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Bournemouth v Spurs, 29.10.22

Many thanks to Declan Mulcahy for his excellent and comprehensive report.

Saturday 29 October 2022, 3:00pm
Premier League
Bournemouth (1) 2 Tottenham Hotspur (0) 3

Bournemouth scorer:-
Moore 22, 49

Spurs scorers:-
Sessegnon, 57
Davies, 73
Bentancur, 90+2

Bournemouth (3-5-1-1): Gary O’Neil
1 M Travers; 15 A Smith (c), 6 C Mepham, 25 M Senesi; 16 M Tavernier (2 R Fredericks 78), 4 L Cook, 8 J Lerma, 29 P Billing (32 J Anthony 63), 33 J Zemura; 9 D Solanke (3 J Stephens 89); 21K Moore.

Subs not used: 45 C Plain, 10 R Christie, 14 J Rothwell, 19 J Stanislas, 22 B Pearson, 18 J Lowe

Booked: Cook (82 foul on Lucas Moura)

Tottenham Hotspur (3-5-2):
1 H Lloris (c): 6 D Sanchez (15 E Dier 57), 34 C Lenglet, 33 B Davies; 12 Emerson Royal (14 P Perisic 63), 4 O Skipp (27 Lucas Moura 45), 38 Y Bissouma (30 R Bentancur 58), 5 P-E Hojbjerg, 19 R Sessegnon (11 B Gil 84); 10 H Kane, 7 H-M Son.

Subs not used: 20 F Forster, 2 M Doherty, 24 D Spence, 25 J Tanganga

Booked: Sessegnon (61 foul on Tavernier), Kane (69 dissent)

Vitality Stadium, Attendance: 10,430

Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear
VAR: Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger.

Spurs tricked then treat in Halloween thriller

Bournemouth v Spurs, 29.10.22

Thanks to Andy Park for the picture - taken after our winning goal

Halloween came two days early for Spurs supporters. An ineffective first half performance resulted in Spurs going in at half time 1-0 down - the same as on Wednesday against Sporting. They then compounded the situation by conceding another goal early in the second half. Unlike Wednesday where they could only create a single goal to draw the match, this time they rose to the occasion scoring three goals in an exciting win. Once again Rodrigo Bentancur scored a vital goal.

Both teams had lost their last two Premier League matches and needed a win to restore their confidence. Each team had been involved in a VAR controversy in their last match. Spurs had suffered the frustration of Harry Kane having appeared to score a last-minute winner against Sporting Lisbon. However the goal was disallowed for offside after VAR had taken about four minutes to reach the decision. Bournemouth had lost away to West Ham. Bournemouth felt that the first Hammers’ goal should have been disallowed for a handball in the build-up to the goal but VAR ruled that the handball did not affect the goal.

Spurs made six changes from the draw against Sporting Lisbon. Eric Dier, Rodrigo Bentancur, Matt Doherty, Ivan Perisic and Lucas Moura were among the substitutes. Cristian Romero was not included in the squad. Their replacements were Davinson Sanchez, Clement Lenglet, Emerson Royal, Yves Bissouma, Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon.

Bournemouth made three changes from the defeat at West Ham. Goalkeeper Mark Travers replaced the injured Neto, while Kieffer Moore and Jordan Zemura came in for Ryan Christie and Ryan Fredericks.

Bournemouth started on the front foot. In the second minute following a Cook corner, Moore headed narrowly over. It was an omen of things to come. Then Tavernier made a run down the right and cut in but Lloris saved his shot.

Spurs then had an extended period of possession in the Bournemouth half. However they couldn’t create any clear-cut chances and they didn’t even have a shot on target.

Suddenly, against the run of play, Bournemouth launched a counter-attack. Solanke played a reverse pass to Tavernier. He made a good run down the right side before crossing the ball. Moore on the left of the box collected the ball and scored with a shot to the far corner. But where were the Spurs defenders? He was totally unmarked and had lots of time to place his shot.

A couple of minutes later Moore could have added to his tally but his effort bounced off Sanchez. Then Cook stole the ball from Davies but couldn’t create an opening. Tavernier had a good opportunity but Lloris advanced to the edge of his box and cleared the ball with his body.

Spurs' best effort of the first half came when Son, on the right, sent a dangerous cross towards the far post. Senesi, in a crowded box, was first to the ball. His attempted headed clearance hit the post before going out for a corner.

Emerson Royal found himself in space but his swivelled shot was too high. With the final kick of the first half Son’s effort towards the left post was saved by Travers and was Spurs' only effort on target in the first half.

The opening half was another ineffective performance by Spurs. An extended period of possession in the opponents’ half led to absolutely nothing and then an astonishing defensive lapse handed Bournemouth the lead. It was the fourth game in a row and the fifth out of six matches in which Spurs had conceded the opening goal.

