Tottenham Hotspur have the fewest rest days over the holiday fixture period of any Premier League side, but they sure haven’t looked like they’ve needed it. Just three days after crushing Everton 6-2, Tottenham welcomed Bournemouth and their “Pochettino replacement” manager Eddie Howe to Wembley Stadium, and pounded them 5-0. Son Heung-Min scored a brace, and Tottenham added goals from Christian Eriksen, Lucas Moura, and Harry Kane in what was a romp from start to finish.
Mauricio Pochettino made four changes to the side that crushed Everton at the weekend — Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier made way for Danny Rose and Kyle Walker-Peters. Dele Alli, who was subbed off at halftime with a knock, was left out of the squad altogether, with Erik Lamela coming in. Juan Foyth also returned to the lineup for Davinson Sanchez. Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-Min, and Moussa Sissoko continued as Spurs’ iron men in the starting lineup.
The match started quietly, with both sides pushing forward but neither side generating any real chances in the first ten minutes or so. Bournemouth were not trying to sit back and absorb pressure but were trying to progress the ball through midfield possession, while Spurs pushed forward through fullbacks Danny Rose and Kyle Walker-Peters.
The first half-chance fell to Bournemouth in the 13th minute when Ryan Fraser managed to get a head on a ball during a scrum in front of Tottenham’s goal. The header didn’t have much power on it, and Hugo was able to collect easiy. Bournemouth had another one a minute later after Jefferson Lerma chipped a ball over Spurs’ back line to an onrushing David Brooks, but Hugo saw the danger and was able to collect Brooks’ attempt to chip the ball over his head.
It didn’t take long for Spurs to get through Bournemouth’s defense. In the 16th minute, Kyle Walker-Peters played the “Tom Carroll assist” to a wide open Christian Eriksen. His shot from the top of the box took a wicked deflection off of Jefferson Lerma and went in past Asmir Begovic to put Spurs up 1-0. There was some question as to whether it was an own goal, but it was eventually given to Eriksen, his fifth of the season.
Kyle Walker-Peters nearly got Spurs’ second just a minute later — Harry Kane put a beauty of a cross into the box for a rushing KWP, who dove for the ball but was inches away from making contact.
Spurs doubled their lead in the 22nd minute — a long ball from Alderweireld found Walker-Peters, who took advantage of some shoddy Bournemouth defending to pass to Sonny at the top of the box. Son took a touch and rifled the ball into the net, putting Tottenham up 2-0.
Spurs added their third in the 35th minute, thanks to some nice passing and good movement. Juan Foyth started the play with a long pass to Walker-Peters on the right side of midfield. KWP cut back and fed a nice cross to the top to Lucas Moura, who easily put it past Begovic, giving Spurs a commanding 3-0 lead. It was Walker-Peters’ third assist of the match.
Tottenham nearly let Bournemouth pull one back just before halftime — KWP lost Junior Stanislas who got a free shot at goal, but his shot was straight at Lloris, who gathered it gratefully.
There was an extended pause to attend to Simon Francis, who left the match with what looked like a groin injury. Eddie Howe opted to bring in Diego Rico as his replacement. Lerma picked up the first yellow of the match for hauling down Lucas. Charlie Daniels had a short range header parried away by Lloris with the last touch of the half, and Spurs took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
Bournemouth were unlucky not to earn a penalty right out of the gate in the second half. Callum Wilson got behind Juan Foyth. Foyth put in a hard challenge on Wilson, and was very lucky not to concede another penalty, something that he has been prone to doing this season.
The Cherries thought they pulled another goal back in the 54th minute, but Junior Stanislas’ counterattack goal was called back for offside by lineswoman Sian Massey-Ellis. It was a reminder of the danger that Bournemouth can provide from their offense, which had scored the sixth most goals in the league coming into this match.
But on a day when Mohamed Salah also scored to move into a tie for the Golden Boot race, Harry Kane was not going to be denied either. Kane latched onto a lovely deep ball from Christian Eriksen in the 61st minute and one-touch volleyed it into the net past Begovic to put Spurs up 4-0. It moved Kane into a tie for the Boot with Liverpool’s Salah and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 12 goals apiece.
With the match pretty much over, Howe opted to yank Callum Wilson for Lys Mousset to keep him fresh as the holiday fixtures come thick and fast.
And Spurs still weren’t done! Son Heung-Min got his second of the game after a wacky sequence started by Harry Kane. Kane drove into the box and lost the ball. Danny Rose was there but slipped and the ball riccocheted around and fell to Lucas at the top of the area. His shot was saved by Begovic, eventually fell to Son who finished from close range, and Spurs were up 5-0.
Bournemouth made their final substitution in the 75th minute with David Brooks making way for Josh King. Tottenham finally made their first sub in the 77th minute as 18-year old midfielder Oliver Skipp came in for Harry Kane.
With the game firmly in hand, Spurs took their foot off the gas and were content to see off the rest of the match. Ben Davies came on for Christian Eriksen in the 83rd minute and Son Heung-Min made way for Fernando Llorente. Bournemouth had a couple of decent half chances late in the game but weren’t able to convert.
The final score was 5-0.
- Kyle Walker-Peters had three assists in the first half. Mesut Özil has one league assist all season. That is all.
- 3-0 is a hilarious halftime scoreline considering that Spurs’ first two chances came from very little in terms of xG.
- Juan Foyth is settling in and becoming a very good defender, handling Callum Wilson’s pace on most occasions. That bodes very, very well for the future.
- On Sunday, DESK stood solid. Today, it was time for ELKS. And yes, we are TOTALLY making ELKS a thing. It’s canon now, embrace it.
- Spurs’ fifth goal, Son’s second, needs to be set to Yakkity Sax. Someone please do that.
- Kane’s goal puts him ahead of Stephen Gerrard in all-time goals. He’s also now three goals behind Cliff Jones now on Spurs’ all-time scoring list — he will almost without question finish the season as Spurs’ fourth all-time scorer.
- Holy crap y’all, Spurs are in SECOND PLACE, six behind Liverpool.
- That was fun! Let’s do it again. Spurs’ next match: Saturday vs. Wolves.