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Eriksen strike ends Spurs’ Wembley hoodoo


London (AFP) – Christian Eriksen ensured Tottenham Hotspur ended their Wembley hoodoo with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, after three Premier League games at their temporary home without a victory.

Tottenham were not at their best and rode their luck at times, but for manager Maurico Pochettino the victory will come as a welcome relief, while Bournemouth continue to struggle at the wrong end of the table.

Spurs face a daunting Champions League trip to holders Real Madrid on Tuesday and know they will need to up their game if they are to not return from Spain empty-handed. 

The build-up to Tottenham’s first game back after the international break had been dominated by Pochettino’s pre-match attack on Pep Guardiola. 

The Spurs boss accused his Manchester City counterpart of showing a lack of respect for claiming the north Londoners are a one-man team.

Guardiola cited Kane as that man. But with 13 goals for club and country in September, it was hard to disagree.

Pochettino needed other players to start chipping in if they were to make up ground on their title rivals. That meant they could ill-afford a repeat of the previous stalemates with Burnley and Swansea City.

Bournemouth were clearly out to stifle the home side’s attacking approach as they packed their defence.

But despite sitting deep and soaking up the early pressure, it was Bournemouth who almost took an 18th-minute lead.

Adam Smith found room and his cutback saw Junior Stanislas’s goal-bound shot diverted inches wide off Davinson Sanchez.

Moments later, Bournemouth came even closer. Stanislas’s corner flicked off Toby Alderweireld and home goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had to spare his blushes with a fine reflex save.

Kane had barely had a kick at this point but he almost handed his side a 32nd-minute lead.

Eriksen fed Kane, but he was under pressure as he bore down on goal and his shot was pushed out by Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. 

From the resulting Kieran Trippier corner, Alderweireld could not keep his header under the crossbar. 

Tottenham were struggling to find any rhythm to their passing, a familiar feeling for the supporters at their temporary home.

– Eriksen strike –

It took Spurs just two second-half minutes to make the breakthrough, even if they needed a slice of luck to open the scoring. 

Eriksen burst though but a fortunate bounce off Simon Francis saw the Dane break free and curl past Begovic.

Tottenham thought they had extended their lead in the 57th minute, only for an offside flag to correctly rule out Kane’s header following Trippier’s cross.

Kane had another chance to open his account, but was foiled by Begovic not once, but twice.

It could have proved costly as Bournemouth came back into the game and substitute Jermain Defoe, who was cheered on by the Spurs supporters, almost came back to haunt his old club with his first touch.

Fellow substitute Jordon Ibe fed Defoe, who saw his low shot kept out by Lloris at his near post in the 77th minute.

Tottenham had let slip a lead late on against Burnley and, although Eriksen brought about a fine save from Begovic, this game was far from done and dusted.

Dele Alli should have wrapped up the win instead of heading Moussa Sissoko’s cross wide in the closing minutes, but Tottenham held out for that elusive maiden league sin since relocating.

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