Bournemouth 0-2 Tottenham: Maddison, Kulusevski continue Postecoglou’s promising start

News Desk
Tottenham winger Dejan Kulusevski
Dejan Kulusevski celebrates Tottenham's second goal against Bournemouth.

James Maddison opened his account for Tottenham before Dejan Kulusevski ended his goal drought to help the feelgood factor around Ange Postecoglou’s new-look team continue with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth.

Maddison had starred in last weekend’s fine victory over Manchester United, but was spotted on crutches and in a protective boot later that same night.

A sore ankle failed to stop Spurs’ new number 10 featuring on the south coast and he applied the finishing touch to an excellent team move after 17 minutes while continuing to pull the strings throughout this Premier League encounter.

Bournemouth did improve after the opener but Kulusevski was able to clip into the bottom corner in the 63rd minute for his first goal since January to ensure Postecoglou’s side extended their unbeaten run to three matches.

Maddison had been a pre-match doubt after he only returned to training on Friday, but he started at Vitality Stadium .

After morning sunshine in Bournemouth, the heavens opened by the time referee Tim Robinson blew his whistle and it was a bruising start for Spurs.

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Destiny Udogie, Maddison and Cristian Romero all received early blows in the pouring rain, but it failed to knock the visitors off their stride and the opener arrived in the 17th minute.

Pedro Porro and Yves Bissouma exchanged passes before the latter found Pape Sarr, who spotted Maddison’s late run and the England international was able to scuff his shot into the bottom corner from eight yards.

While Maddison’s finish was scruffy, it still represented his first goal for Tottenham since a £40million switch from Leicester.

Maddison had been denied by Neto two minutes earlier after a similar move but was running the show despite proving unpopular with the home fans.

Sarr was next to go close but his deflected shot was saved after Maddison and Son combined and Spurs’ new captain Son sent a volley wide after 26 minutes.

It was Maddison again at the heart of Tottenham’s next chance when Romero produced a fine tackle on Antoine Semenyo and the visitors’ number 10 led the counter-attacker before playing through Richarlison, but he was crowded out and the chance went begging.

Richarlison headed Maddison’s corner into the side-netting minutes later, but Bournemouth – also at the start of a new era under Spaniard Andoni Iraola – did finish the first half strongly.

Ryan Christie tested Guglielmo Vicario with a low effort and Philip Billing curled wide from 18-yards.

The Cherries continued their momentum into the second half with Dominic Solanke firing a dangerous ball across the face of goal and Semenyo curling wide.

Postecoglou had seen enough and Richarlison’s frustrating afternoon ended not long after he received a yellow card for a late tackle on Illia Zabarnyi with Ivan Perisic and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg introduced by the hour mark.

Son was now down the middle and the tactical tweak worked a treat with a one-two with Udogie resulting in Kulusevski making it 2-0.

Udogie got to the byline and brilliantly cut back for Kulusevski, who flicked into the corner. Kulusevski let out a roar in celebration after his 63rd-minute effort and it was timely for Tottenham.

Maddison could have put the game to bed seven minutes later but dragged wide before Perisic survived a VAR call for shoving Max Aarons.

A raft of substitutions was followed by another downpour alongside thunder and lightening, but it failed to dampen Spurs spirits with Postecoglou’s side able to continue their promising start with a second consecutive win.