Tottenham Ends 2023 with Victory over Bournemouth

Tottenham concluded the year 2023 with a splendid victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pape Sarr opened the scoring when Rodrigo Bentancur capitalized on Neto’s casual pass from the back, and the ball fell to Sarr, who drilled it into the far corner.

After suffering a 4-2 defeat to Brighton midweek, injury-hit Tottenham had to watch as Bournemouth had numerous chances and seemed poised to level the score.

However, the visitors lacked sharpness in the final third, and Son Heung-min doubled his team’s lead with a fantastic left-footed strike that hit the post before Richarlison secured the points for Ange Postecoglou’s team.

Alex Scott scored a consolation goal, but Bournemouth is likely to wonder how they let the scoreline slip away and left empty-handed.

It marked the first defeat in eight games for Andoni Iraola’s team, as Dominic Solanke’s three-match scoring streak came to an end.

Tottenham remains fifth in the table, three points behind the league leaders and one point behind Arsenal in fourth.

Injury-Hit Tottenham Finds a Way to Win
After a strong start to the season under Postecoglou, Tottenham had lost five of their last nine games and continued to battle with injuries.

The surprise return of Bentancur to the starting XI was a welcome sight for Spurs fans as he recovered from an ankle injury sooner than expected.

The home team got off to a perfect start with Sarr’s finish, but they had to hold on as Bournemouth dominated large portions of the game.

Tottenham created little in the second half, but Son’s goal took the wind out of the visitors’ sails, and Richarlison sealed the points.

“Every week is a battle, and we had to battle today,” said Postecoglou. “We haven’t been able to rotate, but we’re still putting in performances and effort like we did today.

“We had to show a bit of everything – resilience, character, and discipline.

“We’re three points off the top, so if that is the difference between having a great season and where we are now, I’ll take it.”

However, there was more injury misery for Postecoglou as Sarr went down in the first half and left the field visibly upset before Alejo Veliz hobbled off in tears late on, forcing Spurs to see out the final few minutes with 10 men, having made all their substitutions.

While they showed quality to withstand Bournemouth’s pressure, the injury situation for Spurs is a concern, but Postecoglou stood by his previous statement that fans should not expect “magic” in the January transfer window.

“Each window gives an opportunity to strengthen and grow. It’s nothing to do with the injury situation; it’s to do with building the side,” he said.

Tottenham also paid tribute to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at half-time after he joined Major League Soccer side Los Angeles FC on a free transfer, having made 447 appearances in 11 years for Tottenham.

Bournemouth Rues Missed Chances
Having earned only three points from their first nine league games this season, Bournemouth arrived at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a seven-match unbeaten run, six of them wins.

Despite falling behind early, the Cherries posed a threat throughout and will perhaps wonder how they did not manage to take something from the game.z z z z z z z z z z z z z z z

Richarlison got a crucial touch on Marcus Tavernier’s free-kick to ensure it whistled wide before Solanke’s effort almost found the back of the net when Ben Davies diverted it onto the top of the crossbar.

Solanke had nine chances, the most he has had in any top-flight match this season, forcing Guglielmo Vicario into a good reaction save with a header and going close from Tavernier’s low cross.

The scoreline perhaps flattered Spurs somewhat, but, for all their efforts, Bournemouth struggled to get many chances on target and will be disappointed to have let the match get away from them.

“We had a lot of opportunities, and we’ve won games playing worse than today, but they were better, especially finishing,” said Iraola.

However, it has been an impressive run for Iraola’s side, and they will enter 2024 confident in their Premier League status.

“We started the season badly but have been in a very good run,” said Iraola. “We have 25 points – a good amount, but we still need more. We have to keep improving, and the performance today was really good.”