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Turning the clock back to December 26, 2018. Spurs took AFC Bournemouth to pieces with a ruthless display of attacking football at Wembley Stadium…
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR thrashed AFC Bournemouth by five unanswered goals as Premier League the race for the Premier League title took another intriguing twist for Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Following their incredible 6-2 annihilation of Everton at Goodison Park, talk of a Tottenham challenge was edging back onto the agenda. Nevertheless, Pochettino was quick to play down suggestions that his side was in for another easy ride: “It’s going to be very tough against Bournemouth, and they have one day more to recover, to rest, but of course it’s about the squad, all the players who need to rest are going to rest and we will be ready to play and compete,” the Argentine explained.
Hugo Lloris swiftly smothered after Junior Stanislas and Ryan Fraser had got in each other’s way. Then, the French stopper had to be alert as David Brooks raced clear.
But having wasted their opportunities, the Cherries were swiftly punished. Christian Eriksen’s speculative strike from distance deflected off Jefferson Lerma and fizzed agonizingly beyond the wrong-footed Asmir Begovic in the Bournemouth goal.
Having landed a reasonably lucky punch, Spurs went in swiftly for the kill – and within five minutes they had doubled their advantage. Heung-Min Son’s stinging low drive arrowing into the bottom corner of the net, handing the hosts a two-goal cushion with barely quarter of the contest played.
Indeed, had it been a boxing match, one would have expected the Cherries to have already thrown in the towel. Kyle Walker-Peters fashioned an opening from the right and Lucas Moura was on hand to emphatically sweep home the North Londoners third of the afternoon in double-quick time.
Lloris kept out Charlie Daniels; goalbound header as the visitors created an opening of their own. However, Bournemouth were dealt a further blow ahead of the interval. Skipper, Simon Francis, carried off after appearing to twist his knee when challenging for possession with Son.
Stanislas saw his close-range effort ruled out for off-side as the Cherries agonies continued after the break. And it was soon 4-0. Harry Kane providing the neat angled finish after Eriksen had brilliantly picked him out.
Substitute, Lys Mousset, was a whisker away from heading a Bournemouth consolation. Meanwhile, the Spurs precession displayed little signs of a let-up – Son adding his second and the hosts fifth after Begovic had kept out Moura’s initial effort.
Daniels was again unlucky not to reduce the deficit as Bournemouth continued to toil fruitlessly. But in truth, Eddie Howe’s’ men had been completely outclassed throughout.
And with champions, Manchester City, slipping to defeat at Leicester – Spurs moved into second place with leaders Liverpool now firmly in their sights.
Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Saturday, December 29 when Wolverhampton Wanderers are the visitors to Wembley Stadium (3pm)
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, Heung-Min Son (Fernando Llorente 88’), Harry Winks, Harry Kane (Oliver Skipp 77’), Kyle Walker-Peters, Moussa Sissoko, Juan Foyth, Christian Eriksen (Ben Davies 84’), Lucas Moura Subs not used: Paulo Gazzaniga (GK), Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Erik Lamela
Booked: Heung-Min Son (foul), Harry Winks (foul)
Goals: Christian Eriksen 17’, Heung-Min Son 22’, 70’, Lucas Moura 35’, Harry Kane 61
AFC Bournemouth: Asmir Begovic, Simon Francis (Capt) (Diego Rico 45+3’), Steve Cook, Nathan Ake, Andrew Surman, Jefferson Lerma, Charlie Daniels, Callum Wilson (Lys Mousset 67’), Junior Stanislas, David Brooks (Joshua King 74’), Ryan Fraser Subs not used: Artur Boruc (GK), Jordan Ibe, Jermain Defoe, Tyrone Mings
Booked: Jefferson Lerma (foul)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Dan Cook and Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth Official: Gavin Ward
Reaction to follow…