The Vitality Stadium played host to a very intense encounter today, one in which two teams, playing very similar styles of football, cancelled each other out and the AFC Bournemouth squad will certainly be the happier of the two with the 0-0 draw as they left Tottenham Hotspur flustured.
The first half saw the home side on the front foot for much of the time before Spurs got a foothold of the game and started springing some passes together and tested the veteran Artur Boruc on one occasion with a long range drive from Erik Lamela that clipped off the crossbar and left the goalkeeper stranded. Going into half-time, Spurs were definitely more frustrated with their own inability to break down this stubborn Bournemouth side.
The second half saw Tottenam with more of the ball and a repeat of the first half from Bournemouth in terms of their constant pressing and covering ground from Harry Arter and Dan Gosling, both of whom, did a very fine job in helping the home side win the midfield battle against the likes of Delle Alli, Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele.
In the end, it was a point gained for Bournemouth but Pocchettino's Spurs can have some consolation in the fact that they are still the only unbeaten side in the league this season. Let's take a look at the player ratings for the Cherries.
Goalkeeper and defence
Artur Boruc-8/10: Boruc had a relatively quiet game as he didn't have much to deal with other than the two efforts from Lamela and Christian Eriksen, both of which he dealt with well enough and was generally good with his distribution.
Adam Smith-8/10: Smith was at his usual energetic best, overlapping with the pacy Joshua King whenever he could and at times, provided an extra pair of legs in midfield for the home side, gave Danny Rose and Erik Lamela a hard time on his side.
Simon Francis-9/10: The Bournemouth captain was the calm head in this intense match, he dictated the home side's game from the back and was always aware of everything around him, collecting the ball deep and making accurate long clearances to the target man Callum Wilson, also displayed his abilities as a full back late in the game as he produced an excellent cross for the substitute Benik Afobe.
Simon Cook-8.5/10: If Francis was the calm head at the back, Cook was his silent partner in crime, not allowing the diminuitive Heung Min-Son any space and as a result the South Korean international struggled against the dogged pairing of Cook and Francis, as did his teammates.
Charlie Daniels-8/10: Charlie Daniels showed just why he is so highly rated as both a defender and attacker as he put in a fantastic display and could've even given the home side the lead if not for Hugo Lloris's brilliant save. Linked up excellently well with the young Jordon Ibe and like his fellow fullback Adam Smith, provided another set of energetic legs in midfield when his team needed it.
Midfield and attack
Harry Arter-9.5/10: Arter epitomised the way Eddie Howe wants his team to play and was non stop during the whole game, running at the defence and gave Victor Wanyama a particular troubling time as well. He was putting in tackles and was also on the receiving end of some very nasty tackles and an elbow from Moussa Sissoko, he never complained though and deservedly won the Man of the Match acclaim.
Dan Gosling-8/10: Gosling alongside Arter helped Bournemouth dominate the midfield battle and was an able replacement for the ever-present Andrew Surman, who, unfortunately was unwell and couldn't play, nevertheless Gosling justified his selection and gave Howe the confidence he needed to select him in the future for the team.
Joshua King-8/10: The pacy former Red Devil Joshua King came into the team to replace the injured Junior Stanislas and gave Danny Rose a difficult time down the flank, produced a good performance and was threatening when Bournemouth broke out with the ball.
Jack Wilshere-8/10: Wilshere, for the first time in two years, played the whole 90 minutes in a game and he was the creative force ahead of the solid midfield and defence, tried to set up Wilson with some good chances but his striker just couldn't convert. Wilshere's good display will encourage Howe some confidence in the obvious talent that the man possesses.
Jordon Ibe- 8/10: Ibe always tried to get the better of the defensively sound Kyle Walker and at times he did and when he did, it was a great performance from the youngster who seems to be getting better and better with each passing game his in Bournemouth colours.
Callum Wilson-8.5/10: Wilson played with his back to goal for most of the game as he kept close to Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen and looked to break ahead whenever he got the chance to do so, linked up well with his entire team but just couldn't provide the finishing touch that they so craved.
Max Gradel-7.5/10: Gradel threatened with his pace but lacked the awareness to pick out some goalscoring chances for his mates, broke forward with speed when Bournemouth wanted to counter attack.
Benik Afobe-7/10: Came off for the ever impressive Wilson and had a chance to score himself after a great cross from Francis, but his header went wide, he didn't have much else to do.