|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (1)||AFC BOURNEMOUTH 3 (1)|
|Date : – Saturday 15th April 2023||Kick off : – 15.15|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 61,369|
|Referee : – Andy Madley (West Riding)||Linesmen : – Mr. Harry Lennard; Mr. Nick Hopton|
|Fourth official : – Andy Davies|
|VAR official : – Tony Harrington||VAR Assistant : – Marc Perry|
|Weather : – Warm, sunny|
|Bournemouth kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 11 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||AFC BOURNEMOUTH|
|Son 13m 12s||Vina 37m 37s|
|Danjuma 87m 43s||Solanke 50m 42s|
|Ouatarra 90+4m 13s|
|Perisic (foul on Smith) 58||Christie (simulation) 45|
|Stephens (foul on Kane) 45+2|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||AFC BOURNEMOUTH|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||13.||NETO (c)|
|17.||Cristian ROMERO||3.||Chris MEPHAM|
|15.||Eric DIER||6.||Jack STEPHENS|
|34.||Clement LENGLET ( 6. Davinson SANCHEZ 35 [16. Arnaut DANJUMA 58 ])||5.||Lloyd KELLY|
|23.||Pedro PORRO||16.||Marcus TAVERNIER ( 11. Dango OUATTARA 79 )|
|4.||Oliver SKIPP ( 9. RICHARLISON 77)||14.||Joe ROTHWELL|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||8.||Jefferson LERMA|
|14.||Ivan PERISIC||18.||Matias VINA ( 15. Adam SMITH 49)|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI||10.||Ryan CHRISTIE ( 32. Jaidon ANTHONY 66)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||29.||Philip BILLING ( 25. Marcos SENESI 79)|
|10.||Harry KANE||9.||Dominic SOLANKE|
|20.||Fraser FORSTER||1.||Mark TRAVERS|
|40.||Brandon AUSTIN||4.||Lewis COOK|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||21.||Kieffer MOORE|
|45.||Alfie DEVINE||24.||Antoine SEMENYO|
|29.||Pape Matar SARR||27.||Illia ZABARNYI|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Cristian Stellini||Manager : – Gary O’Neil|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Macron|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Dafabet
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – De Walt
|Colours : –
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|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|Losing 3-2 at home to Bournemouth was bad enough, but the most disappointing aspect of today’s game was the behaviour of those Spurs “supporters” in the South Stand who believe that booing a Tottenham player is a positive thing. Not only did it cost us a substitution as Davinson Sanchez had to be removed from the pitch because of the toxic atmosphere these people created, but it might also have cost us the game and this appears to be the mindset that they want. Their attitude appears to be that they are unwilling to get behind a team trying to achieve a top four finish and are content to boo the team when they are winning 1-0. Playing out from the back has been a feature not only at our club, but across a number of clubs in England and abroad for a number of years, but it appear that trying to play football rather than hoofing the ball up front (against a team who won a lot in the air at the back) is now the Tottenham Way.
No team has a divine right to win trophies or finish in a certain league position, but these people seem to think that Tottenham are entitled to. No doubt swayed by social media, they want a change at boardroom level. However, it’s not like you can throw a stick and hit a multi-billionaire who is willing to pump endless cash into the club, but, again, be careful what you wish for and look at Chelsea for a prime example. They can have their opinion about Levy, but why not go and protest with the other ten people who are outside the ground before matches so that they don’t bring it inside. I am fed up of reading negative reports in the media about the crowd when this is a minority and most fans do want to support the club. Just as they wish “Levy Out”, I wish them out, as they are not helping the situation.
It was a surprise that Newcastle lost at Aston Villa before our kick off, which was delayed 15 minutes because Bournemouth couldn’t get to the ground in time, but we were to learn that this was the only time wasted on this afternoon. A chance to close on the Toon was eventually spurned due to a goal in time added on at the end of the game, most of which was for the Cherries dawdling over every goal-kick and throw-in, while their players made the pitch look like a battlefield, so often were they found flat out of the grass.
When the match eventually kicked off, Bournemouth had the better of the opening exchanges, pressing hard and producing a shot from Tavernier that Skipp threw himself in front of to block, while at the other end Kulusevski had a shot blocked and then another deflected wide for a corner as his left-footed effort looked like it might curl in. From that corner, Deki produced another shot that was deflected again and this corner failed to trouble the Bournemouth goal. I am fairly certain that when Perisic put the 30-yard free kick high off the pitch for a goal-kick, it wasn’t one of the set-pieces our specialist coach had been working on with the players.
