Dele double helps us beat Bournemouth
Spurs 3-2 Bournemouth
Sat 30 November 2019, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho’s first home Premier League game in charge ended with a win as a Dele Alli double and a goal from Moussa Sissoko ensured all three points against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
But - much like last weekend at West Ham - we had to survive a late fightback from the Cherries, who scored twice through Harry Wilson in what was an entertaining and open affair. Dele set us on our way midway through the first half and doubled our lead with a fine second five minutes after the interval, Toby Alderweireld the architect of both goals with two wonderful passes from deep.
Sissoko, one of three changes made to the starting line-up from the midweek victory over Olympiacos, netted his first goal since October, 2017 – much to the delight of our fans – but Wilson’s free-kick made it 3-1 and he added a second deep into stoppage time. In the end, we were grateful to a last-ditch tackle from Jan Vertonghen to prevent Callum Wilson from scoring a dramatic equaliser, but we held on for the win, the third straight victory under our new Head Coach.
It was the visitors who had the first chances of the game, Arnaut Danjuma testing Paulo Gazzaniga with a 20-yarder after just four minutes and Diego Rico hit one from even further out shortly after, but the Argentine keeper - who felt the physical side of the game as the afternoon wore on - parried both of them away with some assurance. Our first sight of goal came on 19 minutes when Heung-Min Son got clear down the left, he surged forwards but his run took him a little too wide and his angled drive curled away from the far post.
Just two minutes later we were ahead though. It was a long ball over the top from Alderweireld which perfectly found the run of Son and Dele, the South Korean international supplying a wonderful first touch to divert the ball to Dele who stroked past Aaron Ramsdale, his second goal in four days. It was almost 2-0 moments later. First Son slipped in Kane inside the area but the England forward’s shot from a tight angle was blocked by Ramsdale. From the resulting corner, Son recycled the deep cross to Sissoko, whose fierce effort cannoned off Davinson Sanchez and he reacted quickly to slam the ball into the net - only for the match officials to rule it out for handball by the Colombian.
Bournemouth always carried a threat going forwards and went close when Jack Stacey cut inside Vertonghen in the area and had time to measure a left-foot effort but it fizzed wide of the far post. At the other end we continued to create chances and had a number of promising counter-attacks but all too often the final ball was just lacking, which meant the visitors were always in the game and they had another strike at Gazzaniga just before half-time from Danjuma.
A second goal was needed to take some of the jeopardy out of the game and it duly arrived five minutes after the interval – and what a goal it was! Once again, Alderweireld was the creator with a quite superb inch-perfect deep pass to Dele, who controlled on his chest despite being between two defenders, took a couple of touches to go past Ramsdale and clipped the ball into the back of the net. And he should have had his first hat-trick a couple of minutes later after Serge Aurier’s cross found him 15 yards out but he lifted his right-foot shot over the bar.
It was still quite an end-to-end game, both sides hitting each other with breakaways although we were still having the lion’s share of possession and added a third goal on 69 minutes. It was a swift counter that did the damage as Dele released Son down the left flank, he had Sissoko and Aurier in the middle to aim at and picked out the French midfielder, who produced an athletic finish to divert the ball home – a goal that was immensely popular with the Spurs faithful!
But there was no chance to rest on our laurels as the Cherries pulled one back four minutes later. Tanguy Ndombele fouled Lewis Cook 20 yards out right in the centre of the ‘D’ and substitute Harry Wilson curled a fine free-kick over the wall and into the top corner. We probably should have extended our lead on a couple of occasions, Steve Cook denying Son on one of his familiar bursts into the area while Ramsdale made a smart save to thwart Dele from just inside the area.
With six minutes of stoppage time added on, there was still time for Bournemouth to grab a second when Wilson drilled home Danjuma’s cut-back. And there was real danger of an equaliser in the final seconds as the ball was played forwards, Harry Wilson had to leave it as he would have been offside, but his namesake Callum was lining up the shot when Vertonghen slid in to deny him with what was basically a match-winning tackle.
Another goal-fest under Jose saw us edge home to claim another three points, but the pivotal moment in this game wasn’t one of the five strikes.
At 3-0 up, the win had looked in the bag until Harry Wilson’s double. Bournemouth launched one final attack deep into stoppage time - Callum Wilson was about to pull the trigger but Jan Vertonghen came across and stuck out a long leg to just nick the ball away and save the day. Aurier was then able to tidy up as the clock ticked down.
Jose Mourinho said: "We didn’t start well, this game. Against West Ham, we started really, really well. In the two matches at home we didn’t start well. We have to be more aggressive, more dominant, like we were at the beginning of the second half. The second half was so solid that I didn’t see us conceding a goal but then the free-kick (for 3-1) and the game is open again. But I would be much, much more worried if we couldn’t produce good football, if we couldn’t score goals, then I would be much more worried, if the team didn’t have the spirit and resilience until the end. Three matches, no time to rest, really hard - but amazing spirit."
Spurs 3-2 Bournemouth
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Dier, Ndombele (Lucas 74), Sissoko, Dele (Winks 90+4), Son (Lo Celso 88), Kane (c). Substitutes (not used): Whiteman, Walker-Peters, Rose, Eriksen.
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Ramsdale, Stacey, Cook S (c), Ake, Rico, Fraser (Wilson H 63), Lerma, Cook L (Gosling 74), Danjuma, Solanke, Wilson C. Substitutes (not used): Boruc, Simpson, Mepham, Kilkenny, Saydee.
Goals: Spurs – Dele 21, 50, Sissoko 69; Bournemouth – Wilson 73, 90+6.
Yellow cards: Bournemouth - Rico 67, Lerma 90.
Referee: Lee Mason.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Sunny intervals, cold, six degrees.