Winning run goes on as Spurs thrash Bournemouth
Goals from Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen move Mauricio Pochettino's men up to second place as north Londoners lead the chase to catch Liverpool at the top of the table
26 December, 2018 — By Dan Carrier at Wembley
SPURS 5 (Eriksen 14, Son 22, 70, Moura 35, Kane 61)
SPURS moved into second place today (Wednesday) with a comprehensive 5-0 thumping of Bournemouth.
A pair from Son Heung-Min and efforts by Lucas Moura, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen continued an impressive run of form of five straight wins from Mauricio Pochettino’s players. Spurs have not lost since the defeat at Arsenal at the beginning of December, and are now leading the chase to catch Liverpool at the top of the table.
Speaking after the game, Pochettino said the players were keeping focussed and taking each game as it comes.
He said: “We are happy with our position – but not surprised. We have amazing belief and the players deserve massive credit. They have clear ideas and they have faith in them. Now the challenge is to keep at that level and try to improve on it. We know it will be difficult – but we need to keep calm and work hard. Maybe, if we can keep at this level, maybe at the end of the season we might be there.”
Pochettino, who made no signings in the summer, showed the depth of talent as he switched his back four about, bringing on Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker Peters. Neither were ruffled. Walker-Peters had been thrown into the high-pressure away game at Barcelona and had been at fault for the Barca goal. There was plenty of talk about how well he had played otherwise, and attempts by teammates in post-match interviews to make sure it didn’t affect the Edmonton-born youngster’s head. Such public shows of confidence clearly worked. He was simply splendid today.
With games coming thick and fast, Pochettino decided to rest Kieran Trippier. With Serge Aurier still injured, Walker-Peters was making his first start of the term, having only managed 12 Premier League minutes so far. And what a first half he enjoyed, racking up three assists as an attacking right-back.
The first came when Walker-Peters spotted Eriksen in space five yards outside the penalty box. Eriksen let fly, his shot took a wicked deflection and the change of direction left Cherries keeper Amir Begovic flat-footed.
It was two on 22 minutes. Walker-Peters called for the ball wide as he embarked on another positive run – and he nipped in to win it back when a raking crossfield pass didn’t quite reach him. Under pressure, the young defender had the head on him to tee up Son – and with deadly accuracy, the forward placed his shot through a thicket of legs and beyond the keeper’s reach.
The third came on 35 minutes. Again, Walker-Peters scampered into space and was found with another crossfield ball by Eriksen. The full-back hit an inch-perfect, first-time pass for the oncoming Lucas Moura. He fired it home.
A depressing afternoon for Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe got worse on 40 when his skipper, Simon Francis, was carried off after he twisted awkwardly having been sold a tremendous dummy by Son. It was a horrible way for his game to end and symptomatic of how Spurs were destroying their opponents.
In the second half Spurs struck two further goals: and their fourth was a world-class finish from Harry Kane. He swept home an Eriksen pass on the volley, showing deft technique as the ball dropped over his shoulder.
Son then grabbed his second when he tucked the ball away after an almighty goalmouth scramble, boosting the goal difference and allowing Pochettino to withdraw Kane and Eriksen with plenty of time left.
So Spurs lie in second position, hanging on the shoulder of Liverpool and well placed to punish any slip-ups.
They feel very much like they are bang in the title race.
Spurs: Lloris, Rose, Alderweireld, Son (Llorente, 85) Winks, Kane (Skipp, 76), Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Foyth, Eriksen (Davies, 83) Moura.
Subs: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Sanchez, Lamela.
Bournemouth: Begovic, Francis (Rico, 45), Cook, Ake, Surman, Lerma, Daniels, Wilson (Mousset, 66), Sanislas, Brooks (King, 73) Fraser.
Subs: Boruc, Ibe, Defoe, Rico, Mings.