Tottenham 2-3 Bournemouth: Ouattara’s last-gasp winner sinks Spurs
Dango Ouattara’s stoppage-time strike earned Bournemouth a dramatic 3-2 win at Tottenham to further dent the hosts’ top-four hopes.
A wild game ended the way of Gary O’Neil’s visitors after goals by Matias Vina and Dominic Solanke were added to by substitute Ouattara to earn the Cherries some revenge after they suffered late pain in the reverse fixture in October.
It capped a disastrous afternoon for Spurs’ acting head coach Cristian Stellini, who hooked substitute Davinson Sanchez after a poor 23-minute cameo and saw his gung-ho tactics – where six attackers were on the pitch for the final exchanges – cost his team.
Tottenham remain in fifth but have Aston Villa breathing down their neck and have a critical three-game week against top-four rivals Newcastle and Manchester United coming up with confidence again low while chairman Daniel Levy faced more chants during this 10th defeat of the league season.
Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes after Bournemouth arrived late due to traffic and while Spurs were waiting for their opponents to turn up, top-four rivals Newcastle suffered a damaging 3-0 loss at Villa.
Tottenham started impressively in pursuit of drawing level with the Magpies and Dejan Kulusevski had three early efforts.
Ivan Perisic also looked a threat from the off, which made it no surprise when the Croatian claimed his 11th assist of the season.
Clement Lenglet produced a superb ball over the top of the away defence and Perisic raced through before he cut back for Heung-min Son to fire home.
It continued Son’s gradual return to form with this his third goal from his last five matches after a largely poor campaign by his usual high standards.
While Ryan Christie blazed over from a good position for the Cherries soon after, Tottenham and in particular Son looked in the mood after his 14th-minute opener.
A flurry of step-overs from Son fooled Chris Mepham but Neto produced an outstanding finger-tip save to deny the forward a second.
The South Korean turned creator moments later when he played in Harry Kane, who could only fire straight at Bournemouth’s captain Neto.
Yet as has often been the case this term, Spurs were unable to sustain their momentum and slowly O’Neil’s relegation-threatened side gained a foothold in the contest.
Marcus Tavernier forced Hugo Lloris into a decent save before Tottenham lost defender Lenglet to a muscle injury.
Stellini reacted by introducing Sanchez but made another altercation to his back-three with Cristian Romero moved over to left centre-back and Bournemouth made the most of an unsettled home defence.
Pedro Porro was robbed by Vina outside Spurs’ penalty area and Solanke sent the full debutant through on goal where he expertly lobbed over the onrushing Lloris in the 38th minute.
It was a fine finish by a player who had played a grand total of 17 minutes prior to this full debut since he joined on loan from Roma in January.
Bournemouth were forced into their own change soon after half-time with goalscorer Vina withdrawn with a back injury but they were celebrating a second goal with 51 minutes played.
Sanchez was involved for all the wrong reasons with Tavernier able to turn the centre-back inside out and while the Spurs substitute got his toe to the ball, it only knocked it perfectly into Solanke’s path who chipped past Lloris.
Tottenham fans booed Sanchez’ next touch and Stellini realised he had to act with the Colombian’s 23-minute cameo soon brought to an end.
Danjuma earned a rare opportunity against his former club as a result and quickly tested Neto.
Kane sent a header wide from a Porro cross with 20 minutes left and Stellini further rolled the dice with Richarlison introduced with Spurs now in a hybrid formation that had six attackers on the pitch.
When Porro blazed over wildly, chants of ‘we want Levy out’ occurred from the South Stand as the seconds ticked away.
An offside call denied Richarlison his first league goal soon after before Danjuma appeared to have rescued Tottenham a point with a fine low effort two minutes from time.
Spurs were hit by a sucker-punch when trying to find a winner when O’Neil’s side broke and Solanke teed up Ouattara, who cut inside and curled home to spark wild celebrations from the away dug-out.