Tottenham 4-0 Bournemouth: Spurs smother Cherries

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  • 12-straight home wins in PL
  • Won 15 of 17 PL games at home, unbeaten
  • Spurs close gap on Chelsea to 4 points
  • Bournemouth without a win in four

LONDON — Tottenham closed the gap to Premier League leaders Chelsea to four points on Saturday as they comfortably dispatched Bournemouth 4-0 at White Hart Lane.

Two goals in the space of three first half minutes set Spurs on their way with Mousa Dembele opening the scoring and Heung-Min Son scored his seventh goal in his last six games.

After the break Harry Kane scored on his first start since Mar. 12 to make it 3-0 and substitute Vincent Janssen made it 4-0 in stoppage time.

With the win Mauricio Pochettino‘s side stay in second place and are on 71 points, putting the pressure on Chelsea (Spurs and  who head to Manchester United on Sunday. Bournemouth remain on 35 points and are much closer to the relegation zone than they’d like.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

A slow start saw Spurs gradually build their way into the game with Dembele’s shot saved well down low by Artur Boruc.

Moments later a moment of controversy led to Spurs’ opening goal as Dele Alli and Harry Arter went in for a challenge and the ball rebounded out with referee Michael Oliver awarding a corner kick. From that corner the ball found Dembele and he controlled well before slotting home. 1-0 to Spurs.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Three minutes later it was 2-0 to Spurs as Jack Wilshere, much to the delight of the home fans, saw his ball deflect off Eric Dier and Kane’s delightful back heel set up Son to finish. 2-0.

Before the break Bournemouth pressed for a way back into the game as Junior Stanislas whipped in a delightful ball from the right flank but neither Benik Afobe and Josh King couldn’t get on the end of it.

Spurs came close to adding to their lead but Eriksen wad denied by Boruc and then fired over from 12 yards out, while Son was also denied by Bournemouth’s goalkeeper.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

123 seconds into the second half Spurs were 3-0 up as Alli’s ball into the box found  Kane and he turned Simon Francis easily before slotting home. 3-0. Game over.

Kane then had another glorious chance moments later as Eriksen played him in but he hit a tame effort straight at Boruc.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

On-loan Arsenal man Wilshere was then forced off with an ankle injury as he blocked Kane’s shot, much to the delight of Tottenham’s fans, as the England midfielder looks set for another layoff.

Kane went close again as Spurs aimed to put some more gloss on the scoreline with Bournemouth second best from star to finish.

Eriksen forced a good stop down low from Boruc as Spurs pushed forward time and time again with Son’s low shot deflected just wide.

The north Londoners added a fourth goal in stoppage time as sub Janssen finished well. 4-0.

Over to you, Chelsea.

Barry Bennell jailed 30 years for abusing young players

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LIVERPOOL, England (AP) A former English youth soccer coach was jailed Monday for 30 years for abusing 12 young footballers after the judge called him the “devil incarnate.”

Barry Bennell, a former coach at Crewe and scout for Manchester City, was convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of 50 child sexual offenses committed between 1979 and 1991.

“Your behavior towards these boys in grooming and seducing them before subjecting them to, in some cases, the most most serious, degrading and humiliating abuse was sheer evil,” Judge Clement Goldstone told the 64-year-old Bennell.

Bennell looked at the floor and nodded as the judge sentenced him. Some members of the public began to applaud as he was sent down, but were stopped by the judge.

Goldstone said Bennell had appeared to his victims as a God.

“In reality, you were the devil incarnate,” the judge added. “You stole their childhoods and their innocence to satisfy your own perversion.”

Goldstone said Bennell’s abuse had destroyed the enthusiasm his victims had for playing football and had led to them suffering problems including suicidal thoughts, alcoholism and depression.

Bennell has already served three jail terms, totaling 15 years, for similar offenses involving 16 other victims in England and the United States.

