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Spurs survive late scare in Bournemouth stalemate

Jose Mourinho says Michael Oliver was the man-of-the-match after denying Tottenham 'a clear penalty' at the Vitality Stadium

09 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Premier League

BOURNEMOUTH 0
TOTTENHAM 0

JOSE Mourinho pointed an accusing finger at the match officials after Spurs were denied an early penalty in their goalless draw away at Bournemouth this evening (Thursday).

A dull match at the Vitality Stadium wasn’t without its controversy. Just minutes in, Tottenham appeals for a spot-kick were waved away after Harry Kane was bundled over in the box.

Meanwhile, Bournemouth thought they had scored a last-gasp winner, only for Callum Wilson’s overhead kick to be chalked off for handball.

For Mourinho another bad decision by video assistant referee Michael Oliver – who controversially ruled out a goal for Spurs in their 3-1 defeat against Sheffield United last week – was all too familiar.

“The same referee who did the VAR decision against Sheffield United – Michael Oliver,” said the Spurs boss. “Opinions matter. It’s not only mine, everybody knows that is a penalty, and when I say everybody, I mean everybody. Everybody.

“I’m not saying that Harry Kane scores 100 per cent of his penalties but I think his penalty efficiency rate is very, very high, so normally at minute five of the match we would be winning 1-0 against a team psychologically in trouble.”

Mourinho added: “I think the game would probably be completely different. So, like against Sheffield United, the man-of-the-match was not one of the players.”

It looked a certainty that Tottenham were going to be given the chance to open the scoring after just four minutes when Joshua King pushed Kane over in the box.

It was a cast-iron penalty, but incredibly referee Paul Tierney waved away the appeals. The only thing that infuriated Mourinho more was the fact that Oliver in the VAR hub didn’t reverse the decision.

Being bundled over in the six-yard area was as close as Kane got to the Bournemouth goal. He looked worryingly subdued throughout, and did not even have a touch in the opposition box until the 78th minute.

In fact, Kane’s best work was carried out in his own penalty area as he helped defend a series of set-pieces, the most notable of which came midway through the first-half when the Spurs striker headed the ball away from his own goal-line with Nathan Ake poised to pounce for the home team.

The Cherries thought they had picked up all three points in spectacular style in the final minute of the 90. Wilson looked to have scored with an exquisite finish, but the goal was quickly ruled out as replays showed the ball touched King’s hand before hitting the back of the net.

After a lengthy delay because of a serious injury to Adam Smith, Bournemouth had one final chance to win it during 12 minutes of stoppage time, but substitute Harry Wilson saw his effort well-saved by Hugo Lloris as the game ended goalless.

Despite Tottenham’s failure to muster a single shot on target, Mourinho insisted his team had done enough to win the game.

He said: “The performance was not good enough, but good enough to win. I am not saying a strong performance or a sharp one, but good enough to win.

“I feel I got enough desire and the players couldn’t give more today. For me it wasn’t a surprise but there’s always a negative when you have a huge penalty decision against you.”

Bournemouth: Ramsdale, Smith (Stacey, 63), Kelly, Ake, Rico, Lerma, Gosling, Brooks (H. Wilson, 66), King, Stanislas, C. Wilson
Substitutes not used: Boruc, Cook, Surman, Solanke, Danjuma, Cook, Surridge

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier (Fernandes, 90+2), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Winks, Lo Celso (Ndombele, 45), Sissoko (Moura, 75), Bergwijn (Son, 45), Lamela, Kane
Substitutes not used: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Sessegnon, Skipp, White

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