AFC Bournemouth bagged an all important point after a 0-0 draw at home to a lacklustre Tottenham on Thursday night. Though, they were left in despair after having a near late winner ruled out by VAR.
Callum Wilson’s late overhead strike found the back of the net and at first was thought to be enough for the Cherries to gain their first win since February. But the goal was ruled out after a handball by Josh King, strengthening relegation fears for the Dorset men.
Despite the late heartbreak, it is Bournemouth’s first point since the restart.
The home side were perhaps fortunate just four minutes in, following a Tottenham corner where Harry Kane appeared to be pushed to the ground by King. Referee Paul Tierney saw nothing wrong and despite strong appeals from both Kane and manager Jose Mourinho, VAR did not take long to complete its check and agree with the on field decision.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe would have been encouraged with his side’s performance over the first period, with them looking far sharper than on any other occasion since the Premier League restart last month.
Bournemouth saw a lot of the ball and tried to capitalise on sloppy Spurs play early on. David Brooks had a long range driving shot blocked and even Kane had to help out in Tottenham’s defensive efforts.
Before the game Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale had not kept a clean sheet since before Christmas. The youngster from Stoke on Trent would have been pleased that the most the away side would threaten his goal all half was an Eric Lamela long range effort that glided upwards way above the bar.
The Cherries came closest just moments before the half time whistle, when Junior Stanislas did well to turn and unleash a clever snapshot from the edge of the area. Though the 30 year old scored his first goal of the season against Manchester United on Saturday, the effort did not catch Lloris out, who did well to get down low and steer the ball from the bottom corner of his net.
Tottenham’s target man Kane did not have a touch in the home side’s box the whole of the first half, and his manager was likely to be very unhappy with the Spurs performance.
After receiving a powerful ball to the stomach from a Kane free kick, full back Adam Smith then took a nasty blow to the head when challenging against Spurs back liner Ben Davies at the start of the second half. The man who used to play for Tottenham received extensive medical attention on the pitch, and after a lengthy eight minute wait was stretchered off. Jack Stacey took his place near the hour mark.
The injury woes continues for Howe’s men, when David Brooks limped off minutes later, being replaced by Harry Wilson who bagged a brace for the Cherries in the reverse fixture back in November. The goals were not enough to prevent a 3-2 defeat that time however.
Following the stoppages King’s mazy run saw him weave between away defenders before winning a corner. However the Norwegian should have done better on a free header from the set piece, which saw him weakly connect and send the ball wide.
Lamela also had a great headed chance for his side. Ivorian Serge Aurier sent a direct cross from the right onto the Argentine’s head close to goal, but he was only able to flick the ball on across goal and wide of Ramsdale’s left hand post.
The away side turned up the gears towards the end of the second half, earning a series of corners. Yet the Cherries, who despite having conceded 12 goals in their last four games, held strong and showed much more quality at the back, with defenders Ake and Lloyd Kelly throwing their bodies in front of any Spurs effort.
The hard work Howe’s men had showed so nearly paid off near to ninety minutes, when Jefferson Lerma forwarded a header onto a superb overhead kick from Callum Wilson. The acrobatic effort from near the penalty spot found its way into the left of the goal, but having brushed King’s arm on it’s way through. Cherries hearts were broken after the VAR check saw the goal chalked off for the handball.
Just minutes later, in injury time, King sent an accurate pass into the path of Harry Wilson, who found himself one on one with Lloris. The French international keeper pulled of a stunning stop as he dived low to his right to show exquisite reflexes and deny Bournemouth a late winner again near the final whistle. No late goals against the Londoners this time round for the Welshman.
Following a huge 12 minutes of added time, there was still nothing to split the two sides.
Despite coming so close to victory, the Cherries should be proud of the point gained, which sees them leapfrog Aston Villa into 18th, and close the gap on Watford to just three points.
The Cherries will have to keep up the improved performances, as their games refuse to get any easier. They host fourth placed Leicester on Sunday, before travelling to Manchester City on Wednesday.