THE ‘CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN’ team finally won a Premier League match at Wembley.
And lucky too as Harry Kane had an off day in front of goal as his incredible scoring run came to an end.
Eriksen won it two minutes into the second half but it was nowhere near Spurs at their energetic best.
It was hardly the kind of performance that boss Mauricio Pochettino would have hoped for following sarcastic criticism that Spurs are a one man team.
At least Tottenham can claim it is not just them who see the life sucked out of them playing on the vast open spaces at Wembley.
A crowd of 73,502 watched them labour to victory just as 60,000 odd England supporters witnessed the same sleep-inducing display last week at home to Slovenia.
And in some ways Pochettino will be relieved that Kane didn’t score as proof he can win a game without his talisman on top form.
September’s player of the month had one disallowed and should have won a penalty in the second half when he was hauled down in the box but overall it looked like all the recent excitement was catching up with him.
Instead it was Danish midfielder Eriksen who settled a scrappy match when he planted a shot to the right of Bournemouth keeper Asmir Begovic in the 47th minute.
Even then he needed two stabs at the ball before finally getting his shot over the line.
Kane had a tame shot in the first half easily saved as well but they also rode their luck when Toby Alderweireld miscued a defensive header in the Spurs’ six yard box from a corner forcing his own keeper Hugo Lloris to make a one-handed save on the line.
Eriksen had a ferocious, rising shot pushed over the bar by Begovic with ten minutes to go.
INTERACTIVE STATS – CLICK on the categories to find out how the teams fared
INTERACTIVE LINE-UPS– CLICK on a player’s number below to see their stats
FACTS, STATS, GOALS & LOLS
- Christian Eriksen has scored three goals in his last five @premierleague games, as many as in his previous 24.
- Bournemouth’s only previous trip to Wembley was in April 1998 in the Football League Trophy final against Grimsby – they lost 2-1 in extra-time, with Eddie Howe playing the full 120 minutes for the Cherries.
- Harry Kane has scored 36 competitive goals in 2017 from 147 shots, compared to Bournemouth netting 36 times from 371 shots overall.
- Tottenham have yet to lose to Bournemouth in league competition, winning four and drawing one of their five Premier League meetings to date, while netting 13 goals in the process (six by Harry Kane).
- Bournemouth’s only competitive victory over Tottenham came in an FA Cup clash in 1956-57, with the Cherries progressing from their 5th round match (3-1).
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Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino: “It was so important to get the win. It wasn’t a great performance. We made some mistakes in our positional game.
“We had a lot of possession but you could see it was difficult to break them down. We changed our set-up a bit in the second half.”
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Spurs: Lloris 7, Trippier 7, Sanchez 7, Alderweireld 7, Vertonghen 6, Dier 7, Winks 6, Eriksen 8, Alli 6 (Nkoudou 6), Son 6 (Sissoko 6), Kane 6 (Llorente 6)
Subs not used: Vorm, Foyth, Aurier, Walker-Peters
Goal: Eriksen 47’
Bournemouth: Begovic 7, Smith 6 (Ibe 6), Francis 6, Cook 6, Ake 6, Daniels 6, L Cook 6 (Mousset 6), Surman 6, Stanislas 6 (Defoe 6), Gosling 6, King 6
Subs not used: Boruc, Pugh, Arter, Afobe
Booked: Begovic, Smith, Cook