Tottenham took care of business away at Bournemouth on Sunday, coming from behind to secure a 4-1 victory. Spur’s win wasn’t without cost, however. Star striker Harry Kane went off injured in the first-half after a run-in with Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begović. It appeared as though the England hitman caught his right ankle under Begović, a worrying sign given his history of similar injuries to his dominant foot.
The hosts had taken a very early lead through Junior Stanislas, but were pegged back by a Dele Alli goal prior to halftime. Spurs went on to take control of proceedings in the second-half, scoring three unanswered goals to secure a vital three points.
The win leaves Spurs sitting alone in third place, a solitary point clear of Liverpool after the Reds’ loss to United on Saturday.
Kane injury—the wrong thing at the right time?
The last thing any Spurs fan such as myself wants to see is our most productive goalscorer going down injured. That said, Kane picked a good time to face a spell on the sidelines. Spurs’ next Premier League fixture is almost a month away; they don’t play in the league again until they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on April 1st. This somewhat-lengthy layoff affords Kane plenty of time to recover from the knock he picked-up this weekend.
If his recovery does end up taking more than a couple of weeks, though, Kane could wind up missing some season-defining matches. The match with Chelsea is potentially huge; the Blues will head into it trailing us in the race for top-four and the result will go a long way toward deciding which London club plays Champions League football next season. Outside of the league, there’s also the late stages of the FA Cup to consider. If we can navigate past Swansea in the quarterfinals, we’ll be in with a real chance of winning that competition. A fit Kane makes that task much, much simpler.
Dele and Son step up after Kane steps off
Kane’s inability to last more than 20 minutes against Bournemouth could have been a rather large problem. We were already trailing at the time of his injury and looked bereft of attacking thrust. But when Kane went off, Heung-min Son and Dele Alli turned it on. I’ve been very critical of Dele’s propensity to generate more negative headlines than goals lately, but when the lad barreled an Aurier cross into the net to equalize, I saw shades of last season’s late-run extraordinaire.
With Dele having put us back in the game prior to halftime, Son went about putting us out of the hosts’ reach after the break. His first goal was hardly a classic, as he miss-hit the ever-living shite out of his volley off a Dele cross to put us ahead 2-1. But his second was peak Sonny, racing away on a counterattack and rounding Begović for an easy tap-in. The South Korean has been the most reliable source of goals outside Kane for us all season, and if he continues in this vein for the run-in, we won’t miss Harry nearly as much as we should.
European hangover avoided
I was as disappointed as any following our exit from the Champions League this past Wednesday. Juve didn’t play as well as I expected them to and were there to be beaten. We created tons of first-half chances only to squander almost every one of them. To top it off, Poch was at his typical worst when it came to substitutions, arguably costing us the chance at an equalizer by refusing to adapt to Allegri’s astute tactical adjustments.
All that said, I’m glad we managed to avoid doubling-down on our misery in the league this weekend. While getting knocked out of Europe definitely stung, there’s considerably less shame in losing to a team like Juve than there would be in dropping points to a newly promoted side. As long as we finish high enough in the league to secure Champions League play next season, I’m not too bothered about being eliminated by a side that’s been to more finals in the last five years than we have in our entire club history.
Poch and the lads got the job done on Sunday, and if not for Kane’s injury, it would have been a near-perfect afternoon. A few more weeks of steady wins like this and we’ll see ourselves secure a top-four finish with a shot at the FA Cup trophy. If you’d offered me that at the beginning of the year, I’d have taken it—no questions asked.