SATURDAY 23RD FEBRUARY, 2019
BURNLEY 2(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0)
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Ian Hussin, Dan Robathan
Fourth official:- Craig Pawson
Burnley (4-4-1-1):- Heaton (Capt.); Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick (sub Brady, 80), Westwood, Cork, McNeil (sub Gudmundsson, 80); Barnes; Wood
Subs not used:- Hart; Lowton, Gibson; Crouch, Vydra
Booked;- Bardsley (foul on Rose)
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Foyth (sub Lamela, 76), Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Aurier, Sissoko, Winks (sub Llorente, 62), Rose; Son (sub Lucas Moura, 88), Eriksen; Kane
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Walker-Peters, Davies; Wanyama
Booked:- Llorente (Dissent), Foyth (foul on Wood), Lamela (Dissent)
Spurs fail a tough test
Burnley maintained their unbeaten run of 8 Premier League games, and remain one of only two Premier League sides unbeaten (in League matches) in 2019. They also beat Spurs for only the second time in 10 Premier League games and for the first time in the league since May 2010. Just when we were looking to Spurs to win what appeared to be their easiest game in their programme of 4, ending with the trip to Dortmund, they let us down. In simple terms they failed to fully compete against the toughness that is offered by Sean Dyche’s side. Burnley frustrated with their two banks of four in defence. Spurs lacked invention and ultimately made too many mistakes at the back offering opportunities to Burnley when the countered. Unlike Spurs, Burnley corners consistently beat the first man and a corner was the source of their first goal. That corner led Mauricio Pochettino to confront referee Mike Dean at the end of the game, arguing the decision had been incorrect. “Poch” later apologised for his reaction.
The good news was the announcement that Harry Kane would start the game, and Harry would make it a scoring return too following a quickly taken throw by Danny Rose. Kane also drew an excellent second half save by Tom Heaton, but we didn’t otherwise test the goalkeeper enough.
There was no sign of Trippier, Sanchez or Eric Dier in the 18, and one must assume we will see them in the games that follow. Sadly I have to report that Juan Foyth had a mare of a game, being caught out too often on the right of a back three. Quite why we were playing a back three today I do not know. Presumably it was to enable Aurier and Rose to get forward, but their delivery wasn’t great, and Aurier’s poor attempt at a clearance or pass led to Burnley’s winning goal. It certainly was a bad day at the office, despite the best weather I can recall at Turf Moor – probably since that 4-2 defeat on the last day of the 2009-10 season.
Burnley kicked off and played towards the Cricket Field (Away) stand. They had an early corner which passed out of play before reaching the goal. Danny Rose hit a cross intended for Kane after 6 minutes, but it was always the goalkeeper’s ball with Kane close at hand. Following a free kick for a foul on Kane in his own half, taken by Harry, Spurs advanced down the right side and Sissoko crossed for Rose, whose shot was blocked. Kane received a cross from Aurier after 15 minutes, and carried the ball right to left across the edge of the area before trying to place a shot to the right of Heaton. The ball passed the wrong side of the post. Two other crosses by Aurier were cleared and Sissoko was helping out here too. Burnley resisted the Spurs pressure.
After a Spurs corner taken short by Son and Eriksen, Harry Winks had a chance blocked and that resilient Burnley defence cleared. A Son cross intended for Kane was cleared. Eriksen had one shot blocked, and another comfortably saved by Heaton after a ball from Sissoko. At the other end, Barnes failed to hit the target when receiving a cross from the right.
Son delayed taking a shot on the right of the area and his eventual effort was cleared as far as the feet of Sissoko, who hit a left foot shot wide. Wood had a header held by Lloris following Westwood’s cross. Eriksen tried to put a ball through to Kane but Heaton beat him to it, just inside his area. Aurier retrieved a situation following a poor ball by Foyth, feeding Sissoko who crossed with Kane’s header comfortable for the Burnley keeper. Heaton also saved a header by Aurier after a Danny Rose cross.
Five minutes into the second half, after a good ball by Winks, Harry Kane had a great effort very well saved by Heaton who dived to his right to push the ball out for a corner. The shot had been hit from some 25 yards with power, and had been Harry’s best effort of the game. There was a foul on Foyth by Tarkowski with no card shown by Mike Dean. Eriksen took the free kick, and it was Foyth who met the ball, deemed to have headed over without a touch by his marker.
Burnley got that disputed corner out on the right. It was taken by McNeil and got all the way to the back post where Chris Wood headed in. Burnley and their fans had their tails up. Pochettino replaced Harry Winks with Llorente, and Eriksen fell back to the midfield four. Llorente soon got booked and I believe it was not for the foul he had committed, but for arguing with Mr. Dean about the decision. Soon after that Spurs got a welcome equaliser. Sean Dyche (after whom a local pub has been re-named) wasn’t happy that Danny Rose took a quick throw in an advanced position, but Kane raced onto the ball and took it into the box on the left-hand side, beating Heaton with a nice low shot! Harry was back!
Foyth got booked for a heavy challenge upon Wood just outside the area, but Westwood’s free kick was blocked. Foyth made a bad mistake towards the right and Westwood latched onto the ball, feeding Hendrick, who fired wide. Llorente headed on Aurier’s ball but Son pulled his shot wide.
Foyth was replaced by Lamela, and Spurs reverted to a back four. McNeil received the ball from the right and hit a shot which Lloris saved in the middle of his goal, quite comfortably. A Danny Rose cross went too close to the keeper.
Dyche made a double substitution with Gudmundsson replacing McNeil and Brady replacing Hendrick. Within minutes, a poor attempt at a clearing pass by Aurier was snatched up by Gudmundsson, who hit the ball to the far post where Barnes fired home. The nearest Spurs came to an elusive Premier League draw was in the last minute when Eriksen received from Kane, but fired over the target. Lamela also had a late effort saved, but generally, the home side managed the four minutes of added time well.
The three points lifts Burnley 6 points above the drop zone where they had spent some time prior to this 8 game run. Spurs remain clear of their pursuers in third place, but missed out on an important opportunity regarding the title race with this result, which is only their third away defeat in the league this season.
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