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Spurs v Bournemouth, 26.12.18

(3pm – at Wembley)

Eriksen, 16
Son, 23, 70
Lucas Moura, 35
Kane, 61

Attendance:- 45,154

Referee:- Chris Kavanagh
Assistants:- Daniel Cook, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official:- Gavin Ward

Spurs (4-3-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker-Peters, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose; Eriksen (sub Davies, 84), Sissoko, Winks; Lucas Moura, Kane (sub Skipp, 77), Son (sub Llorente, 88)

Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Trippier, Sanchez; Lamela

Booked:- Son (foul on King), Winks (foul on Mousset)

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1):- Begovic; Francis (Capt.) (sub Rico, 45+3), S. Cook, Ake, Daniels; Stanislas, Lerma; Brooks (sub King, 74), Surman, Fraser; Wilson (sub Mousset, 67)

Subs not used:- Boruc; Mings; Ibe; Defoe

Booked:- Lerma (foul on Lucas Moura)

More goals for Christmas – and second place!

Wembley Stadium - 26.12.18

It’s been quite a sensational few days for Spurs either side of the Christmas festivities! We have scored 11 goals in two games, and won both. Moneybags Manchester City have lost their two games and Spurs have overtaken them taking second place to become fully involved in the title race. Liverpool remain six points ahead of us, but their two games (at home to Arsenal and away to City) should give Spurs a chance to draw closer to the Merseyside team too. It has been a very happy Christmas. It could be an even happier new year. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and said:-

"It is important to manage confidence in the right way, victory make us believe. Of course, think step-by-step and be ready to arrive at the next game in the best condition.

"We are only halfway to end of the season, we need to replicate the same second-half of the season. It is up to us, if we show the same quality and same belief and behave in the same way, then maybe at end of season I'll talk in a way that maybe we fight for big things."

Son Heung-min has scored twice in each of our last two games; Juan Foyth slotted into the defence, as did Kyle Walker-Peters, who is running close for the man of the match vote with no less than three assists. Kyle is the youngest player in the Premier League to achieve such a feat for 15 years. Despite the rotation and absence of Dele Alli (hopefully back on Saturday), Spurs fielded a stronger team than I anticipated with Toby Alderweireld playing his seventh consecutive game since missing the Arsenal league game at the beginning of the month. Moussa Sissoko was fit to play, and maintained his form. My view of the formation was that Eriksen once again joined Sissoko and Winks behind a front three which today included Lucas Moura.

One interesting stat of the day is that the Wembley attendance was capped and recorded at 45,154, and was beaten by League One Sunderland, who had over 46,000 for their game against Bradford.

There was less than a full contingent of Bournemouth fans at Wembley, but in proportion to their capacity, theirs' was a good attendance, especially with there being no public transport (apart from the London tube and buses) available.

The “Cherries” had the brighter start with the Spurs defence under early pressure from Wilson. It was Sissoko who ultimately completed the defence and started a move forward. After five minutes, Juan Foyth found Kane near the half-way line and Harry sent a long ball for Danny Rose to make a goalward run down the left, but the ball ran out of play. There was danger for Spurs after 12 minutes when Francis crossed from the right and Brooks’ header was half blocked by his own player before Lloris grabbed hold of the ball. Stanislas found Wilson who tried to chip Lloris, but the Spurs keeper was wise to the attempt and held the shot.

Having come through that early Bournemouth activity, Spurs scored a slightly fortuitous first goal, and then truly took control of the game. There was nothing lucky about the build-up though, started by Lucas Moura breaking up a Bournemouth attack, passing to Sissoko who drove forward in typical fashion. The move continued through Kane to Walker-Peters on the right, whose ball inside was collected by Eriksen. Eriksen scored his third goal in four games with a shot that took a cruel deflection off Lerma and beat Begovic inside his left post. Walker-Peters had a chance at goal soon after the restart, chasing Kane’s ball, but not quite getting the connection needed to beat Begovic.

Spurs went 2-0 up in the 23rd minute. Sissoko deserves a mention again for a strong defensive challenge, which won applause, which started a Spurs move. Walker-Peters was the assistant again as he got away down the right, passing inside to Son on the edge of the area. Son hit a lovely low right footed shot which hit the net just inside Begovic’s left-hand post again. Spurs were now happy to dominate possession and wait for further moments, which did arrive. It was 3-0 in 35 minutes with Kyle Walker-Peters crossing again and this time Lucas Moura converting with a right footed shot.

Lloris did have a save to make before the break after Wilson headed Fraser’s cross but it was straight at the Spurs guardian. There was some delay as Francis was down and required lengthy treatment before being stretchered off, replaced by Rico. Lerma was booked for a foul on Lucas Moura and Lloris had another save to make from Charlie Daniels’ header. This time Hugo dived low to his right to hold the ball.

Bournemouth had an early attack and as Wilson went down in the box under Foyth’s challenge, the visitors cried for a penalty, without success. Spurs seemed to be playing within themselves, but had plenty of possession. Bournemouth’s Stanislas had the ball in the net after 53 minutes, but the offside flag was already up. After a foul on Lucas Moura, both Eriksen and Kane (with Son nearby) shaped up to take the kick, and this one was taken by Harry Kane, but hit straight at the keeper.

Harry did have his 12th Premier League goal of the season (number 120 in the league) in the 61st minute, and it was a goodie too, following a move which started with Kane taking on an Eriksen pass and ended with a delightful chipped pass from Eriksen for Kane to score past Begovic from the left of his goal with a left-footed shot.

Eddie Howe replaced Wilson with Mousset, but perhaps this was with a view to save Wilson for Bournemouth’s next big game, which will be at Old Trafford on Sunday. Son had a cross/shot from the left, but this was held by Begovic in front of his right post. It was 5-0 with 20 minutes to go, and Spurs scored after several close range attempts. Firstly Kane had a go on the left of goal, saw the ball came back then passed it back to Danny Rose. Rose teed up Lucas Moura, whose effort was also saved, before Son finally delivered the coup de grace. “Sonny” now has 7 Premier League goals to his name, and is going to be missed after the Manchester United game when he will join South Korea for international duties.

It was time to “manage the game” as they say. Harry Kane was replaced by Oliver Skipp after 77 minutes, and Eriksen went off for Ben Davies a little later. When that happened, Spurs reverted to a back three of Foyth, Alderweireld and Davies, with Walker-Peters and Rose as wing-backs. Charlie Daniels had a shot go wide after 80 minutes, and Stanislas fired wide in added time, but the Christmas joy belonged to Tottenham, especially when City’s defeat at Leicester was confirmed.

I fancy that Wolves will offer sterner opposition on Saturday, but in truth, Spurs have only potential banana skins in their way before facing the currently rejuvenated Manchester United side on 13th January. With that League Cup semi-final against Chelsea on the horizon there are exciting times ahead!

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