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Tottenham Hotspur vs Bournemouth. Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur StadiumAttendance61,780.

Tottenham Hotspur 3

  • P Sarr (9th minute)
  • H Son (71st minute)
  • Richarlison (80th minute)

Bournemouth 1

  • A Scott (84th minute)

Tottenham 3-1 Bournemouth: Pape Sarr, Heung-Min Son and Richarlison score to close gap on top four

Report and free match highlights as Pape Sarr scores Tottenham's opener but then goes off injured on AFCON eve; Bournemouth miss host of chances before Heung-Min Son scores Spurs' second; Richarlison wraps up victory before Alex Scott nets Bournemouth consolation

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Bournemouth in the Premier League

Pape Sarr and Heung-Min Son delivered Tottenham parting gifts before Richarlison secured a 3-1 victory over in-form Bournemouth to close the gap on the top four to one point.

The pair will head to the Africa Cup of Nations and the Asia Cup respectively next month, although Sarr's involvement is in doubt after he left the pitch with a hamstring injury and in tears during the first half.

The Senegal midfielder struck an early opener for Tottenham, but Bournemouth dominated the rest of the half and missed a host of chances before Son netted Spurs' second with less than 20 minutes remaining.

Richarlison swept in a late third although Bournemouth pushed until the end, seeing substitute Alex Scott score a consolation which was the least Andoni Iraola's side deserved.

Player ratings:

Tottenham: Vicario (7), Porro (6), Royal (6), Davies (6), Udogie (6), Sarr (7), Lo Celso (8), Bentancur (6), Johnson (6), Son (7), Richarlison (7).

Subs: Skipp (6), Hojbjerg (6), Veliz (n/a), Gil (n/a), Dier (n/a).

Bournemouth: Neto (6), Smith (6), Zabarnyi (6), Senesi (6), Ouattara (6), Christie (7), Kluivert (6), Tavernier (7), Solanke (7), Cook (7), Sinisterra (7).

Subs: Aarons (6), Billing (6), Semenyo (6), Scott (7), Brooks (n/a)

Player of the Match: Giovani Lo Celso

How Spurs closed the gap

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Danyal Khan and David Richardson review Tottenham's 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Tottenham began the day four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and immediately set about narrowing the gap with Son firing wide from an offside position and then Richarlison lofting over. Bournemouth threatened too, Solanke mistiming a downward header before Sarr found the net.

Team news:

  • Rodrigo Bentancur made a shock return from injury to start for Tottenham in place of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Giovani Lo Celso came in for the suspended Dejan Kulusevski.
  • Lewis Cook returned from injury to start for Bournemouth as one of two changes. Luis Sinisterra also came in while Alex Scott and Antoine Semenyo dropped to the bench.

Rodrigo Bentancur stepped forward to intercept in the Bournemouth half, Giovani Lo Celso won the second ball and as the visitors' defence backed off, Sarr fired into the bottom corner.

Tottenham's Pape Matar Sarr celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal
Image: Tottenham's Pape Sarr celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal

Neto saved from Emerson Royal and then Son before the injured Sarr left the pitch inconsolable, with his premature departure helping Bournemouth get on top.

Also See:

Tottenham's Pape Matar Sarr leaves the pitch after picking up an injury
Image: Sarr leaves the pitch after picking up an injury

Marcus Tavernier's free-kick was deflected narrowly wide and Justin Kluivert dragged an effort off target from inside the box. A Bournemouth equaliser felt inevitable, but Spurs survived as Ben Davies deflected Solanke's shot onto the crossbar at the end of a breathless half.

Bournemouth picked up from where they left off with a Solanke header kept out by Guglielmo Vicario, but despite their dominance, Richarlison missed a huge opportunity, rolling wide from Son's through ball.

