Jose Mourinho hailed Dele Alli’s “phenomenal” contribution as the midfielder starred in Tottenham’s third straight win under their new Portuguese boss.
While Bournemouth mounted a late fightback, Alli’s two goals helped Spurs to their first back-to-back Premier League victories this season as they moved up to fifth in the table.
The 23-year-old has now scored three goals in three games, including their midweek Champions League win, after scoring just three in 23 appearances before Mauricio Pochettino’s departure.
“He plays in a position where he feels happy and comfortable,” Mourinho said of Alli. “We also give him space for his creativity which he always has.
“I think he played three phenomenal matches since I arrived.”
Toby Alderweireld’s raking pass created Alli’s opener, with the England midfielder racing on to Son Heung-min’s touch to tap the ball past Cherries goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
Alli’s second came from the same source, as he superbly controlled Alderweireld’s pass before holding off Jack Stacey and flicking the ball over Ramsdale.
When Moussa Sissoko added Spurs’ third goal with a close-range volley from Son’s exemplary cross, the hosts appeared to be en route to an emphatic win.
But Bournemouth substitute Harry Wilson scored a superb free-kick and then reduced their arrears further six minutes into stoppage time.
However, it proved too little too late for the Cherries, who have now conceded 16 goals on their last five visits to Tottenham, and have dropped to 12th in the league.
“The disappointing thing is to concede two goals from long balls. That killed us,” said manager Eddie Howe.
“We should have dealt with them better. These are not the type of goals you expect to concede coming here.
Jose all smiles and Alli reborn
While smiles were in short supply towards the end of Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Manchester United, the Portuguese manager has started life at Tottenham with a cheerful and airy disposition.
With his proclamations of humility, celebrations with ball boys and decisions to deploy players into positions they favour, his approach has clearly had the desired effect.
His new employers have so far reaped the rewards, and this was the first time Spurs have won three consecutive matches (across all competitions) since April.
While this was far from a vintage performance overall, one player who appears to have benefitted under the new regime is Alli.
This game suggested he is not only back to his influential best as a playmaker behind Harry Kane and Son, but also as someone capable of making a considerable contribution in front of goal.
His first goal on Saturday was all about anticipation and timing, running adjacent to Son and ensuring he was on hand to deliver the simplest of finishes.
His second showcased all of his talents – running power, control, strength and the composure in front of goal to apply the deftest of touches under pressure.
“For me Dele is not a midfield player, he is a player to play like he is playing, close to Harry. I think this is the best position for him,” added Mourinho.
“He’s the best thing that can happen to a coach because everybody speaks about him, you [media], the fans speak about him for the right reasons. He’s playing really, really, really well and I could not ask any more from him.”
While Alli was unable to register his first hat-trick for the club, it was still his first two-goal haul in a home game for Tottenham since January 2017 and ensured he received a standing ovation when he was withdrawn late on.
Same old story for Bournemouth
While Mourinho or Alli will deservedly take the acclaim, this all had a touch of deja vu for Bournemouth, who arrived in London seeking to avoid their third straight defeat.
Despite their attractive football, they once again struggled against one of the Premier League’s established top-six teams.
The Cherries have managed two away victories in 26 games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, both Manchester clubs and Tottenham – a miserable run that could have been made all the worse by a hammering here.
Frustratingly though for the Cherries supporters, their team came to life at 3-0 down, largely due to Harry Wilson’s endeavour.
The 22-year-old Wales midfielder, who was surprisingly omitted from the starting XI, signalled his intent with a shot on goal a minute after being brought on.
His trademark free-kick, which flew into the top right corner from 20 yards, ensured that no other Premier League players has scored more goals from outside the penalty area this season.
“Harry Wilson is a goalscorer, and we had other moments during the game,” Howe added.
“It is just a shame we were coming back from 3-0 down. In this league if you’re not quite where you need to be you can get punished.”
Man of the match – Dele Alli (Tottenham)
Sissoko ends goal drought – the stats
- Tottenham have registered back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season, last doing so in April.
- Bournemouth have lost three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2018 (a run of four).
- Tottenham conceded 20 shots against Bournemouth, last conceding more at home in a Premier League game in September 2015 against Manchester City (22).
- Dele Alli has been directly involved in three goals in his two Premier League games for Tottenham under Jose Mourinho (2 goals, 1 assist), as many as he managed in his last 12 under Mauricio Pochettino.
- Son Heung-Min has registered 71 Premier League goal involvements (46 goals, 25 assists), 31 more than any other Asian player (Park Ji-Sung on 40).
- Moussa Sissoko scored for the first time in 69 Premier League appearances for Tottenham – since netting against Huddersfield in September 2017.
- No player has scored more goals from outside the box (3, level with James Maddison) or from direct free-kicks (2, level with Riyad Mahrez) in the Premier League this season than Bournemouth’s Harry Wilson.
- Since the start of last season, Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma has picked up 18 yellow cards in the Premier League, more than any other player.
Tottenham travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Wednesday 4 December (19:30 GMT). Bournemouth visit Crystal Palace, also in the Premier League, on Tuesday 3 December (19:30 GMT).