SUNDAY 11TH MARCH, 2018
BOURNEMOUTH 1(1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(1)
Son, 62, 87
Aurier, 90 (+1)
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Simon Beck
Fourth official:- Graham Scott
Bournemouth (4-4-2):- Begovic; Francis (Capt.), S. Cook, Ake, Daniels (sub Ibe, 67); Smith, Gosling, L. Cook, Stanislas (sub Defoe, 76); Mousset (sub King, 67), Wilson
Subs not used:- Boruc; Surman, Arter, Fraser
Booked:- Gosling (foul on Rose)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose (sub Trippier, 81); Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Dele (sub Sissoko, 84), Son; Kane (sub Lamela, 34)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Dier, Lucas Moura; Llorente
Booked:- Rose (foul on Wilson)
Nice one Sonny! Nice one Son!
It was the first rendition I can recall of “Nice one Sonny! Nice one Son! Nice one Sonny! Let’s have another one!” Indeed Son Heung-min obliged after the song was aired after his first goal with a second and Spurs’ third in the 87th minute to secure the win, and to enable Spurs to climb above Liverpool to third place, maintaining that five point lead over Chelsea. The headlines following this game are about Harry Kane’s enforced first half departure after he twisted his ankle in collision with Bournemouth goalkeeper when “scoring” an offside goal. We have to wait and see what the exact injury is to Harry and the implications for club and country, but he did walk off, and I think he might be back after the International break.
The fact is that Spurs adjusted well after Kane’s departure with Lamela and not Llorente replacing him, and Spurs matching Bournemouth’s attacking formation with Lamela, Son and Dele up front and Son leading the line. Son’s goals were his sixth and seventh in the last four games; his eleventh and twelfth in the Premier League and his seventeenth and eighteenth for the club this season.
When we first visited this stadium for Premier League Football in October 2015, we went behind to an early home goal, before going on to a Kane-inspired 5-1 victory. Once again we went behind today and it could have been more than the one goal. After only two minutes the “Cherries” raced forward and 22 year old Lys Mousset, playing in tandem with Callum Wilson, was the provider of a ball to one-time West Ham and Burnley player Junior Stanislas, whose shot rebounded off the Spurs bar with Lloris beaten. It wasn’t long though before the home side did have the lead and this time the provider was a former Spurs player- Adam Smith – today deployed on the right side of midfield. Smith passed his former colleague Danny Rose with (too much) ease and crossed deep where Stanislas picked his spot to score low.
Bournemouth had come out of the blocks with all guns blazing so to speak, and the Spurs team were looking mentally and physically shot after the midweek Champions League exit. Yet Aurier, Rose and Wanyama had not played in that game. Eric Dier was presumably fit to play, but remained on the bench today. All three of the Spurs changes lacked sharpness in my view, with Danny Rose a shadow of his pre-injury self.
Bournemouth were playing Begovic and not Boruc in goal. Begovic is the man who led to Spurs gaining £1 million a few years ago when an arranged move to Spurs fell through and he moved from Portsmouth to Stoke. Harry Redknapp (once of Portsmouth of course) was the Spurs manager then and it was Redknapp’s record of 144 games in charge of Spurs in the Premier League era which was equalled by Mauricio Pochettino today.
Begovic looked a little shaky at times, needing two attempts to hold Aurier’s cross after 12 minutes. Two minutes later referee Mike Dean seemed to invent a foul against Mousa Dembele and gave Bournemouth a free kick, taken by Stanislas and blocked by the Spurs wall. I’ll admit here that some of Dembele’s work goes un-noticed by me, but today I recall at least three or four simply masterful touches in midfield with that ball sticking to his feet through and around challenges.
That Harry Kane “goal” came after 28 minutes from an Eriksen pass, which Harry prodded home, but then got entangled with the goalkeeper. Harry needed treatment but did walk off, before a quick touchline conference led to him disappearing down the tunnel, as Spurs played with 10 men for a few minutes. During this period Dele tried to latch onto an Aurier cross, but miscued and the ball was cleared. Lamela came on but the next piece of action saw Lloris holding a shot by Mousset taken from 25 yards. Spurs were soon level though as Son pushed the ball out to Aurier whose cross was met beautifully by Dele towards the back post with a first time finish for his first goal since January and only his sixth of the season. (He scored 18 last season)
Danny Rose had received instructions from the sidelines and was busy passing those on to relevant players, such as Eriksen who fell back. It looked to me as if Spurs became more fluid with Wanyama falling back more to assist Sanchez and Vertonghen whilst Rose and Aurier sought to get forward. Adam Smith had a shot go wide and before half-time after Son’s pass goalkeeper Begovic again needed two touches to save Eriksen’s shot.
Spurs kicked off the second half, but of course worked the ball backwards, and even contrived to lose possession. Bournemouth skipper Simon Francis hit a rasping shot which Lloris was happy to save at the expense of a corner. After 49 minutes Eriksen swung in a ball from the right. Again Dele tried to connect but the ball came out to Son, who fed Rose. Rose’s effort was blocked. Spurs were dominating now, with more excellent play in his own half by Dembele and a run by Dele leading to another Rose cross, which went too deep. Erik Lamela and Dele led another attack on the left passing inside to Eriksen whose shot was parried with Aurier skying the rebound. Bournemouth countered but the final shot by Gosling was weak and wide. Gosling was booked soon after for a foul on Rose.
Spurs took the lead in the 62nd minute. Eriksen started the move which continued through Rose and Dele on the left. Dele crossed and at the back post Son tried to hook the ball home with his left foot, but the ball hit the ground before beating Begovic as it rose high into the net. They all count, and we said “That’ll do!” Two minutes later, Son had another chance. This time Dele was working towards the right but it was Aurier’s final ball which gave Son the chance on the right side of the box. Begovic saved, and a corner resulted. Lloris had another save to make – albeit comfortable – when Stanislas had a shot from outside the area after a cross from the left. Son had another chance from a Dele Alli ball, which was deflected wide. At the other end, Francis hit a shot which was well off target.
Stanislas was replaced by former Spurs hero Jermain Defoe, who got a great welcome from the travelling fans, who chanted “You’re Spurs and you know you are!” Danny Rose was instructed by the Spurs bench to go down for treatment and was replaced by Trippier, with Aurier moving to left back. Bournemouth had the ball in the net and thought they had equalised through Wilson but the whistle had already been blown for a foul on Sanchez. That could have been an equaliser, but Spurs secured the points with three minutes to go. Bournemouth had piled everybody forward for a free kick in the Spurs half, but Spurs defended it and Eriksen picked out Son who was in the clear just inside his own half, so could not be offside. Son raced forward, and Lamela chased to offer support on his right. Son took it on and rounded Begovic before firing home for his second and Spurs’ third goal. He might have had a hat-trick after receiving a good ball from substitute Sissoko, but Begovic saved.
In added time, Sissoko was involved in the build-up again before Trippier crossed from the right and Aurier met the deep cross with a header at the back post to score from a narrow angle.
It’s the FA Cup next week, but that next league game at Stamford Bridge on the weekend of 31st March/1st April is mouth-watering. It’s time to break that hoodoo! After all, Bournemouth have beaten Chelsea twice at their place in the last three seasons.
Finally as I write, the news has come though that 90 year old Ken Dodd has gone to the great comedy stage in the sky. I am a person who travelled miles for his smiles, but I couldn’t help thinking of the graffiti which existed on the wall next to the old White Hart Lane club shop – “Ken Dodd’s Dad’s dog is dead”. I wonder if that has been preserved?
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