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Spurs: Ivan Perisic was a game-changer v Bournemouth

Tottenham Hotspur ended their three-game winless streak in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, with Antonio Conte’s side running out 3-2 victors over AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

After two Kieffer Moore strikes either side of half-time saw the Cherries establish a two-goal lead, Spurs supporters would have been forgiven for thinking their side’s dip in form was set to continue on the English Riviera.

Indeed, it took a number of substitutions before the visitors began to look as if they could claw themselves back into the game, something they eventually managed when Ryan Sessegnon slotted home after latching onto Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s inch-perfect through ball on the 57-minute mark.

The momentum was then all with Tottenham, and when Ben Davies headed home Ivan Perisic’s – one of the aforementioned second-half introductions – “lovely corner” with 73 minutes on the clock, it appeared as if there would only be one winner.

Two minutes into stoppage time, another of the second-half subs finally made Spurs’ late pressure count, with Rodrigo Bentancur’s coolly finishing past a helpless Mark Travers from close range to ensure that Conte’s side would take all three points back to north London.

However, while the Uruguayan midfielder will likely steal tomorrow’s headlines thanks to his dramatic winner, it was arguably the man who delivered the cross prior to the 25-year-old’s finish who was Spurs’ biggest game-changer on Saturday afternoon – Perisic.

Indeed, despite being brought on with just 27 minutes of the match remaining, the £17m-rated sensation well and truly proved the catalyst for Tottenham’s comeback, attempting seven crosses – the second-most of any player to feature today – making two key passes, creating one big chance and – as mentioned previously – providing the assist for Davies’ equaliser.

While it is true that the Croatia international completed just seven of his 10 attempted passes and lost possession of the ball eight times, the £180k-per-week talent was well worth his SofaScore match rating of 7.5 – ranking him as the fourth-best player in the game – for the impact he made against the Cherries.

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This would appear to be an opinion with which the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick agrees, as the journalist awarded the 33-year-old a seven in his own player ratings, stating of the wing-back’s display: “His quality from set pieces was a huge threat and his corner was headed home by Davies for the equaliser.”

While it is undeniable that Bentancur was also extremely influential in turning the tide in Spurs’ favour against the Cherries, Perisic’s contributions were well and truly game-changing for the north London side. It is difficult to argue with George Sessions’ claim that the Croat “stepped up” for Conte in the south coast comeback.

Article title: Spurs: Ivan Perisic was a game-changer v Bournemouth

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