Tottenham end long wait for wembley league win

Tottenham recorded their first Premier League victory at Wembley as Christian Eriksen’s second-half winner saw off a resolute Bournemouth.

Having picked up maximum points from their four league games on the road this season, it was Spurs’ first win in four attempts at their temporary home.

Bournemouth’s back five stifled Spurs in the first half, but Eriksen gave the hosts the lead immediately after the break with a smart left-footed finish.

Jermain Defoe almost levelled against his old side after coming off the bench, but Hugo Lloris was equal to the striker’s low effort.

It was Tottenham captain Lloris’ second big save of the match after Eric Dier nearly turned a Bournemouth corner into his own net in the first half.

Asmir Begovic was kept busier at the other end, but got the better of Harry Kane on several occasions in a frustrating afternoon for the England striker.

Spurs off the mark at Wembley

Tottenham’s struggles in the league at Wembley have been well documented and, an important Champions League victory against Borussia Dortmund aside, Spurs are yet to really impress at their temporary home.

Defeat to champions Chelsea on the opening day of the Premier League and draws with Burnley and Swansea have seen Spurs struggle to break down sides that looked to sit behind the ball and make it difficult for the hosts.

Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth are more renowned for their expansive football, but the visitors set up with a back five and it looked like Tottenham’s frustrations at the national stadium might continue.

But, having started with a back four, Mauricio Pochettino changed to a back three after the break and it worked almost instantly as Eriksen linked up with Son Heung-min to score what proved the winner.

The Dane then forced Cherries goalkeeper Begovic into a fine save with another well-hit effort from the edge of the box, as Spurs exploited the space left as Bournemouth looked for an equaliser.

It could have been a more comfortable win, but for Begovic twice denying Kane from close range within the space of a few seconds.

Two Harrys in the spotlight

Tottenham striker Kane has been prolific in 2017 and 15 goals for club and country so far this campaign have seen the England man’s name added to the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.

Kane said earlier this year it was his “dream” to be crowned the best player in the world, but the 24-year-old was well-marshalled by a trio of Steve Cook, Nathan Ake and Simon Francis at the heart of Bournemouth’s defence.

The striker did have the ball in the net when he headed Kieran Trippier’s cross past Begovic, but was well offside.

It was testament to Kane that he managed to muster six shots on goal under such scrutiny, but those were largely half chances and goalkeeper Begovic was equal to him on the rare moments his defence had not been.

Namesake Winks won his first senior England cap under the stewardship of Kane in the win over Lithuania last week, drawing to the attention of a wider audience the potential that has excited Spurs fans.

Tottenham boss Pochettino has nicknamed the 21-year-old “Little Iniesta” – after Barcelona and Spain playmaker Andres – and the youngster showed a similar ability to link defence with attack as he found the target with 94.5% of his 73 passes.

Winks could have added gloss to Spurs’ win in stoppage time, but fired over with the goal gaping after substitute Georges-Kevin Nkoudou had been taken down by the onrushing Begovic.

Cherries impress but to no avail

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe has just the one goal for Bournemouth so far this season

Bournemouth find themselves in the midst of a relegation battle with only bottom-placed Crystal Palace bearing a worse record than Howe’s side this campaign.

But the Cherries boss will have taken plenty of positives from their performance in the capital, with the visitors sticking resolutely to their game plan in the first half.

Eriksen’s goal meant Howe had to throw on attacking reinforcements, and substitutes Jordon Ibe and Defoe combined to almost bring them level.

Defoe, playing against the club where he is fifth on the all-time scoring charts, offered an alternative to the strong running and hold-up play of Joshua King as he turned smartly in the box to force Lloris into a fine save.

But the visitors were unable to keep up that intensity and came away empty handed from a game they will feel they may well have snatched a point.

Man of the match – Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)

Christian Eriksen
Spurs have struggled to get off the mark at Wembley, but when they needed a match-winner it was Christian Eriksen who stepped up. The Dane, who made three key passes as well as his goal, had the nous to find space in dangerous areas and ultimately made Bournemouth pay

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: “The team played well. It was difficult to find the space. We had a lot of time on the ball but could not break down the opponent.

“In the second half we found better positions and moved the ball quickly, it was much better. We are always suffering if you don’t score the second goal. It was good, not great, but enough to win the three points.

“I am delighted we have won but it is impossible to stop you asking me about Wembley.”

Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake: “We came with a gameplan and we executed it well. We just lost the game. They only got in once and they scored.

“We have more stability with three at the back, we were compact and it worked well.

“In the last few games we have been playing better but we have to pick up points. We could have got away with a draw today.”




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