Ake delivers as the Cherries win their spurs
- Craig Pawson
Nathan Ake netted a dramatic injury-time winner as AFC Bournemouth claimed their first Premier League victory over nine-man Tottenham.
Ake settled an incident-packed contest in favour of the hosts when he powered home a header from Ryan Fraser’s corner in the first of four minutes of stoppage-time.
The Cherries had been thankful to the exploits of debut-making goalkeeper Mark Travers who made a string of excellent saves in the first half.
But after Spurs had had Son Heung-Min and substitute Juan Foyth sent off in quick succession either side of the break, it was all one-way traffic for Eddie Howe’s team.
Son was dismissed for shoving Jefferson Lerma on the stroke of half-time before Foyth followed for a bad foul on Jack Simpson 133 seconds after the interval.
The win left the Cherries on target for a record Premier League points haul, taking them to 45 with one game remaining, the previous best being 46.
Teenager Travers was drafted in for his first taste of the Premier League as boss Howe made four changes to his Cherries starting line-up.
The Irishman, who turns 20 later this month, was rewarded for his impressive displays in training and with the club’s under-21s and replaced Artur Boruc who was named on the bench.
Adam Smith, Ryan Fraser and Jordon Ibe all returned with Chris Mepham and injured pair David Brooks and Dan Gosling making way.
Tottenham showed three changes following their Champions’ League semi-final, first leg defeat by Ajax on Tuesday.
Son, Eric Dier and Moussa Sissoko came in for Jan Vertonghen, Victor Wanyama and Fernando Llorente.
Steve Cook had to be on his toes to beat Son to an early through ball from Kieran Trippier, the Cherries skipper finding touch with his clearance.
Cook’s timely tackle again prevented the South Korean international having a run on goal after the pair chased down Nathaniel Clyne’s pass.
Lucas Moura tried his luck from inside his own half after seeing Travers off his line, his ambitious effort sailing past the upright in the eighth minute.
Dier was booked for upending Fraser, the Scotsman firing the resultant free-kick from 30 yards past the post.
Travers saved well from Dele Alli’s piledriver, the young goalkeeper diving to his right to beat away the England man’s stinging drive.
And Travers again excelled after Moura had been picked out by Sissoko’s 20th-minute cross, the Irishman tipping the Brazilian’s first-time strike over the crossbar.
Toby Alderweireld followed Dier into referee Craig Pawson’s notebook for scything down Joshua King, although the free-kick came to nothing.
Travers stood tall and saved with his right boot from Moura who only had the goalkeeper to beat having fastened on to Danny Rose’s ball over the top.
A driving run from deep ended with Son bursting into the Cherries 18-yard box, only to blaze his shot high over the crossbar after 31 minutes.
The Vitality Stadium faithful applauded another top-drawer save from Travers, the Cherries goalkeeper acrobatically pawing a header from Alli over the top.
Referee Pawson then took centre stage when he inexplicably allowed the already-booked Dier to escape further punishment after he had felled King.
Appeals for a Cherries penalty fell on deaf ears after King had gone down under a challenge from Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 38th minute.
Sissoko was yellow carded for hauling back Ake before Dier chopped down Callum Wilson inside the penalty area, with referee Pawson clearly unsighted.
Spurs were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time when Son, having been penalised for a foul on Fraser, reacted angrily and shoved Lerma to the floor, with Pawson immediately producing a red card.
Jack Simpson outjumped the Spurs defence to meet a Fraser cross in first-half injury-time, his header going straight into the arms of Lloris.
Tottenham made two changes at the break with Dier, who walked a disciplinary tightrope in the latter stages of the first half, and Alderweireld replaced by Victor Wanyama and Foyth.
The visitors were reduced to nine men at the start of the second period when substitute Foyth saw red for an ill-advised challenge on Simpson.
Referee Pawson again had no hesitation in brandishing the red card as the young Argentine joined Son for an early bath.
As the Cherries tried to make their numerical advantage pay, Wilson saw his shot headed over the crossbar by Sissoko before Adam Smith’s drive flashed past the post.
Wilson failed to make good contact with a header from a Fraser cross, the striker’s effort going wide in the 69th minute.
Another pot-shot from Wilson flew off target before Ibe’s rasping drive from the edge of the box was punched away by Lloris.
As the Cherries continued to press, substitute Lys Mousset headed a Fraser cross straight down Lloris’s throat.
In the closing stages, another header from Mousset struck Wilson before Ake’s follow-up shot was deflected for a corner.
However, the Cherries made the breakthrough just as fourth official Simon Hooper indicated there would be four minutes of added time.
Ake found his way through a crowd of players and timed his run to perfection, the Dutchman heading home Fraser’s corner to seal a memorable victory.
Mark Travers was a thoroughly deserving winner of the sponsors’ man-of-the-match award following an impressive Premier League debut.
The teenage Irishman showed no nerves during an accomplished and confident showing, which saw him make a series of important saves in the first half.
The Cherries were rewarded for sticking to their guns and their passing principles until the final whistle with Nathan Ake coming up trumps in stoppage-time.
Eddie Howe’s troops never panicked as they tried to make their numerical advantage pay against the nine men of Spurs and their patient approach worked.