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MONDAY 26TH OCTOBER, 2020
BURNLEY 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0)
Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official:- Kevin Friend
VAR:- Craig Pawson
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn
Burnley (4-4-2):- Pope; Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson (sub Rodriguez, 84), Westwood (Capt.), Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Barnes (sub Vydra, 89)
Subs not used:- Peacock-Farrell; Dunne; Benson, Stephens, Brady
Booked:- Brownhill (foul on Ndombele), Long (foul on Son)
Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Ndombele (sub Lo Celso, 79); Lucas Moura (sub Lamela, 57), Kane, Son (sub Rodon, 90+3)
Subs not used:- Hart; Reguilon; Bale, Vinicius
The old Kane-Son one-two does it again!
It was as difficult a game as Jose Mourinho anticipated. I am sure that is why the Spurs manager fielded a side consisting almost entirely of seasoned Premier League professionals who knew what to expect on a cold October night at Turf Moor. Spurs dominated possession but for most of the game they were not clever enough to get around or get through a determined Burnley defence, and a team that managed to create problems of their own, and in fact had more shots on and off target than did Spurs. Nick Pope did not have a shot to save in the first half. However, a flash of brilliance from a corner taken by substitute Lamela when Harry Kane headed towards the back post and “Sonny” headed past Pope and two defenders on the line gave Spurs the points and a six-place climb up the table to take fifth place.
Hopefully we will be commenting all season about the strength of the squad as Reguilon, Bale and Vinicius didn’t get off the bench and Aurier, Sanchez, Winks, Dele and Bergwijn didn’t make the 18-man squad! There will be plenty of fresh legs for Thursday night in Antwerp, I am sure.
Sean Dyche isn’t so blessed with personnel. Right back Phil Bardsley was self-isolating. Ben Mee and Erik Pieters were not fit. No matter. Burnley played tight on Spurs as they went forward, and with the aerial ability and physicality of Wood and Barnes they often managed to make good use of the long ball. Burnley players were often first to the “second ball” too.
There had been a lot of rain during the day, but there was no rain falling during the game. The pitch was just wet underfoot and it was a cold and windy night.
There was good skill displayed after an early Spurs throw, taken by Davies and moved on by Harry Kane to Ndombele, who showed skilful control, before he turned and made a bee-line towards the Burnley area. He was halted by Brownhill who got a very early booking. Toby Alderweireld sent a long ball down the right channel to Kane who got to a position towards the right of the area. Harry tried an angled lob shot, but it was too high.
Wood had a header on target which troubled Lloris but there was a whistle for a foul, rather than the offside, I believe. Ndombele was playing well in front of the barrier of Sissoko and Hojbjerg. Tanguy sent a good ball to Lucas Moura who was on then right side of the box. Lucas hit a shot but it was deflected and was held by Pope.
Toby Alderweireld required lengthy treatment on the pitch regarding a head wound suffered in an aerial challenge with Barnes, but after bandaging, Toby was able to carry on. Spurs had a decent move starting with Kane and Son followed by a pass by Lucas Moura to Davies on the left, who won a corner. Nothing came of that. Barnes did hit the ball into the net at the other end but the Spurs defence had moved forward in unison and three Burnley players had been offside.
Pope gifted a clearance to Son, who was blocked by Lowton at the expense of a free kick but no card. Davies overhit the free kick. Lucas Moura was onto a long ball by Eric Dier (returning after missing the last two games) and he fed it to Hojbjerg, whose attempt was poor.
Burnley were playing like the away team at home, but there were times when Spurs lacked the imagination to get through, and we also moved the ball backwards too often, when Burnley would press us in our half. Burnley had a free kick 25 yards out after a foul by Lucas Moura, but Brownhill hit that well over the target.
Harry Kane tried a “give and go” with Lucas Moira as he entered the area, but with three defenders in front of him, Harry’s shot was blocked. Hugo Lloris did have a shot to save at the other end when Gudmundsson came in from the right-hand side and hit a left foot shot from 20 yards. We had three minutes added on and Son had the ball inside the Burnley area in a good position with Ndombele having made a run and being available in space to his left. Son failed to complete the obvious pass. Harry Kane had a shot well blocked by Tarkowski after Lucas Moura’s short pass.
Spurs kicked off the second half and it wasn’t long before they were moving in the wrong direction under Burnley pressure. Davies made a poor pass inside in his half and that led to Brownhill getting a shot at goal which he thankfully put wide.
Kane was the recipient of a long ball, and looked to have made some space for himself, but was adjudged to have fouled Lowton. At the other end Wood fielded a long ball and headed back to Barnes, whose shot was deflected over the target. From that corner Tarkowski headed over.
Lucas Moura was replaced by Erik Lamela, who offered more in the way of nuisance to any Burnley players down their left flank. Ben Davies blocked a good shot by Westwood just inside the Spurs area. Spurs were trying different strategies to break through and Eric Dier went forward, continuing his run well into the Burnley area to take a pass from Kane. He won a corner, but nothing came of that one. Jose was briefing Carlos Vinicius with every intention to bring him on.
In his own half, Dier tried to chip the ball over Wood, who luckily had an arm raised and was penalised for handball, although he was very close to Dier when the ball was struck. It would otherwise have been a goalscoring position. After another Burnley corner it was none other than Harry Kane who headed clear off his line when Tarkowski headed goalward. Harry Kane? What a guy!
At this stage, Burnley had had 10 attempts on goal to our 3. Lamela tried to reach Ben Davies who made a run just beyond the back post, but he couldn’t quite reach the ball. Ndombele sent a good ball to Son who made a good run ahead of him into the box, but “Sonny” took a moment too long and his shot was blocked. Another move came from Son and Lamela before Kane’s shot was blocked and went for a corner. This was taken on the right by Lamela. Harry Kane rose and met the ball in the centre of the area, heading it towards the back post where “Sonny” took an instinctive header which beat Pope underneath his top left corner. That was Son’s eighth league goal and puts him at the top of the scorers’ list after 6 games. He has now scored 10 for the club – the same as Harry!
That attempts on goal figure had improved to Burnley 11 – Spurs 6. Jose cancelled his plan for Vinicius to get on and replaced Ndombele with Lo Celso. The thrust now was to “manage” the game and defend stoutly, although we did still get forward. ”Sonny” was fouled by Long who got only the second yellow card of the game. Spurs had good build-up down the left flank and the move ended with a ball by Lo Celso across the area to Lamela, whose shot was held by Pope.
Dyche threw on both Rodriguez and Vydra in a desperate effort to find a goal and at least a point. There was no foul given for a Lamela challenge on McNeil, who took a knock. In added time our last signing Joe Rodon, who was 23 last Thursday, replaced Son and Spurs saw out the remainder of the game holding onto a precious three points.
After Antwerp we are at home to Brighton in a pay per view game at home to Brighton on Sunday. With Leicester not playing till next Monday (and that’s against Leeds), a win against the “Seagulls” will put us into the top four for at least a day, and depending on other results perhaps even longer.
Make no mistake, this was a tough game and a big win for Spurs, who did not play as well as they are able. With regard to the strength of our squad and the class of players who are obliged to miss out on selection, there is no reason why we should not maintain a prolonged challenge for the top four, and who knows, perhaps more!
COME ON YOU SPURS!
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