Bournemouth 0-0 Spurs
Report from the Vitality Stadium
22 October 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
The spoils were shared for the third game in a row as we battled out a goalless draw with Bournemouth on Saturday lunchtime.
Hugo Lloris followed up on his midweek heroics in the Champions League by pulling off a great close-range stop to prevent ex-Spur Charlie Daniels from firing his side into an early lead, while Erik Lamela hit the woodwork as we sought a breakthrough at the other end.
The game remained fiercely contested as half-time came and went in the south coast sunshine but in truth there was a lack of clear shooting chances for either side in the second 45 minutes.
The hosts, a completely different proposition to the side that lost 5-1 to us on this enclosure almost a year ago to the day, finished with a flurry as Max Gradel was denied by Mousa Dembele on the counter and then substitute Benik Afobe glanced a header just off target.
Ultimately, though, nobody was able to break the deadlock and our unbeaten run in this Premier League season stretched into a ninth game.
Mauricio Pochettino made four changes from our last Premier League outing at West Brom. At the back, Eric Dier - as he did against Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday - stepped in to replace the injured Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose came back in for Ben Davies. Dembele made his second league start of the season, replacing Moussa Sissoko, while in attack Heung-Min Son replaced Vincent Janssen. Kyle Walker - marking his 200th game in a Spurs shirt - and Dembele for Kieran Trippier and Janssen represented the changes made from the European stalemate in midweek.
Save: Lloris stunner keeps it level – 5mins
It wasn’t our best start of the season and after switching off from a short corner, late addition to Bournemouth's side Dan Gosling squared to our former player Daniels, who must have thought he'd scored as he shot with the goal gaping from five yards. Somehow, though, Lloris turned the ball up and onto the crossbar. It was a fine reaction save from our skipper.
Above: Eric Dier challenges Joshua King.
Woodwork: Lamela goes close – 17mins
The home side had enjoyed the better of the early exchanges but we almost grabbed the lead in stunning fashion on 17 minutes. Back-to-back nutmegs from Dele Alli created space for Lamela, who drove forward and bent a shot from distance with his right foot that clipped the joining of post and bar before bouncing behind. It was a marvellous bit of skill from Alli, who hadn’t seen a huge amount of the ball but looked lively when he did. We started to look more relaxed thereafter and Christian Eriksen was next to go close 10 minutes later, but Artur Boruc bundled his shot from distance behind.
Chances: Alli and Lamela attempt to break deadlock – 48-52mins
We started the second half better than the first and went close to opening the scoring when Alli found space 25 yards out and hit a venomous shot that Boruc beat away. Soon afterwards, Eriksen sent Lamela on the charge with a deft flick that put him through on goal. The angle was always against him, though, and Simon Francis did well to recover and make the challenge. It was one-way traffic as Lamela rifled a shot narrowly wide from the left angle on the next attack.
Defence stays strong: hosts attempt to win it late on - 83-90mins
As the game drifted on, Bournemouth began to tire but they found a second wind in the closing minutes. After Victor Wanyama and then Jan Vertonghen made vital challenges in the box to deny Arsenal loanee Jack Wilshere and Max Gradel, Lamela exchanged passes with Eriksen and saw his shot blocked at the other end. Bournemouth counter-attacked from there but Dembele got back well to slide in and tackle Gradel as he invaded our area. In the 90th minute, Afobe got his head to Francis' cross from the right but his effort flew just over.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was tough for us at the start of the game because they pushed us a lot but after 15 or 20 minutes we handled the game and created chances. We only conceded one chance in the first 10 minutes, Hugo was fantastic again and then in the second half we were much, much better."
Christian Eriksen said
"It was a hard-fought game on every level, in every position. It was a difficult game. We tried to play offensively, tried to go forward but when we lost it they looked long and looked for the counter, so we had to go all the way back and start again. We had to build up again and again - you get tired at the end if you play at the level we both played."
AFC Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Boruc; Smith, Francis (c), Cook, Daniels; Gosling, Arter; Ibe (Gradel 60), Wilshere, King (Fraser 88); Wilson (Afobe 82). Substitutes (not used): Federici, Ake, Mings, Mousset.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c); Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli (Sissoko 71), Lamela; Son (Janssen 61). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Davies, Winks.
Yellow cards: AFC Bournemouth – Gosling 39, Gradel 67; Spurs – Lamela 18, Vertonghen 35, Alli 37, Rose 43.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
We are back in EFL Cup action and on the road again at Anfield on Tuesday night as we face Liverpool with a place in the last eight at stake. It will be the second time we have faced Jurgen Klopp’s side this season after we drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the league in August. In fact, our three meetings with the Reds since Klopp took charge have all ended with honours even. There must be a winner this time, though!