LIVE, FA Cup: Wigan host Manchester City

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All conquering Manchester City head to third-tier Wigan Athletic on Monday (Kick off, 2:55 p.m. ET) to keep their quest of a legendary quadruple alive.

[ LIVE: Follow Wigan v Man City here

Pep Guardiola‘s men are 16 points clear atop the Premier League summit, while they are virtually through to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League and are in the League Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.

Can anyone stop them?

Wigan stand in their way with the Latics promotion favorites from the third tier who have already beaten Premier League teams Bournemouth and West Ham United to reach the last 16.

The winner will host Southampton in the quarterfinal for a place in the semifinal at Wembley Stadium, and City’s fan will be feeling a little nervous heading into this game.

Why? They played Wigan in the FA Cup final in 2013 and lost 1-0 after a last-gasp header from Ben Watson sealed one of the greatest upsets of all time to hand the Latics their first-ever major trophy. Wigan also beat City in the FA Cup quarterfinals in 2015, the last time they met in this competition.

Surely Guardiola’s boys won’t be on the end of another upset this time, especially with this starting lineup…

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have analysis and reaction from the final FA Cup fifth round clash right here at Pro Soccer Talk.

Italy VAR chief: Incidents to be shown on stadium screens

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Decisions which have been changed on video review could soon be shown on the giant screens in Italian stadiums, offering soccer fans more clarity.

[ MORE: Juve, Napoli keep winning

The video assistant referee system was introduced in Italy at the start of the season and has been criticized for leaving supporters in the stadiums blind sometimes as to what is happening on the pitch or why a decision has been changed.

The head of the project in Italy, Roberto Rosetti, told Radio Anch’io Sport on Monday: “Probably in a few months’ time we’ll be able to see on big screens in the stadiums images of the decisions that have been changed and why they have been changed.”

Rosetti admits they need to “improve on the uniformity of both interpretation and intervention” but says the positive effect of the VAR can clearly be seen by “the drastic reduction in bookings for protests and anti-sporting behavior.”

Spurs “have the capacity” to win the Champions League

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We know. They just drew 2-2 away at Rochdale in the fifth round of the FA Cup. We know.

[ MORE: Dele Alli and the diving debate

But Tottenham Hotspur’s last 2-2 draw was much more impressive as they went to Juventus and outplayed the reigning Italian champions in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie.

Heading into the second leg at Wembley on Mar. 7, it appears that new signing Lucas Moura, who scored their opening goal against Rochdale on Sunday, is a fan of what he’s seen in his short time at Tottenham.

Speaking to reporters after his first goal for Spurs on his full debut, Moura has high hopes for his time in North London.

“I am 25 years old but I think I gained a lot of experience with PSG and I think I can help Tottenham. I think we have a lot of quality and a great structure and can arrive at the end of the season with a trophy. The Champions League is the most difficult cup but I think we have the capacity to win it if we always think in positives and always work hard,” Moura said, via the Guardian.

“We did a big game against Juventus away. It was a good result in Italy and I am sure we can do a good game with our fans and continue. It’s always important to win. Every player wants to win trophies, to make history and I am here to make history with my new friends, my new team-mates. I believe that because we have a lot of quality, a great structure – I am really impressed – and I think we can dream with the Champions League.”

Does Moura have a point? Aside from a weakened side struggling away at Rochdale on a freshly laid pitch, they’ve been superb in recent months.

And given the current form of Harry Kane and the entire Spurs team there won’t be a single club who says “you know what, let’s take Spurs” if they make it through to the last eight of the UCL.

The high-pressing style of Mauricio Pochettino saw them bully Juve away from home and all of a sudden it seems like the rest of Europe has woken up and realized just how good they are.

If injuries are kind to Spurs and Moura continues to show flashes of brilliance since his arrival from PSG in January, the Brazilian could well be on to something. Tottenham are by no means favorites to win the Champions League, but their recent results against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool prove they are a force to be reckoned with.