Five star Spurs blitz Bournemouth to move to second
Tottenham move ahead of Man City and now trail unbeaten Liverpool by six points
Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring the first goal of the match for Tottenham Hotspur against Bournemouth. Photograph: Getty Images
Tottenham 5 Bournemouth 0
Mauricio Pochettino had called on Tottenham to maintain their focus, to not allow complacency to set in amid increasing talk of a title push following the 6-2 hammering of Everton just before Christmas. He had seen it happen after the 3-0 win at Manchester United earlier in the season and was therefore concerned. What the manager got here, then, was an excellent response from his men. Another three points, another rout, and following Manchester City’s defeat at Leicester, a shift up to second place that only heightens the sense that this could be Spurs’ year after all.
They now sit one point and one place above the champions while remaining six points behind Liverpool following the leaders’ 4-0 victory over Newcastle.
There is no doubting it - Tottenham are in the mix, and while they were not at their best here, in defence as well as attack, they were nonetheless impressive and pretty much had a 12th victory in 14 games wrapped up by the interval after scoring three times in 19 first-half minutes, through Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura. Harry Kane got the fourth just after the hour before Son got another shortly after to make it 11 goals in two games for Pochettino’s side. Cue mild panic in Wolverhampton Wanderers’ ranks ahead of their visit here on Saturday.
What will have particularly pleased Pochettino was the contribution of the players he brought in for this game. The Argentinian has expressed the importance of every member of his squad contributing to Tottenham’s cause, and especially during this typically busy time of the year, and that was certainly what Kyle Walker-Peters and Lucas Moura did having replaced Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli respectively from the side that triumphed at Goodison Park. In just his fourth appearance of the season, and first league start, Walker-Peters assisted Spurs’ opening three goals while Moura not only scored the third but played a part in the fifth, drilling a low shot from outside the area that proved too hot to handle for Asmir Begovic. The goalkeeper spilled the ball into Son’s path, who showed great composure before poking it into an empty net.
For Bournemouth, this was a fourth away defeat in a row and an afternoon that everyone concerned with the club will want to quickly forget. Eddie Howe’s side played well in attack, showing their trademark poise and creativity in possession, and had they taken either of the presentable chances that fell Ryan Fraser and David Brooks’ way before Tottenham made it 1-0, the outcome of this game could have been different. But they did not and on 16 minutes Spurs took the lead through Eriksen’s shot from just outside the area. There was a huge element of fortune to the goal given the ball deflected off Jefferson Lerma before going into the net but Eriksen deserved credit for showing ambition, and in the process scoring for the third league game in succession.
From there Bournemouth wilted. Son made it 2-0 following some really poor defending from Charlie Daniels that allowed Walker-Peters to steal possession on the edge of the area before poking the ball onto his South Korean team-mate and the 21-year-old was on hand again on 35 minutes to provide Moura with a volleyed pass that the Brazilian swept past Begovic with ease.
Things went from bad to worse for the visitors just before half-time as Simon Francis was forced to leave the pitch on a stretcher after damaging his knee as he attempted to challenge Son on the near touchline. The defender lay on the turf for a good few minutes and looked in severe pain, indicating strongly that he will be out of action for some time.
The visitors started the second-half brightly and appeared to have incorrectly been denied a penalty by referee Christ Kavanagh after Callum Wilson was brought down in the area by Juan Foyth but, ultimately, it made little difference. Kane scored his seventh goal in six games against Bournemouth after collecting Eriksen’s straight pass and running in between Steve Cook and Nathan Aké before Son made it 5-0 on 70 minutes.
Cue cheers from those in attendance and they were in even louder voice eight minutes later after news came through that City were losing to Leicester.