AFC Bournemouth extended their unbeaten run at home in the Premier League to four games after holding Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw at The Vitality Stadium.
Cherries manager Eddie Howe was delighted with the point, “I’m very pleased, although there were no goals I thought that it was a very good game. Real high intensity, high quality, two teams really going at it.
“It was great to watch and I was really proud of the players today, probably more proud than I was this time last week when I sat here on the back of a 6-1 win, because of the quality of the opposition we were up against.”
Bournemouth appeared to catch out Spurs early on with their high pressing tactic, “from my perspective that was our game plan, to be disruptive and break up their rhythm, their normal way of playing”, Howe said.
“They have supremely talented players and we felt that our best option was to stop the ball getting into the final third with our work rate and intensity.
“It’s easier said than done, but the players have gone out and produced a brilliant performance from a physical perspective, full of work rate, endeavour, desire, the key words for us, that’s why I’m so pleased with the boys today.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino put his sides sluggish start down to a lack of freshness in his squad after playing their third match in a week. The Argentine said: “It’s true that Bournemouth were good in that area, but we were missing the freshness and needed to be more sharp with our passes when playing out from the back.
“Second half we dominated the game, but it was difficult in the final third to create chances. There were a lot of positive things, it’s true that we missed an opportunity to be on top of the table, but we need to be focused in trying to keep adding positives which we had today.”
Thoughts on Sissokho elbowing Arter
One big incident in the game unfolded midway through the second half as Moussa Sissokho elbowed Harry Arter in an off the ball incident after the ball had gone out of play for a throw in.
Howe declined to comment as he had not seen the replay of the incident but Pochettino’s initial reaction when he saw it in real time was not one of concern over the incident. He said: “I didn’t see the incident clearly live, I need to see the replay and Moussa’s action, but when I saw it live it didn’t look bad, but from my position it was difficult to see.”
Wilshere’s performance pleases Howe once again
Another positive for the Cherries in today’s game was that Jack Wilshere played 90 minutes of football for the first time in 771 days. “I thought Jack was excellent today, first and foremost from a defensive perspective he supported Callum superbly in our pressing”, Howe said.
“He did a lot of unseen work off the ball and competed for the second ball, all the niggly things you have to do to try and gain control of the game.
“With the ball I felt he had a greater influence the more the game went on and he made a number of telling passes. He stayed on (for the 90 minutes) because his performance warranted it and his fitness levels have improved to the degree where he was able to deliver that.”
All in all, both managers were satisfied with a point in what was a very competitive game. Both sides will look to kick on from this result, the Cherries will be looking to extend their home run when they face winless Sunderland at home on Saturday November 5th and Spurs will look to bounce back following their back to back draws in the Premier League.