Bournemouth match report
But Pochettino is a clever sort and he soon found a way to ask questions of Bournemouth’s back line, while Heung-min Son is currently in a purple patch in front of goal.
The Cherries did their best to match Spurs for endeavour and spirit. They attacked from the start and Spurs found it difficult to cope with the pace of Lys Mousset in particular.
Mousset has not been used much by Bournemouth but he wanted to make his mark and when Lewis Cook sent him on a forward run, it should have been the opening goal, but by squaring the ball to Junior Stanislas the bar intervened. The striker did make amends when he fired home moments later.
It was the injury to Harry Kane that changed the game. Erik Lamela replaced him and with Son not getting any joy against Simon Francis on the left, he played more through the middle, and Dele Alli drew the north Londoners level.
Bournemouth started to get stretched and much of the good work for Spurs was coming down their right with Serge Aurier, who had Charlie Daniels on a plate every time he pushed over the half-way line. Eddie Howe was about to bring Harry Arter on when Son scored Spurs’ second.
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From having thoughts about containing Spurs, Howe had to switch things around again to put Ibe and King on to try and chase the game. Spurs had taken the game away from Bournemouth by clever interplay between Lamela, Son an Alli, while Christian Eriksen became far more influential in the middle as the game went on.
Still, Bournemouth were in the game right up until the last 10 minutes when they went all out to try and get an equaliser. It just went wrong when they should have put the ball in the box. Instead, Son marched away to get a third and the game was over. Aurier’s final goal just made it a dream result for Spurs even if Kane’s injury had put a spoiler on their day.
The winning margin was bigger than the difference between the teams. Bournemouth played well, but just couldn’t cope with Spurs’ power in front of goal.
Simon Francis responds to critics
The Bournemouth defender who should come out with most praise from the match is captain Simon Francis. I don’t think he missed a tackle all game and he was determined to get hold of Son and keep him from getting crosses in when Son was on the left. He also did really well in trying to support the attacks and in the second half he hit a very powerful shot that Hugo Lloris had to stretch for to keep out.
Francis has not scored in the Premier League, but if he plays like this more often he’ll get far less flak from those who have been saying he is off the pace and unable to play like he used to. This was the Francis of old and it had been missing all season until now.
Hit and miss Stanislas
Stanislas does not know how he is going to finish when the ball rolls to him. Sometimes he looks sublime in picking out corners of the net, and he never seems to blink when he has to pass the keeper. He can switch to goal mode and he hits his shots so quickly that keepers can’t react in time.
But this great quality also scuppers him on occasion, as it did in this game. He was clean through when Mousset passed to him in the first three minutes, and while Lloris came out, Stanislas had most of the goal to aim at and still managed to pick out the bar, much to his and our frustration!
Begovic has to get a grip
Asmir Begovic has started to slip up a bit too often. He had the problem of a wet ball and a slippery surface in Sunday’s game but we did not see Lloris have as much difficulty in catching the ball cleanly.
There were two or three occasions when Begovic needed two attempts at holding on to the ball and the final Spurs’ goal was another incident when he misjudged the flight of the ball and presented Aurier with a great chance to make the winning margin even greater.
Bournemouth need a goalkeeper that comes for crosses but, at the moment, Begovic is simply dropping more than he is catching and it should be a concern to Eddie Howe.