Following a first win for new head coach Ange Postecoglou against Manchester United last time out, Tottenham Hotspur arrived at the Vitality Stadium looking to pick up another three points. They’d face a Bournemouth side that suffered defeat at the hands of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool last time out. Andoni Iraola’s side sat 15th in the league table going into Saturday’s clash and were in search of their first win of the brand new Premier League season.
BOU: Neto; Aarons, Zabarnyi, Kelly, Kerkez; Rothwell, Billing, Christie; Semenyo, Kluivert, Solanke
TOT: Vicario; Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Bissouma, Maddison; Kulusevski, Son, Richarlison
In a sunny – but wet – day on the south coast, both sides took their time to settle into the game, with early set-pieces for both failing to come to fruition. The first half was fifteen minutes old when the first notable chance for either side arrived, as Neto’s goal kick was intercepted by James Maddison – which led to Son picking up the ball and sending it through to the ex-Leicester man. His low effort was saved at close range by the Bournemouth goalkeeper.
Only moments later, however, the summer signing would get off the mark for his new club. Having scored first against Manchester United last week, Pape Sarr found Maddison with a beautifully timed through ball – and the England international made no mistake as he slotted the ball past an outrunning Neto.
Ange Postecoglou’s side almost made it two seven minutes later, as Son found Sarr in the box, with the latter cutting inside and sending a tame low effort straight into the hands of Neto. Dejan Kulusevski also had another chance to add a Spurs second, only for Lloyd Kelly to clear the ball for a corner. From that corner, Son’s volley ebbed just wide of Neto’s far post.
With just over ten minutes to go until the halfway point of the game, Bournemouth’s first real chance of the game arrived as a free kick found the head of Philip Billing, but his header was tame and Vicario collected comfortably to keep the Spurs lead intact.
Chances for either side came and went as the first half neared its end, with Spurs going close through a Richarlison header dribbling just wide – and Bournemouth did the same through an excellent strike by Ryan Christie, which was saved superbly by Guglielmo Vicario in the Spurs goal.
Right on the edge of halftime, Bournemouth were just inches away from an equaliser, as Justin Kluivert’s curling effort was deflected back out into the path of Billing, who fired the ball just wide of Vicario’s far post.
The opening minutes of the second half saw a revitalised Cherries side start on the front foot as some wonderful build-up saw Dominic Solanke fire the ball across the face of goal – but neither Kluivert or Semenyo was there to tap the ball home. Semenyo, however, almost scored moments later as Kluivert’s ball found the former Bristol City man, who curled just wide of the top corner.
Despite starting the half on top, Bournemouth were made to pay for those missed chances as Spurs grabbed a second just past the hour mark. A wonderful one-two between captain Son and Destiny Udogie saw the latter find Dejan Kulusevski just inside the six-yard box – and the Swedish international directed the ball home to give Ange Postecoglou’s side a more comfortable lead, after finding themselves under threat for the first fifteen minutes of the second period.
A third goal almost followed as Maddison was slipped through on goal again. The midfielder could have potentially passed to his captain Son for a tap-in for the South Korean, but Maddison opted to go himself and his low, driven shot whiskered past the far post.
The final clear-cut chances of the game went Tottenham’s way, as substitutes Ben Davies’ fierce shot whistled just over the bar. This was swiftly followed moments later by Ivan Perisic’s low shot drifting just wide of the far post. In the end, another win for Spurs to celebrate and another trip back to the drawing board for Andoni Iraola.
Both sides are in Carabao Cup action next time out. Tottenham travel across to West London to face Fulham, while Andoni Iraola’s Bournemouth head to Championship side Swansea City. Both ties take place Tuesday evening, with Bournemouth kicking off at 7:30pm, while Tottenham get underway fifteen minutes later.