Conte responded at half time by replacing Oliver Skipp with Lucas Moura. Initially Spurs appeared to be energised and Davies had shot just wide of the left post.

Then Bournemouth counter-attacked. Former Spurs player Adam Smith, who was captaining the side, produced a fine cross towards the far post. Moore was lurking but had both Sanchez and Emerson within reach of him. However he managed to evade both and rise high enough to head the ball home.

All credit to Moore for taking both of his opportunities. He is an old-fashioned target man, who isn’t a regular starter for Bournemouth. In the space of 27 minutes he managed to triple his goal tally for the season having scored on the opening day of the season against Aston Villa. Both of his goals resulted from inept defending by Spurs but he took his opportunities when they came.

Conte responded immediately with three substitutes - Dier, Bentancur and Perisic by the touchline and ready to come on, which would have made for four substitutions in less than ten minutes. There wasn’t a break in play and a game-changing event occurred.

Hojbjerg in the right channel in his own half played a defence-splitting pass to Sessegnon on the left. The latter had work to do but made his way into the box and unleashed a diagonal shot into the far corner of the goal.

Sessegnon had been one of three players Conte intended to replace. His goal earned him a reprieve and Perisic didn’t come on. However Dier and Bentancur replaced Sanchez and Bissouma. Sanchez hasn’t been effective of late and it wouldn’t be surprising if his playing time is restricted in the future. Dier became the 8th Spurs player to make 250 Premier League appearances.

Sessegnon was booked for a deliberate foul on Tavernier to prevent a Bournemouth break. Kane was fouled and then booked presumably for dissent. It was his fourth booking in the Premier League this season and he needs to be more careful.

Spurs dominated the final 20 minutes of the game which started with a series of corners. From one of these from Perisic on the right Davies equalised with a header at the far corner. It was Spurs 13th corner. Given that Spurs had scored the most Premier League goals from corners this season – six before today - and Bournemouth had conceded seven goals from set pieces (six from corners), 13 corners was a long wait for a much-needed goal.

Dier created an opportunity from the right but Travers saved Son’s shot. Lucas Moura earned a free kick in the D. Despite the good opportunity Spurs' usual failings in this area continued. After taking quite some time to set up the shot Son blasted it into the wall. Hojbjerg then had an effort from the left which was narrowly over the bar.

Gil replaced Sessegnon. After the latter had been booked he committed another foul with a tackle from behind and Conte probably wanted to avoid a possible red card for a second booking.

The game entered time added on. Spurs were awarded yet another corner on the left (the 19th!). Son crossed the ball into the box. A defender deflected it onto the ground where it fell to Bentancur who blasted it high into the net. It was his second vital goal in four days which is outstanding for a player whose main role is to create chances rather than score.

Bournemouth were broken and Spurs saw out the remaining minutes without too much pressure to return to winning ways.

This was an excellent result on a day of surprise results. Chelsea were badly beaten 4-1 ironically by Brighton & Hove Albion - the team that Graham Potter left to become the Chelsea manager. Liverpool unexpectedly lost at home to struggling Leeds United.

However frustrations remain. Spurs have both scored and conceded five goals in the last seven days. Three of those goals conceded, the two against Newcastle and the second against Bournemouth came from preventable defensive errors. The other two resulted from an opponent in acres of space not being closed down by a Spurs player. In effect Spurs have conceded five easy goals. The five goals which Spurs have scored have been much harder earned in crowded penalty areas without obvious defensive errors by the opposing team. The priority is surely to be defensively more sound.

Spurs now move on to a critical Champions League match on Tuesday. They must win or draw to progress. It is to be hoped that today’s heroic efforts won’t leave the team drained on Tuesday. Another concerning factor is that Antonio Conte is banned not only from the touchline but also from the dressing room so it will be a challenge for him to implement his wishes particularly if quick changes are needed. Spurs can qualify on Tuesday but it won’t be easy. A performance throughout the match in Marseille like the final 30 minutes tonight would help!

Conte said after the match "My players showed great character and great desire and didn't accept defeat. In the end we deserved to win because we created chances."

Interim Bournemouth manager Gary O'Neil observed that "We've had some tough games, with this being the toughest. There is a gulf between us [and Spurs] and we did everything we could to close that gap. We made it competitive and Spurs had to dig very deep."

Spurs came back to win a Premier League game in which they had trailed by two goals for the first time since May 2018 winning at home 5-4 to Leicester City, and for the first time in an away game since November 2010 in a 3-2 victory against Arsenal.

Spurs have conceded the opening goal in each of their last three Premier League games; their longest such run since their final three matches in the competition under Nuno Espírito Santo exactly a year ago in October 2021.

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