Tottenham stay unbeaten to maintain best start for 26 years
Spurs needed to battle hard to earn their point against Bournemouth and keep their unbeaten Premier league record intact in a full-blooded 0-0 draw as Arsenal go top provisionally after goalless draw with Middlesbrough
Tottenham Hotspur continued their best start to a season for 26 years by maintaining their unbeaten Premier League record but were made to work hard for their point by buoyant Bournemouth in a full-blooded 0-0 draw on Saturday.
Bournemouth, fresh from three successive league wins at Dean Court, took a leaf out of Spurs’ famed pressing book to give as good as they got from the title contenders and were well worth the draw.
Bournemouth’s intensity and resistance ensured Spurs missed a chance to provisionally go top of the table ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal but it could have been worse for the visitors if Hugo Lloris had not made a fine early save to thwart Charlie Daniels.
After Lloris had tipped his point-blank range shot against the bar, Spurs’ best opportunity in a game high on energy and industry but low on chances came when Erik Lamela fired against the bar in the opening half.
Spurs manager Maurico Pochettino admitted it had been a tough afternoon for his team.
“They were very aggressive. It was a very competitive game, they were ready to compete...If we want to be contenders, we need to win games like these,” the Argentine said.
Bournemouth had shipped eight goals in two fixtures against Spurs last year but inspired by tireless midfielder Harry Arter and shored up by committed defending, they did a fine job in shutting down the visitors amid the frantic fare.
Also playing a big part was Jack Wilshere, on loan at Bournemouth from Arsenal, who played his first full 90 minutes in a league match for two years with England’s interim manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands.
Eddie Howe, Bournemouth’s highly-rated young manager, was delighted how his team had gone “toe-to-toe” with Spurs to win a really valuable point.
In a game of six bookings - four for Spurs, two for Bournemouth - the challenges flew in and Lamela may have counted himself fortunate at not receiving a second yellow for one foul.
Spurs substitute Moussa Sissoko also escaped punishment after he appeared to elbow Arter in the face in the second half and though the visitors applied most of the second-half pressure, Bournemouth could have nicked a late winner from Benik Afobe’s header.
Meanwhile, champions Leicester City left striker Jamie Vardy on the bench but capped a fine week with a third home league win of the season, beating Crystal Palace 3-1 thanks to goals by Ahmed Musa, Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs.
After continuing their 100 per cent start in the Champions League, Leicester’s disappointing domestic form came back under scrutiny and they responded emphatically.
Leicester had created little until three minutes before halftime when Musa lashed home an unstoppable shot from Islam Slimani’s set-up to open his account for the club.
Claudio Ranieri’s side doubled their lead when Shinji Okazaki fired home in the 63rd minute after Danny Drinkwater’s cross was only half cleared and Austrian defender Fuchs iced the cake with a thunderous third from 25 metres. Palace grabbed a late consolation through Yohan Cabaye.
Elsewhere, Stoke midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri netted two fine goals to lead his team to a comfortable 2-0 win at struggling Hull City.
Shaqiri put the visitors ahead with a brilliant strike after 26 minutes, cutting in from the wing before unleashing a dipping shot into the top corner.
The Swiss midfielder doubled the lead with a curling free kick five minutes after halftime to lift Stoke out of the bottom three. Hull offered little in attack and slumped to their fifth league defeat in a row.
Arsenal moved top of the Premier League table but were unconvincing in a 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough who were well worth their point on Saturday.
The Gunners dominated the opening 20 minutes but Boro should have led by halftime. Adama Traore broke clear but Petr Cech saved his shot with legs and Alvaro Negredo wasted a great chance from the rebound. The hosts had another let-off when Gaston Ramirez’s curling free kick thumped against the post and Ramirez headed a great chance straight at Cech.
Burnley defeated Everton 2-1 and West Ham United edged Sunderland 1-0 with a last-gasp goal from Winston Reid.