Heung-min Son and Richarlison celebrate Tottenham's second goal
Image: Son and Richarlison celebrate Tottenham's second goal

Solanke missed another chance - the striker racking up nine shots - side-footing wide from close range as Spurs dug deep in the wind and rain. Son eased the tension with a fine finish to double their lead and with Spurs purring, Richarlison tapped in from Brennan Johnson's cross.

But Bournemouth never gave up, seeing Scott find the bottom right corner with a composed finish and there was still time for Spurs substitute Bryan Gil to hit the crossbar from just yards out and another Scott goal to be ruled out for offside.

Postecoglou: I am seeing progress and growth

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Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou is pleased with the progress he's seeing from his side after they beat Bournemouth 3-1

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou: "Every week is a battle and we had to battle today. At the same time, we played some decent stuff as well. After Brighton I said these players have given everything they've got and it is a credit to them. We've not been able to rotate but we're still putting in performances and effort like we are today.

"We're trying to build something. I'm at pains to keep repeating myself but we're trying to build a team that plays a bit differently and has some resilience and you can only gain that through tough times. Some of that is self-inflicted with suspensions but we've had a lot of injures. We haven't wanted to make excuses and we're still in there and fighting.

"We're three points off the top so if that is the difference between having a great season and where we are I'll take it. When you're trying to build something you will undoubtedly come up against some challenges. I am seeing progress. Sometimes it is not tangible and not football or results, sometimes it is just the team growing. There was more growth today."

On injuries: "It has been a constant for us. I'm disappointed for Pape [Matar Sarr], I'm not fully sure about the extent yet. It's a hamstring, he's gutted. We'll have to let others step up."

On confronting the Bournemouth bench: "We all just came together to wish each a Happy New Year mate and make some resolutions."

Iraola: We played with personality

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Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola feels his side were unfortunate to lose

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola: "You have to score goals and they were much better than us in the last third, finishing-wise. I'm really happy with the performance. We played with really strong personality against a top opposition.

"We had our chances, we had a lot of the ball around their box and in their half but it wasn't good enough, especially in the last third to make it 1-1 and put them under pressure.

"We were closer [to Spurs than August's defeat to them], especially to scoring goals, but we also have to realise that playing well even having a lot of the ball close to their box, having shots and corners that it wasn't enough to beat Spurs.

"You make one mistake they punish you and it's something we have to learn and to accept that even at our good level we need to improve things if we want to compete against this kind of opposition."

Fantasy Premier League stats

FPL stats: Tottenham vs Bournemouth

Goals Sarr, Son, Richarlison | Scott
Assists Lo Celso (2), Johnson | Tavernier
Bonus points Lo Celso (3pts), Tavernier (2pts), Son (1pt)

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Opta Stats: Bournemouth misfire in Spurs onslaught

  • Tottenham have scored in each of their last 32 Premier League games since a 1-0 defeat at Wolves in March - the longest ongoing streak in the competition. Furthermore, only three sides have gone on a longer such streak in the Premier League (Arsenal 55, Liverpool and Manchester United both 36).
  • Bournemouth had 24 shots in this match - the Cherries' most in a Premier League game since their draw against Watford in January 2019. Bournemouth had 12 more attempts than Tottenham - the highest tally that Spurs have been outshot in the Premier League this season, and their most since April this year (-14 v Newcastle).
  • This was Tottenham's first Premier League victory on New Year's Eve since a 2-0 win over Newcastle in 2005. In fact, Spurs had failed to win their final game in each of the previous five years, with this their first such victory since 2017 (5-2 v Southampton).
  • Richarlison has scored five goals in his last five Premier League games for Spurs, after netting just twice in his first 39 appearances for the club in the competition. Spurs have won each of their last five league games when Richarlison has scored, with their only defeat when he found the net coming in their first such game at Liverpool in April.

What's next?

Tottenham welcome Burnley to north London in the FA Cup third round on Friday January 5; kick-off 8pm.

Bournemouth travel to QPR in the FA Cup third round on Saturday January 6; kick-off 3pm.

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