal Palace on April 3, Spurs’ Under-18s got two early goals before a crowd of almost 29,000.
J’Neil Bennett had the honour of being the first player to score in the stadium, before Harvey White doubled the lead from the penalty spot.
At half-time, an emotional Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino addressed the crowd to express his pride at the stadium, which, he says, will have a “massive impact on the team”.
“I got the same feeling on the last day when we left White Hart Lane,” Pochettino said. “We were crying.
“The first day here, at the new stadium, I feel the same emotion.
“We are nearly crying because our dream became true and we have to say thank you, first of all, to [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy because in 2001, when he started to believe in that dream.”
After the break Southampton pulled a goal back through Kornelius Hansen, but Dilan Markanday’s strike ensured Spurs inaugurated the stadium with a victory that closed the gap on Arsenal at the top of the South Group to just one point with a match in hand.