Dele Alli starred as Tottenham made it three wins out of three under manager Jose Mourinho, despite a Bournemouth fightback.

The result lifts Tottenham, who secured their first back-to-back Premier League victories this season, up to fifth in the table, while the visitors drop to 12th.

Eddie Howe’s side started brightly but Alli, who appears to be flourishing under Mourinho, was the catalyst for Spurs’ victory.

Toby Alderweireld’s raking pass created Alli’s opening goal, with the England midfielder racing on to Son Heung-min’s touch to tap the ball past Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Alli’s second came from the same source, as he superbly controlled Alderweireld’s pass before holding off Jack Stacey and flicking the ball over Ramsdale.

When Moussa Sissoko added Spurs’ third goal – with a close-range volley from Son’s exemplary cross – the hosts appeared to be en route to an emphatic win.

However, Harry Wilson’s introduction sparked the visitors into life, pulling one back with a superb free-kick.

The on-loan Liverpool midfielder reduced the arrears further six minutes into stoppage time, although it proved too little too late for the Cherries, who have now conceded 16 goals on their last five visits to Tottenham.

Jose all smiles and Alli reborn

While smiles were in short supply towards the end of Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United, the Portuguese manager has started life at Tottenham with a cheerful and airy disposition.

With his proclamations of humility, celebrations with ball boys and decisions to deploy players into positions they favour, his approach has clearly had the desired effect.

His new employers have so far reaped the rewards, and this was the first time Spurs have won three consecutive matches (across all competitions) since April.

While this was far from a vintage performance overall, one player who appears to have benefitted under the new regime is Alli.

This game suggested he is not only back to his influential best as a playmaker behind Harry Kane and Son, but also as someone capable of making a considerable contribution in front of goal.

His first goal on Saturday was all about anticipation and timing, running adjacent to Son and ensuring he was on hand to deliver the simplest of finishes.

His second showcased all of his talents – running power, control, strength and the composure in front of goal to apply the deftest of touches under pressure.

While Alli was unable to register his first hat-trick for the club, it was still his first two-goal haul in a home game for Tottenham since January 2017 and ensured he received a standing ovation when he was withdrawn late on.

Same old story for Bournemouth

While Mourinho or Alli will deservedly take the acclaim, this all had a touch of deja vu for Bournemouth, who arrived in London seeking to avoid their third straight defeat.

Despite their attractive football, they once again struggled against one of the Premier League’s established top-six teams.

The Cherries have managed two away victories in 26 games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Tottenham – a miserable run that could have been made all the worse by a hammering here.

Frustratingly though for the Cherries supporters, their team came to life at 3-0 down, largely due to Harry Wilson’s endeavour.

The 22-year-old Wales midfielder, who was surprisingly omitted from the starting XI, signalled his intent with a shot on goal a minute after being brought on.

His trademark free-kick, which flew into the top right corner from 20 yards, ensured that no other Premier League players has scored more goals from outside the penalty area this season.

Man of the match – Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Dele Alli
Alli had more shots and more shots on target than any other player

‘Alli has been phenomenal’ – what they said

Jose Mourinho speaking to Match of the Day: “I think it was in our best period when we scored the third goal. We were close to scoring the fourth and then when they scored the first one it was a different game.

“The boys felt a bit tired after playing a high intensity game, but we had the chance to score the fourth goal, but then in the Premier League the game is always alive. We played well for long periods of the game, we had a few scary moments but I think the fans enjoyed it. We scored seven goals in four days.”

On Dele Alli: “He plays in a position where he feels happy and comfortable. We also give him space for his creativity, which he always has. I think he played three phenomenal matches since I arrived.”

On the fans’ reception: “The fans love the club. I’m not saying they love me but they accept me as a top professional who wants to give everything for the club.

“People have more reasons to love me if they like my work, but the fans are behind the team and they see us working hard to get to a position in the table that is more suitable to the talent of this squad.”

Eddie Howe speaking to Match of the Day: “We felt it was a close game all the way through. I think we played OK today but the disappointing thing is to concede two goals from long balls. That killed us.

“We should have dealt with them better. These are not the type of goals you expect to concede coming here.

“Harry Wilson is a goalscorer, and we had other moments during the game. It is just a shame we were coming back from 3-0 down. In this league if you’re not quite where you need to be you can get punished.”

BBC Sport


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here