Lenglet looked to find Perisic down the left wing with a long pass that took out most of the Bournemouth defence. Ivan checked back as a defender caught up with him as he got into the left side of the box and puled a low ball back at the near post. Sonny struck it first time with his left foot from six yards out and it took a bobble off the underside of Stephens as he dived in to try to stop it, but the ball nestled in the opposite bottom corner of the net to give Spurs a 13th minute lead. The pressure had been building, but this was the first shot non target Spurs had managed and the previously noisy away fans were stunned into silence.
Immediately, Tottenham looked for a second, with Kane firing a shot a couple of feet past the keeper’s right hand post, but Bournemouth responded with a shot of their own, as Christie was just too high with a fierce shot. Having scored in two straight games, Son looked sharp and forced Neto into tipping a shot on target over the bar after he had beaten Stephens with one of his trademark step-overs. Kane shot at goal when the corner went over everyone, but it was blocked out and Harry was denied by the keeper when Son slipped him in, having been well found by Porro, but Neto did well to keep his effort out. With the game approaching the half-hour mark, Hugo had his chance to shine as he reached up to produce a fine save to fingertip Tavernier’s shot from 18 yards over the bar. It was a testing time for Spurs, with Dier producing a perfectly timed challenge in the box to stop Christie after he had smuggled his way through. When Lenglet pulled up with an injury, Davinson Sanchez came on to a chorus of boos, which must have helped his confidence no end.
Kane shot over when well set-up by Son, but the booing that surrounded our 1-0 lead became worse when Bournemouth equalised in the 38th minute. Playing the ball out from the back, Porro was surrounded by three black and red shirts, losing the ball and allowing Vina to move forward into the box and dink his shot past Lloris to find the opposite bottom corner of the net. The tactic of playing out from the back was explained to the crowd before kick off by Mark Falco, who said it was going on in his day, but the only issue I have with it is the availability of players to make it work. Drawing opposition players to the ball is the aim and to beat the press gives you a chance to break forward, but with many players goal-side of the 18 yard line leaves fewer available in front of the ball to receive it. It wasn’t only when moving the ball out of defence that this was a problem, but when we are in the attack there are times when players don’t appear to move off the person in possession to give them options to pass to players in space.
Desperation for the Cherries in their situation was typified by Christie’s dive in the penalty area as they looked to heap further misery on Tottenham fans, but credit to the referee Andy Madley who spotted it. He had been pretty lenient before this with Stephens putting in a bad tackle from behind on halfway to stop Kane building an attack, but when the defender trampled all over his (at the second attempt) near his own dead-ball line in added time, he was shown the yellow card too. From the free-kick the ball dropped in the box for Sonny to have a shot but Neto grabbed it after parrying it first time. Then it was half-time and boos from the crowd, as is now becoming customary.
At the start of the second half, Romero made a well-timed tackle in the area as Bournemouth threatened, but Tottenham built a move up the right with Porro putting in a ball across the box, but Perisic was blocked in his run and the ball ran away to safety. Six minutes in and a long ball down the Cherries’ left saw Tavernier muddle past Sanchez with the ball running to Solanke who slotted the ball past Lloris to put Bournemouth ahead. Sanchez was exposed, although wasn’t his fault, but he could have done better when getting turned and there was little cover for him. More booing, less getting behind the team to get back into it.
Perisic received a yellow card when he made a bad tackle on Smith and as things got worse for Sanchez every time the ball went near him, Stellini made the right decision to substitute him for his own good, although he didn’t deserve the bad reception to his number being held up. Arnaut Danjuma came on to take the defender’s place. As Tottenham went on the attack, Kulusevski was outnumbered as he burst into the box to the by-line, then Perisic mis-hit a cross and forced Neto to turn the ball over as it looked as though it might loop over him. From the corner, the ball was only cleared as far as just inside the box and Perisic was there to volley the ball at goal, but he was leaning back and skied it way into the South Stand.
