- Tottenham Hotspur defeated Bournemouth 3-1 in a decisive victory that closed off the year.
- Pape Sarr’s second goal of the season gave Spurs the lead in the ninth minute, setting up an outstanding start to the match.
- Bournemouth exerted every effort to tie the score, Son Heung-min and Richarlison’s goals in the second half dashed their dreams of winning.
Tottenham Hotspur defeated Bournemouth 3-1 in a decisive victory that closed off the year.
Pape Sarr’s second goal of the season gave Spurs the lead in the ninth minute, setting up an outstanding start to the match.
Even though Bournemouth exerted every effort to tie the score, Son Heung-min and Richarlison’s goals in the second half dashed their dreams of winning.
Bournemouth’s seven-game undefeated streak came to an unsatisfactory end, but late on, Cherries midfielder Alex Scott brought one back before another chance was disallowed.
With 39 points from 20 games, Tottenham is in fifth position, one point behind Arsenal in fourth and just three points behind leaders Liverpool, who have played one fewer game.
Postecoglou’s side, still missing a host of first-team players and the suspended Dejan Kulusevski, were handed a boost before kickoff as Rodrigo Bentancur was cleared to start for him in the starting lineup following his quick recovery from an ankle injury he suffered against Aston Villa at the end of November gave Tottenham.
Bentancur had a part in Tottenham’s early opening after Ange Postecoglou chose him in the starting lineup. He capitalized on a misdirected pass from Neto and then Giovani Lo Celso pushed the ball in Sarr’s path.
The Senegal international hesitated to take a shot at first, but when he was allowed time and room to find his position, he sent a low attempt into the bottom corner.
Spurs, buoyant after taking the lead for the 16th time in the Premier League this year, went straight after a second goal.
Spurs captain Son shot straight at the Bournemouth goalkeeper after Emerson Royal’s powerful strike forced Neto to make a diving save.
The first half of the match was entertaining, but the hosts suffered a blow when Sarr was forced out due to an injury that may have affected his participation in the African Cup of Nations.
Although they had a slow start, Bournemouth gradually gained momentum in the second half.
Dominic Solanke’s strike sailed onto the top of the crossbar, following attempts from Justin Kluivert and Marcus Tavernier on the Tottenham goal.
Bournemouth started the second half brightly after playing well in the first half and carried that momentum into the second half.
When Solanke sprang high to meet Lewis Cook’s tempting corner, he came agonizingly close to extending his league goal total to twelve, but Guglielmo Vicario made a great reaction stop.
Moments later, Richarlison wasted a fantastic chance to double Tottenham’s lead after being set up by Son. With the lead still precarious, Bournemouth kept trying to draw even, and Solanke’s attempt from Tavernier’s cross went wide.
Eventually, Bournemouth paid a heavy price in the 71st minute when Son scored his 12th goal of the year after latching onto an inch-perfect through ball from Lo Celso and drilling a hard shot past Neto.
Tottenham quickly added a third goal, with Richarlison scoring from a low cross by Brennan Johnson to give his team total command.
Scott scored his first Premier League goal after coming off the bench to give Bournemouth a point back.
After Tottenham’s 3-1 victory, which puts them in fifth place and one point outside of the top four, the midfield player felt he had scored a second goal in stoppage time, but his attempt was disallowed for offside.
After their four-game winning streak came to an end, Bournemouth is still in 12th position in the Premier League standings.