No breakthrough at Bournemouth
Bournemouth 0-0 Spurs
Thu 09 July 2020, 20:04|Tottenham Hotspur
It was stalemate on the south coast on Thursday evening as we played out a disappointing goalless draw with Bournemouth.
Neither side could break the deadlock in a game of very few chances and one in which VAR played a controversial role once again. We looked to have strong claims for a penalty in the fourth minute when Harry Kane appeared to be pushed in the area by Josh King at a corner, but nothing was given. The Video Assistant Referee also ruled out a 90th-minute Bournemouth goal after Callum Wilson’s spectacular effort brushed the arm of King on its way into the net.
In between those two moments, there was very little action of note as we failed to have a shot on target throughout the game and the best chance of the entire match came in the 96th minute when Harry Wilson was through on goal but was denied by an excellent save from skipper Hugo Lloris.
Jose Mourinho made three changes to the team that started against Everton on Monday. Jan Vertonghen came in for the suspended Eric Dier – making his first start since the Premier League's return – and was reunited with Toby Alderweireld in central defence. Meanwhile, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn came in for Lucas Moura and Heung-Min Son, who were both on the bench.
There was controversy after just four minutes when Bergwijn’s deep corner looked to be aiming for Kane at the far post but he appeared to be bundled over from behind by King. No penalty was given and VAR upheld that decision despite our strong appeals. But after that early incident, we were very much second best against our relegation-threatened opponents for the next half an hour. The Cherries were winning most of the second balls, pushing us back towards our own goal and for a spell, we couldn’t get out of our half.
In fairness, they didn’t really trouble Lloris in goal and the most dangerous moment came in the 21st minute when a free-kick mid-way inside our half was met by Jefferson Lerma at the back post, his header bounced up across goal where Nathan Ake was waiting to nod in but Kane got in an important clearing header. We grew into the game and found more attacking positions in the last 10 minutes of the half, our first real attempt at goal coming in the 44th minute when Lamela collected the ball from Harry Winks but fired well over from 22 yards.
Just before added time at the end of the half, Junior Stanislas had a shot on the turn from the edge of the area which had Lloris scrambling to his right to push it away and from the resulting corner, Kane provided another very good header to clear the danger.
The Head Coach made a double change at the interval with Son and Tanguy Ndombele replacing Bergwijn and Lo Celso but just a few minutes into the second period, there was an eight-minute stoppage as our former Academy graduate Adam Smith received treatment for a head injury following a challenge with Ben Davies. Smith was stretchered off, replaced by Jack Stacey, and we wish Adam well. Once play resumed, King headed tamely wide from a corner for the home side on 71 minutes but then we had a couple of chances in quick succession seven minutes later, Davies unable to sort his feet out as Kane delivered a low cross before Lamela glanced Serge Aurier’s centre wide.
We were starting to apply the pressure as the game entered its last 10 minutes of normal time, with Aurier getting into some good crossing positions but the Bournemouth defence managing to prevent his deliveries from reaching their targets.
The ball was in the back of our net in the 90th minute after Callum Wilson’s acrobatic effort following a goalmouth scramble beat Lloris, but the ball flicked off King’s arm on its way in so VAR had no option but to disallow the ‘goal’ and it was back to all square. Twelve minutes were added on by referee Paul Tierney and in the 96th minute, we were indebted to a fine save from Lloris, who rushed off his line to deny the substitute Harry Wilson after he was set clear by King, the best chance of the game for either side.
The decision not to award a penalty in our favour early in the contest was pivotal to the match as an early goal would have made all the difference. King was clumsy in his challenge on Kane and there seemed to be a clear push in the back on our England striker as the ball came across from a corner. Michael Oliver was in the VAR hotseat and studied the replays but decided not to award a spot-kick.
Jose told Spurs TV afterwards: "I thought the crucial moment of the game was minute four or five. When you play against a team that surprisingly was very defensive you need to break them and when you can break them in the beginning of the game, the game changes completely. We had a big occasion to break them in the first four or five minutes, then after that they got some confidence, they got some stability, they defended very well and for the majority of the period of the game we were not sharp enough - I would use the words 'sharp enough' - because one thing is a lack of attitude and another thing is a lack of sharpness. Today was not a lack of attitude at all."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Bournemouth 0-0 Spurs
Bournemouth (4-4-2): Ramsdale, Smith (Stacey 63), Ake (c), Kelly, Rico, Brooks (H Wilson 66), Gosling, Lerma, Stanislas, King, C Wilson. Substitutes (not used): Boruc, S Cook, Surman, Solanke, Danjuma, L Cook, Surridge.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier (Gedson 90+2), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Winks, Sissoko (Lucas 75), Lo Celso (Ndombele 46), Lamela, Bergwijn (Son 46), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Sessegnon, Skipp, White.
Yellow cards: Bournemouth – Lerma, Gosling, H Wilson; Spurs – Sissoko, Ndombele.
Referee: Paul Tierney.
Venue: Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth.
Weather: Light cloud, fresh breeze, 17 degrees.