Tottenham Hotspur headed to the southern coast of England on Sunday on a mission to bring back all three points from relegation-threatened AFC Bournemouth. They would do just that in a rather wild match that saw Harry Kane get back into action with a hat trick as Spurs would clobber the Cherries, 5-1, at the Vitality Stadium.
The match got off to the absolute worst start possible as Danny Rose got sucked into the middle on a cross into the box. It was difficult to tell if it took a deflection, but that's irrelevant as the ball fell to midfielder Matt Ritchie, who had enough time to dust it off, tee it up, and blast it low to the short side past Hugo Lloris. Not even one minute into the match and Spurs were already down 1-0.
While things were tense very early on and Spurs seemed to be playing on their heels, things got turned around for the men in lilywhite. Harry Kane found himself in the box from a gorgeous Eriksen through ball, but Artur Boruc misjudged his tackle and ended up taking the Hurrikane down in the box. Kane stepped up to the spot and blasted the penalty kick home to make it 1-1 just nine minutes in.
After some possession back and forth, Spurs earned a free kick about 40 yards out from Bournemouth's goal. Christian Eriksen opted to play a short kick to Danny Rose, who took a good rip at the net. The ball never got through, but it fell to Moussa Dembele, who managed to put it past Boruc in the 17th minute. It was 2-1 Spurs at that point, and we weren't even 20 minutes into the match yet.
The pace of the match stayed high tempo with both sides getting good chances. Ritchie found King at the end of a cross who tried to put it far post with a header, but it went just wide. Bournemouth after that would have some issues in the final third, even though Tottenham was experiencing some issues getting decent clearances.
In the 29th minute, Harry Kane dummied a pass and found himself in the box. Kane would attempt either a cross or a shot that would be deflected to Boruc. Boruc ended up fumbling the deflection right to Erik Lamela, who made Bournemouth pay for the mistake and netted the third goal of the match for Spurs.
Bournemouth almost pulled one back right before half time as Toby Alderweireld was called into action to clear a shot off the line from Marc Pugh, who got on the end of yet another great Ritchie cross. Seconds later, Joshua King found the ball about 12 yards out and attempted to curl it into the lower corner of the net, but his shot found the post and it bounced away. The half would end with the score 3-1 in favor of Tottenham.
The second half started out somewhat dull as both sides traded possessions again. Moussa Dembele about stole a brace in the 51st minute as he deflected an Artur Boruc kick back towards net, but Boruc was fortunate enough that the ball came right back to him. A foot in either direction, and Dembele would have had his second goal of the match.
Spurs wouldn't have to wait long for that fourth goal after the close call from Moose, though. In the 56th minute, Eriksen played a long cross into the box that Harry Kane managed to slide in quick enough to get his outstretched foot onto the end of it to make it 4-1 and to give Kane his brace. It would be the death knell for Bournemouth as they simply looked deflated from that moment on.
The onslaught on Artur Boruc continued in the 63rd minute. Eriksen ripped a corner into the box that found the head of Toby Alderweireld, who put it on net. Boruc made the save, but spilled the ball yet again to a Spurs player. This time it fell to the foot of Harry Kane, who earned his hat trick by blasting it home to make it 5-1.
Hugo Lloris was called into action not long after the goal as a long distance shot from Marc Pugh dipped at the end and tried to slip in under the crossbar, but the Frenchman rose up and flipped the ball over the crossbar to keep the score at 5-1.
Christian Eriksen about added another to the tally in the 66th minute as he came free from about thirty yards away and took a shot at the far corner. Boruc had absolutely zero chance at the shot, but Eriksen unfortunately found the woodwork and the score remained the same.
A penalty shout for Spurs occurred at the 71st minute as Boruc spilled yet another ball for what seemed to be the 47th time in the match. Kane couldn't quite get on the end of it, but it appeared that Boruc had grabbed Kane's leg in an attempt to get the ball. Replay confirmed this, but instead, no call was given and Bournemouth managed to clear it out to avoid another chance. This was probably out of mercy above anything else, but Boruc should have been shown a red card for it.
This was a performance that Spurs definitely needed. Bournemouth are a relegation-threatened side that we should beat, and even with the slow start, Spurs made sure that this match was over before half time. The victory today moves Tottenham into sixth place on 17 points with a +8 goal differential, three points out of the top four and five points from the top of the table.
Notes and thoughts on the match:
- Harry Kane gets the MOTM nod, obviously. A hat trick today gives him loads of confidence for the immediate future, and it comes at a great time with some tough fixtures coming up in the immediate future including a date with Arsenal on November 8.
- The pace of this match was crazy. Plenty of opportunities on both side and there weren't many long stretches of possession, especially in the first half. Spurs would calm down and take full control of the match in the second half and win the possession battle with 54% control.
- Moose had yet another spectacular outing. He beasted the midfield, picked the pockets of Cherries midfielders all day, and even found the back of the net.
- Coco was good today as well. He got on the end of a fortunate deflection to get on the score sheet, but his passing was good and he was decisive in his attacking decisions.
- Eric Dier continues to impress. After missing last week due to suspension, he stepped back into the lineup and had yet another solid outing at DM.
- Christian Eriksen is back in form, and he looks scary to deal with if you're the opposition.
- Our fullbacks had rough starts today. Rose was responsible for the first goal and Kyle Walker didn't really seem to get into the match fully until about thirty minutes in, but they both recovered well.
- Good to see Ryan Mason back on the pitch and healthy. He came on for Moose to put in a little over twenty minutes and looked good. We need midfield depth badly, and a healthy Mason provides it.
- I have no idea what Artur Boruc was doing out there today, but he gave up some stupid goals for Bournemouth.
- Guys, football is fun when we do things like this. I want more.