Looking for an equaliser, Spurs poured forward and Bournemouth dropped into a five-man defence. Skippy looked to add to his goal against Chelseawith a shot after he had taken the ball down 20 yards out, but it was straight at Neto, who took it comfortably. There was then a stoppage long after Kane had been pulled down in the box, but there was little information given to the crowd on the big screens and eventually the game re-started … slowly as Neto took and age to take a goal-kick. The referee made a big show of indicating that he was stopping his watch, but the way to stamp this is out is not to allow it to continue, but to book people for it.
Kane headed a fizzing Porro cross off target, then Richarlison, who had come on for Skipp, was crudely fouled (no booking given) 30 yards out and Perisic took the free-kick but shot wide and Neto had not really had too many difficult direct shots to deal with and while we may be the best in the PL to score from corners, our free-kicks are mostly woeful. The detestable Lerma, who spent much of the match in the referee’s face, left Romero on the ground after a late tackle that ended up with him catching the Spurs man in the face, but again VAR decided thought there was nothing doing, perhaps after last week’s errors, they wanted to equal these things out over the course of a couple of games, not a season.
Visiting players were going down like flies now to eat up time, but once more Madley pointed to his watch and Spurs thought they had an equaliser when the ball pinged about inside the penalty area, before Richarlison stretched to loop the ball at goal and Neto looked on in vain as it dropped into the net on his left. Richarlison’s luck was typified by this “goal” as it was ruled out by a linesman’s flag for Danjuma straying beyond the last defender in the build-up. It was only a brief respite for Bournemouth as Perisic’s long throw saw Richi jump for it, but it appeared to come off Mepham’s arm. Before anyone cold appeal the ball had run to the middle of the box, 16 yards out and Arnaut drove it left-footed low into the bottom right corner of Neto’s net, with the goalkeeper left standing. With just over a minute of normal time remaining, there was an urgency to get the ball to kick-off again, although we had to wait to see if we were going to be denied a second time for offside, but the goal was eventually given. This review system is really killing the game.
Just before the goal, we were indebted to Hugo for making a good reflex save as Anthony dribbled past Romero on the dead-ball line to get a shot in from the right of Lloris’ goal and the Spurs skipper did well to push the ball out and luckily, to safety. Richarlison had a good chance at the far post from a corner, but he glanced his downward header wide of the post and then a long ball down the Bournemouth right saw Solanke jump at Porro without winning the ball, then he came inside and squared it to Ouattara, who came inside Hojbjerg to curl a shot around Lloris’ left hand to win the game for Bournemouth. The referee indicated that it was shoulder-to shoulder, but it was more like Solanke’s shoulder to Porro’s back and the referee allowed it to go without punishment. He had also allowed a huge amount of added time because of Bournemouth’s time-wasting and it paid off for them.
Once more there had been bad behaviour from the away bench with a number of the AFCB staff finger-pointing at the Spurs backroom staff with the fourth official shying away from getting involved, followed by after-match claims from the Bournemouth manager that Stellini failed to shake his hand. Perhaps it was for the best after what had gone before.
Anyway, the boo-ers in the South Stand got what they wanted with Spurs beaten and losing an opportunity to claw some points back on Newcastle, but singing for Pochettino again only shows their short memory. Yes, there were highs, but there was also the period after the Champions League final until he was sacked, which saw the fans falling out of love with him. Someone said to me before the game that Spurs had agreed for Vincent Kompany to take over, but that news failed to break and if it was true, probably wouldn’t until after the season ends … or at least Burnley wrap up the Championship title with a record number of points. Then, on the train after the game, someone was regaling tales of the 60s and I don’t blame him for that, because although throughout Tottenham’s history there have always been whipping boys who the crowd don’t fancy, back then it was probably only the odd shout rather than a mass booing. To lose three points was a shame. To lose with this toxic atmosphere is shameful. For goodness sake, we’re not the Gooners when Wenger was in the death throes at Highbury.
Sid E. Netting
|Aston Villa||3||Newcash United||0|
|Chelsea||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||2|
|South Coast Big Club||0||Crystal Palace||2|
|Mancashter City||3||Leicester City||1|
|West Ham United London||2||Woolwich Wanderers||2|
|Nottingham Forest||0||Mancashter United||2|
Premier League Table 2022-23
|7||Brighton & Hove Albion||29||14||7||8||54||37
|15||West Ham United London||30||8||7||15||29||41||31||-12|
|20||South Coast Big Club||31||6||5||20||24||53||23||-29|