Tuesday 14 August 2018

Perfect Son makes it happy Mother's Day for Tottenham

Bournemouth 1 Tottenham 4

Harry Kane scores against Bournemouth but the goal was subsequently disallowed. The Tottenham striker, however, suffered an ankle injury after a challenge from goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs
Harry Kane scores against Bournemouth but the goal was subsequently disallowed. The Tottenham striker, however, suffered an ankle injury after a challenge from goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Jeremy Wilson

After succumbing to a sudden two-punch Champions League knockout against Juventus on Wednesday night, Tottenham Hotspur climbed off the canvas at the Vitality Stadium to end their most bruising week of the season on a high.

A comfortable, if flattering, scoreline moves Mauricio Pochettino's team above Liverpool into third, even if the focus will now turn to Harry Kane after he hobbled off with a first-half ankle injury.

Tottenham's Son Heung-min rounds Bournemouth's Asmir Begovic to score their third goal. Photo: Reuters/Ian Walton
Tottenham's Son Heung-min rounds Bournemouth's Asmir Begovic to score their third goal. Photo: Reuters/Ian Walton

Spurs were 1-0 down at the time and, while an anxious wait for a more definite prognosis now looms, Pochettino will clearly be greatly encouraged by how Son Heung-min moved into Kane's central striker position and scored twice.

Son now has seven goals in his past four games and, with Dele Alli also stepping up to score a goal and then assist, when Bournemouth had Tottenham pinned against the ropes, it was an impressive and timely recovery. Losing to Juventus after such an impressive Champions League campaign was clearly an enormous disappointment and some sort of hangover here was always likely.

Bournemouth began superbly and could have been 2-0 up after only seven minutes. Lewis Cook's precise pass had released Lys Mousset, who squared for Junior Stanislas, only for his chipped finish to clear goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and cannon against the crossbar. It was a glorious missed chance, but Stanislas immediately made amends.

After an exchange of passes with Simon Francis, Adam Smith crossed for Stanislas, who had drifted into space behind Serge Aurier before drilling a low finish past Lloris.

Tottenham Hotspur's Serge Aurier celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire
Tottenham Hotspur's Serge Aurier celebrates scoring his side's fourth goal of the game. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire

There was then a moment of rich comedy. Jan Vertonghen had become embroiled in a disagreement with a Bournemouth ball-boy over how quickly he returned the ball.

The issue was raised in the technical area and, to general amusement and bemusement, a pitchside official emerged to administer a lengthy telling off to the ball-boy.

Rather more serious was Kane's injury, after he had just drifted into an offside position before finishing Christian Eriksen's cross and then colliding with Asmir Begovic.

Pochettino opted to bring on Eric Lamela rather than Fernando Llorente and instead asked Son to move into the centre. He was vindicated.

Tottenham Hotspur's Serge Aurier scores his side's fourth goal of the game. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire
Tottenham Hotspur's Serge Aurier scores his side's fourth goal of the game. Photo credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Son had dropped deep to release Aurier and, with Begovic hesitating before leaving his line and then not reaching the cross, Alli equalised.

Tottenham had looked jaded but the goal seemed to provide a new impetus and they began to pin Bournemouth back.

Release

Referee Mike Dean waved one convincing penalty appeal away when Charlie Daniels tangled with Son and then Eriksen also forced a good save from Begovic.

The pressure was intensifying and, with Danny Rose releasing Alli down the left, the late run of Son was not picked up. He tried to volley past Begovic and, while fortuitous that the ball should bounce down off his shin and up into the top corner, Tottenham were now in control.

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson in action with Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs
Bournemouth's Callum Wilson in action with Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Bournemouth still maintained a threat and, while Callum Wilson had a goal ruled out for a minor push on Davinson Sanchez, even the introduction of Jermain Defoe did not sufficiently unsettle Spurs.

Indeed, with Bournemouth committing bodies forward, Spurs broke decisively when Eriksen released Son, who finished confidently by taking the ball around Begovic.

The hosts were caught again when Kieran Trippier's cross was only half-punched by Begovic to allow Aurier a rare headed goal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

 

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