Bournemouth’s hopes of avoiding relegation remain in the balance after Callum Wilson’s last-gasp strike was ruled out by VAR for handball in their 0-0 draw with Tottenham.
The point sees Eddie Howe’s side move to within three points of safety, but it could have been so much better had Wilson’s overhead kick not struck the hand of Joshua King on its way into the net in the final minute of normal time.
It was a huge let-off for Tottenham, who thought they should have had an early penalty when Harry Kane was barged over in the penalty area by King in the fourth minute. Referee Paul Tierney waved away the appeals before VAR stuck with the on-field decision, much to the dismay of Jose Mourinho.
After a lengthy delay because of a serious injury to Adam Smith, Bournemouth had one final chance to win the game in stoppage time, but substitute Harry Wilson could not beat Hugo Lloris as the game remained goalless.
The draw was not the result either side was really looking for as the battle to beat the drop and the race for European football goes down to the wire. Spurs move up to ninth, one point behind Arsenal ahead of the north London derby on Sunday, which is live on Sky Sports (kick-off 4.30pm).
Meanwhile, Bournemouth are up to 18th, three points behind Watford and West Ham with four games remaining.
How the drama unfolded at the Vitality Stadium
Tottenham thought they should have been awarded a penalty as early as the fourth minute when King barged into Kane inside the penalty area when trying to defend a corner.
However, after seeing Lucas Moura’s goal ruled out by VAR official Michael Oliver in last week’s loss at Sheffield United, there are sure to be yet more Spurs complaints as referee Tierney waved away the appeals before VAR Oliver stuck with the on-field decision after a brief check.
The early scare seemed to jolt Bournemouth into life and they almost took the lead when Sergio Rico’s free-kick picked Jefferson Lerma out in acres of space at the far post. The midfielder headed the ball back across goal, but Kane was back for the visitors to head the ball clear with Nathan Ake poised to pounce.
The hosts continued to attack with intent and a swift counter-attack ended with David Brooks’ left-footed strike flying high and wide of the target after taking a deflection.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (7), Smith (7), Kelly (7), Ake (8), Rico (7), Lerma (6), Gosling (7), Brooks (6), King (6), Stanislas (7), C Wilson (7).
Subs: Stacey (7), H Wilson (6).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Aurier (7), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Davies (7), Winks (6), Lo Celso (6), Sissoko (6), Bergwijn (5), Lamela (6), Kane (6).
Subs: Son (6), Ndombele (7), Moura (6), Fernandes (n/a).
Man of the match: Nathan Ake
Spurs mustered just one shot and it failed to test Aaron Ramsdale as Erik Lamela’s curled effort drifted wide of the far post before Lloris was called into action to keep out Junior Stanislas’ goal-bound effort on the stroke of half-time.
The lacklustre display from the visitors forced Mourinho into two changes at half-time, with Tanguy Ndombele coming on for just the second time since the restart, along with Heung-Min Son.
The game was then forced into lengthy stoppage early in the second half as Smith was knocked out after an aerial challenge with Ben Davies. He needed eight minutes of treatment and left the field on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on.
Spurs’ changes made them more of a threat once the game was back underway, but they still struggled to create anything of note as Lamela’s glanced header from Serge Aurier’s cross drifted wide.
- Jan Vertonghen was given the nod to replace Eric Dier in Tottenham’s side at Bournemouth. Dier is beginning a four-match ban and Vertonghen earns his first start since the resumption, with Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn also coming into the Spurs side.
- Callum Wilson returns to the Bournemouth XI after suspension, while Dan Gosling makes his first start since the lockdown.
As the game looked to be drifting to a close, VAR did come to Spurs’ rescue in the 90th minute. Callum Wilson’s overhead kick found the bottom corner, but it hit King’s hand on the way in and VAR Oliver ruled it out.
Lloris was the next person to rescue for Spurs as the France goalkeeper raced out to block Harry Wilson’s effort in the fifth minute of stoppage time to seal his side a share of the spoils.
Opta stats – Cherries seal first point since lockdown
- Bournemouth ended a five-game losing run in the Premier League while also keeping their first clean sheet in 17 matches in the competition.
- Tottenham have kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time since April 2019, while this was only their second clean sheet in 24 away league outings (also 0-0 v Watford in January).
- Bournemouth have only won one of their 10 Premier League meetings with Tottenham (D2 L7), failing to score in six of those.
- Spurs did not attempt a single shot on target in this match – it’s the first time Bournemouth have ever stopped their opponent from having an attempt on target in a Premier League match, in what is their 186th game in the competition. This was the first time that Tottenham failed to have a single shot on target in a league match since February 2019 against Chelsea, while it was the first time a side managed by José Mourinho did so in a Premier League fixture since April 2007 during his first spell with former side Chelsea (v Newcastle).
- Callum Wilson’s disallowed strike was the sixth time Tottenham have conceded a Premier League goal which has later been ruled out by VAR – only Brighton and Southampton (both seven) have benefitted from this more times in the competition.
It’s another tough home test for Bournemouth on Sunday when they welcome Leicester City to the Vitality Stadium, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 7pm). For Tottenham, they also play on July 12 and host north London rivals Arsenal for a huge clash in the race for European football, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 4.30pm).