The worst of it is of course the injury. If it is ligament damage then while Kane will miss English friendlies, he’ll also miss not only the quarterfinal FA Cup game at Swansea, but almost certainly the next league game at Chelsea and a semi-final at Wembley should we beat the Swans. We’ve lost him before these past couple of years, and still thrived—but this will be a test but also and opportunity for the likes of Llorente and Moura to show their worth.
The bad was the first half and some strange defending—again. Davison Sanchez was caught out on what should have been the Cherries first goal—two minutes later he and others in the Back Four simply were outplayed and outhustled for about a minute before Stanislas found the back of the net. The defence stiffened after that and what seemed to be the story today was wasteful finishing—Son in particular guilty of ball hogging (And Dele called him out on it finally before the clincher) and both Rose and Aurier firing crosses into the stands as much as into the area.
But the good was the effort, particularly in the second half. Dembele and Wanyama began to boss the center of the field, Lamela was active throughout his long spell, subbing for Kane, Eriksen in control of the game from a deep Number 10 position, and Aurier and Rose always threatening down the flanks. Eventually Bournemouth were going to crack. It came from another fine effort by Dele and a cross that Son mishit as he did v Juventus but we’ll take it. He appeared to be an inch or two offside but since he had to step back for the volley it had no bearing on the goal. I thought Dele was a clear MOTM today—scoring the equalizer with a great run and finish from Aurier’s best cross—but active and energetic in his pressing throughout.
The clincher came from Bournemouth’s desperation—it may have been aided by an unfair gambit by Son on the prior free kick—but once Eriksen intercepted the ball Son was off to the races, helped by an accompanying Lamela that made Begovic hesitate and allowed the Korean around him for the easy conversion. Aurier’s goal was gravy and makes it next to impossible for Chelsea to ever win fourth place over Spurs on goal difference.
This has been a tough week, with two gut punches that threaten to cast a pall over the remainder of the season. But the Swans, while resolute lately, are still an inferior squad that Spurs should beat—and then it is two games in Wembley for a trophy with City out of the equation. And we’ll have three weeks to prepare for our annual blood-letting at Stamford Bridge, but knowing that a draw will leave Chelsea hoping for a Liverpool collapse for we should be clear. Nobody ever said any of this will be easy—this win today underscored that this team has mettle previously absent in Spurs for decades. Mettle for the metal? We can only hope.
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