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Bournemouth 0-2 Spurs | Ange's verdict: “The first half was excellent”

Sat 26 August 2023, 15:55|Tottenham Hotspur

Ange Postecoglou was pleased with how the team played through Bournemouth’s high pressing game on the way to an impressive 2-0 win in the Premier League at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

As expected under new boss Andoni Iraola, Bournemouth came after us as we looked to play out from the back, particularly in the early stages, but we were rarely caught out and breaking that press opened up the spaces for us.

That led to a number of chances - nine efforts at goal in the first half alone, 17 in total -  and it was no surprise to see James Maddison convert Pape Sarr’s clever pass for the opener on 17 minutes. ‘Madders’ had been denied by goalkeeper Neto before that and chances followed for Heung-Min Son, Sarr, Deki Kulusevski and Richarlison, who looked set to score after beating Lloyd Kelly and Neto, only for Ryan Christie to get back to block the open goal.

We knew, particularly here, that Bournemouth would be really aggressive with their press, and I really liked the way we handled that

Ange Postecoglou

Bournemouth had their best spell at the start of the second half but once Kulusevski finished Destiny Udogie’s brilliant work down the left for 2-0 on 63 minutes you felt we were in control, a feeling only increased by the arrival of the likes of Ivan Perisic, Oliver Skipp, Gio Lo Celso and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg off the bench.

“I thought the first half was excellent,” Ange told the Review Show on SPURSPLAY. “We knew, particularly here, that Bournemouth would be really aggressive with their press, and I really liked the way we handled that. We stayed clear headed, brave when we needed to be and that helped us take control of the game, we scored a great goal and probably could have had one or two more.

“Breaking the press was the only way we’d be able to get through that, we could go long but by playing through the press it meant once we got through, there was plenty of space for us to go and attack. I really liked how we looked in those moments. There are still areas to improve, but I really liked the way the boys handled it.

“In the second half we didn’t start as well, got a little hurried in our decision making, gave the ball away a little too much, but even then, I thought we defended really well and I thought once the subs came on, we gained control of the game once again and handled it really well.

“The opposition are always going to have their moments. Again, I don’t think Vic has had too many significant saves to make, which shows we’ve defended really well - back four, midfield, really good. After the subs came on, we took control of the game and could have scored a couple more goals but getting the second settled things down for us.”