Tottenham Hotspur took all 3 points from their visit to the Vitality Stadium this afternoon after seeing off Bournemouth 5-1 in a clinical display from the visitors.
It threatened to be a long afternoon for Mauricio Pochettino’s side after Bournemouth took the lead just 45 seconds into the encounter. Matt Ritchie slamming home a half-volley at the back-post to send the home fans into wild celebrations.
However, unlike a Tottenham side of recent campaigns, they didn’t panic or lose their heads and instead went about getting an equaliser as quickly as possible. Just 9 minutes were on the clock when Christian Eriksen freed Harry Kane into the box, only for the forward to be taken out by goalkeeper Artur Boruc in a game which the Polish shot-stopper will be keen to forget.
Kane picked himself up and made no mistake from the spot to claim his 2nd Premier League goal of the campaign, and it proved to be the goal that would open the floodgates for both himself and Tottenham this afternoon.
Midfield man Mousa Dembele seems to have been given a new lease of life under Pochettino and Spurs fans are beginning to see performances similar to those of when he first joined the club in the summer of 2012, and it was the Belgian attacking midfielder who put Spurs ahead on the 17th minutes after capitalising on slack defending to slot past the helpless Boruc.
At this stage, Bournemouth would’ve been hoping for Spurs to sit on their lead and have a chance of coming back into the game, but that wasn’t to be the case. Another goalkeeping error from Boruc led to Erik Lamela having the simple task of prodding the ball into the back of the net in an event where the former Southampton keeper would’ve been hoping to do better after failing to hold on to an earlier strike in the build-up.
It’s an old cliché but one full of relevance for this game – at 3-1 the next goal is crucial. If Bouremouth were to get it then the momentum and the crowd would’ve been on their side, but if it were for Spurs then they’d be more or less out of sight. Harry Kane’s second goal of the afternoon 10 minutes into the second half more-or-less ensured that the three points would be heading back to North London.
For the remainder of the second half the Bournemouth side cut a frustrated figure, and it seems their bad luck is catching up with them having lost influential players such as Calum Wilson and Max Gradel to long-term knee injuries over the last few weeks. Eddie Howe’s hands were tied when it came to making substitutions as his small squad starts to see the harshness of the unforgiving Premier League.
In fact, Spurs could’ve stretched their lead further before Kane got his third of the day. Defender Toby Alderweireld had a good header from a corner saved, and Eriksen bent a delicious curling strike towards the top corner, only for it to slam back off the woodwork and away to safety.
Kane then secured his hat-trick and capped off a fine all-round Tottenham performance from a team which is the youngest in the Premier League this season. With the scoreline at 5-1 just after the hour mark, the remaining 30 minutes was training ground-esque for Spurs who were basking in the south coast sunshine.
That impressive win sees them move upto 6th in the league, and they remain unbeaten in the division since the opening day of the campaign at Manchester United.
Tottenham’s team looks to have somewhat of a genuine balance about it now, and with players of the calibre of Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris, along with the tirelessness of midfield duo Eric Dier and Dele Alli then Spurs fans can have optimism about challenging for a top four place come the end of the season. Son Heung-Min is also close to a return for the Lilywhites, which will help take the pressure off Kane in the goalscoring department.
For Bournemouth, it’s another reminder of how tough this season is going to be for them particularly with key players out for a long time, but their young, energetic side will no doubt bounce back from this defeat and ensure they’re harder to beat next time out in the league at Southampton in the south coast derby.