SATURDAY 26TH AUGUST, 2023
BOURNEMOUTH 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1)
Referee:- Tim Robinson
Assistants:- Timothy Wood, Mark Scholes
Fourth official:- Geoff Eltringham
VAR:- John Brooks
Assistant VAR:- Darren Cann
Bournemouth (4-2-3-1):- Neto (Capt.); Aarons, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Kerkez; Christie (sub Traore, 60), Rothwell (sub L. Cook, 46); Semenyo (sub Brooks, 73), Billing (sub Moore, 86), Kluivert (sub Anthony, 60); Solanke
Subs not used:- Radu; Mepham, Senesi, Hill
Booked:- Kelly (foul on Richarlison)
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vicario, Pedro Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie (sub Davies, 82); Sarr (sub Perisic, 59), Bissouma (sub Lo Celso, 74); Kulusevski, Maddison (sub Skipp, 73), Son (Capt.); Richarlison (sub Hojbjerg, 60)
Subs not used:- Forster; Sanchez, Emerson Royal; Solomon
Booked:- Bissouma (foul on Semenyo), Richarlison (foul on Zabarnyi), Perisic (foul on Aarons)
Spurs swinging; fans singing in the rain.
Thanks to Cassim Patel for this picture
Ange Postecoglou's Spurs went top of the league (for a couple of hours at least) with a performance that had their fans singing from start to finish. By the end of the game, their anthem was "We've got our Tottenham back". They sang in the sun and in the rain, even cheering the second half claps of thunder which heralded a heavy downpour. This was another entertaining and enterprising Spurs performance, which featured two well-worked goals and a second consecutive clean sheet. The last time Spurs managed two clean sheets in a row was when beating both West Ham and Chelsea at home in February. Both those games also finished 2-0.
Spurs were unchanged from the side which had beaten Manchester United last week. James Maddison had come through the last pre-match training session and won the man of the match award with his first Spurs competitive goal and another dominating creative display. He was ably assisted by Bissouma and Sarr in midfield and the regularly inverting full backs, Pedro Porro and Udogie. Christian Romero and Micky van de Ven are looking a good defensive partnership.
Bournemouth gave a first start to summer signing Justin Kluivert (son of Patrick), who gave an impressive performance for most of the 60 minutes he played.
Bournemouth kicked off and put Spurs under a little pressure early on, partly because Spurs struggled to play out effectively. Once they got their act together, Spurs dominated the play with effective passing from the back, and plenty of short passes as they advanced in wave after wave. The only issue at the end of the first half was the fact Spurs had only scored one goal, as they failed to make the best of all their opportunities.
Maddison found Son with an early pass, but Son's cross from the left of the box did not find a target. Nine minutes into the game, Maddison had a shot deflected out for a corner by Aarons' arm, but no offence was detected. The corner taken from the left fell short of any threatening position.
Billing and Kerkez attacked down the left and won a corner, but that was cleared. Maddison intercepted a poor clearance by Neto and the ball fell to Son who was able to return it to our new number ten. Maddison's shot was blocked and that gave Richarlison a half-chance. His looping header was held beneath the crossbar.
Spurs opened the scoring in the 17th minute. The goal followed good approach play which culminated in a move from right to centre by Pedro Porro, Bissouma and finally Sarr whose perfect through ball was picked up by Maddison who had made a good swift move forward. Maddison scuffed his shot, but placed it well just inside Neto's right post.
Spurs then had some keen defending to do as Bournemouth threatened to respond. Spurs countered this with a good long pass by Maddison which sent "Sonny" away. Son passed inside but Sarr's shot had no strength and ran to the keeper. Richarlison headed on a long clearance by Vicario. Kulusevski took the ball on and won a corner on the right, taken by Maddison. Following this Son hit a shot over from the edge of the box.
Bournemouth were not without threat and after good approach play by Kluivert, Solanke's shot was deflected away from danger. Vicario held a header by Billing after a free kick from the right by Christie. After a great tackle by Romero, just outside the Spurs area, for which Bournemouth wanted a foul, Maddison led the Spurs counter and Richarlison had a great chance to score inside the area, but after one touch to his left, just could not get that final impactive shot on goal.
Richarlison's next chance came from Maddison's free kick near the left corner flag, but the Brazilian striker headed wide from beyond the back post. A good run by Bissouma broke down and that ended with Vicario parrying a shot by Christie away from danger. Porro just failed to get a touch on another excellent ball by Maddison. Maddison's enthusiasm for his new club, and his ability, is a joy to behold.
Towards the end of the five added first half minutes a Kluivert shot was blocked and fell to Billing, but his cross passed safely across the Spurs goal area.
Spurs kicked off the second half and played towards their fans, but they were under the cosh for a little while, during which both Bissouma and Richarlison were booked. Richarlison's booking was as much through his frustration at failing to control a pass as anything.
Semenyo fired over after receiving Billing's ball from his left. Spurs survived that early second-half threat and Postecoglou ultimately used all his subs with Perisic and Hojbjerg coming on for Sarr and the disappointing Richarlison. Perisic played on the left and Son moved inside.
It wasn't long before Spurs consolidated their lead with another excellent team goal. Perisic combined with the advancing Udogie who had an exchange with Son before reaching the bye-line to cut the ball back for Kulusevski who scored with a very finely placed shot across the keeper.
Thanks to Eugene Gasper for this picture
Vicario parried a shot by Anthony after Solanke and Van de Ven had a mid-air collision which caused some concern on the Spurs side. Maddison hit a right-footed shot just wide of the post after receiving from Son. Son had a shot go over the target not long before full time, with Spurs now totally in control. After he was fouled by Zabarnyi, Pedro Porro's free kick was blocked by the wall and his second effort was pulled wide.
There were eight added minutes during which Ben Davies (who had replaced Udogie) fired over after a lay-off by Son. Perisic also fired wide after another good pass by our new captain.
This was a well-deserved win and the fans were thanked at close quarters by the manager and his players. Our next game is at Fulham on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup. Fulham have today prevented Arsenal overtaking us as they gained a draw with ten men on the field.
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