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Sunday, August 09, 2020

Tottenham seal victory over Arsenal, Bournemouth stun Leicester

Toby Alderweireld’s 81st-minute header sealed a 2-1 Premier League victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal in the first north London derby in their new stadium on Sunday.

By: Reuters | Published: July 13, 2020 10:07:45 am
Tottenham Hotspur’s Toby Alderweireld celebrates scoring their second goal with Harry Winks (Source: Reuters)

Toby Alderweireld’s 81st-minute header sealed a 2-1 Premier League victory for Tottenham Hotspur against Arsenal in the first north London derby in their new stadium on Sunday.

The match appeared to be heading for a draw after Son Heung-min cancelled out Alexandre Lacazette’s opener.

However, Alderweireld’s header claimed all three points for Spurs to move Jose Mourinho’s side above Arsenal into eighth place in the battle for local bragging rights.

With three games left Tottenham have 52 points to Arsenal’s 50, but are seven points behind fourth-placed Leicester City.

Victory maintained Mourinho’s impressive record in home games against Arsenal — he has now won six and drawn four — and was a rare highlight for Tottenham in a mediocre season.

While both teams occupied similar league positions before kickoff, Mikel Arteta’s have looked the more impressive of the two since the Premier League resumed.

After a cagey opening the derby sparked into life with two goals in quick succession — both from the kind of defensive lapses that have been all too common for Spurs and Arsenal.

Tottenham’s Serge Aurier was guilty of a poor touch and then lost out in a 50-50 tackle with Granit Xhaka with the ball breaking to Lacazette who looked up and smashed a right-foot shot into the top corner.

The Gunners were not able to enjoy their lead though as they gifted Tottenham their equaliser.

Sead Kolasinac’s sloppy pass wrong-footed team mate David Luiz and Son was alive to the chance, going through to dink a cool finish over goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Tottenham leftback Ben Davies almost outdid Lacazette with a thumping drive from 30 metres that struck the bar while at the other end Nicolas Pepe curled wide and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired a free kick just past the post.

Arsenal were brighter in the early stages of the second half and Aubameyang fired against the woodwork on the hour after being played in by Lacazette.

Tottenham were re-energised after the second-half drinks break, though, with Harry Kane bursting into the area and setting up Son who delayed his shot too long.

The winner was as simple as it gets – Son swung in a corner and Alderweireld rose highest to glance home.

Kane, who was mainly a subdued figure, then almost extended Tottenham’s lead late on but was denied by Martinez.

“I think it’s massive for us. I think we really wanted to win this game, you know it’s difficult without the fans, it will be a totally different atmosphere but I think we did everything that we could. We fought,” Alderweireld said.

Bournemouth boost survival hopes as they stun Leicester

Leicester were in command after Jamie Vardy’s scrappy first-half goal. But with the relegation trapdoor creaking underneath their feet, Bournemouth turned the match around in stunning fashion with Dominic Solanke scoring twice.

Junior Stanislas equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th minute after a mistake by Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who was at fault again one minute later when he allowed Solanke’s shot to trickle over the line.

To make matters worse for the Foxes, defender Caglar Soyuncu was shown a straight red card after tangling with Callum Wilson immediately after Bournemouth’s goal.

Leicester then collapsed in alarming fashion.

Stanislas’s shot in the 83rd minute went in off Leicester defender Jonny Evans before Solanke seized on more dreadful defending to add his second.

With Aston Villa winning earlier in the day, Bournemouth began the match second from bottom, six points behind fourth-from-bottom Watford. The victory – their first since Feb. 1 – means that with three games remaining they still have hope of securing a sixth successive season of top-flight football.

They moved back above Villa to 18th place on 31 points, three behind both Watford and West Ham United, who face each other in the next round of fixtures.

“We needed to change things at halftime and had the mentality that we had to go for it,” Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said. “Thankfully we were able to swing things round.”

Leicester will drop out of the top-four on Monday if Manchester United win at home to Southampton.

Vardy bundled in his 23rd goal of the season after 23 minutes when Lloyd Kelly failed to clear Kelechi Iheanacho’s cross – and it seemed Leicester were on course for a comfortable win.

But when Schmeichel kicked a clearance straight at team mate Wilfred Ndidi, who then fouled Callum Wilson to concede a penalty, it turned the game on its head.

“I didn’t see that coming but we are not good enough to get too comfortable,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said.

“We were in control of the game. But we let them into the game with a penalty and I was very disappointed with how we played from there.”

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