Spurs’ title challenge suffered a hit as they lost out 2-1 to Burnley at Turf Moor in the early kick-off in the Premier League. Harry Kane marked his return from injury with a goal but it was not enough to get past a stubborn Burnley side.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team could have closed the gap at the top of the Premier League table to two points but were blunted by Sean Dyche’s spirited clarets and things grew tense at the end of the match between Pochettino and referee Mike Dean, with an argument between the two breaking out after the match.
Chris Wood opened the scoring for Burnley in the second half with a header after fifty-seven minutes before Kane, on his first Spurs start for six weeks, drew Spurs level with a tidy finish. That seemed to be the goal that would push Spurs on for another late flurry of goals but instead, it was Burnley who found the winner. Ashley Barnes continued his good scoring run with a close-range finish seven minutes from time to give Burnley all three points. The home side are now unbeaten in eight Premier League matches, which is their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League. The run coincides with goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton’s return to the side.
FULL-TIME: Burnley take the points on a disappointing afternoon at Turf Moor. pic.twitter.com/52u56tEt3c
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 23, 2019
Kane Goal Not Enough for Spurs
Kane looked lively in the early stages for Spurs as he partnered Heung-min Son up front. However, Burnley sat deep and defended well as a unit to limit the amount of chances Spurs had. Barnes had the first real chance of the match when his curled effort from a tight angle went just over Hugo Lloris’ bar but it was a quiet first half from both sides.
Spurs continued to look positive in possession just as Burnley looked they were comfortable at keeping Spurs out. Yet into the second half Kane unleashed a whirlwind effort which forced Tom Heaton into an acrobatic stop. The shot from Kane, from thirty yards out, showed no signs that he had been injured for almost two months previously and almost caught Heaton out.
However, soon after that, it was the hosts who opened the scoring. After a corner was awarded to Burnley, when it looked like it should have been a goal kick, Chris Wood was able to open the scoring for Burnley. The New Zealand international got above Juan Foyth and his header clipped the bar on the way into the net past a helpless Hugo Lloris. Pochettino was not happy with the decision to award Burnley a corner in the first place and could be seen remonstrating with the fourth official as soon as the scoring opened. This would be the subject of his confrontation to referee Mike Dean after the match, however, he would not disclose what exactly was said.
Spurs were only behind for seven minutes though as Kane got the equaliser on his return from injury. It came about because of quick thinking from left-back Danny Rose, who was a doubt before the match. Rose was the only player to react quickly to Spurs being given a throw-in and launched the ball over the Burnley defence for Kane to latch on to.
Kane shrugged off Ben Mee and found the goal with a typically calm and composed finish, giving the in-form Heaton no chance. That gave the travelling Spurs fans and the players belief that they were again going to snatch something late from the game as they had done against Fulham, Newcastle and Watford this calendar year.
However, this time out at Turf Moor it was not to be. Johann Berg Gudmundsson was introduced by Sean Dyche in the second half and made his mark on the game straight away by making space on the left-hand side and putting a cross into the box. On the end of that was Ashley Barnes who prodded home from close range to give Burnley their second goal which turned out to be the winning strike.
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 25, 2019
It was a bitter pill for Spurs to swallow as they had not played particularly badly. However, with Liverpool and Manchester City continuing to pick up points time seems to be running out if they do wish to make a title challenge. Mauricio Pochettino’s team are still eight points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United and are ten points ahead of Chelsea going into the match at Stamford Bridge.
Burnley v Spurs Premier League Teams
Burnley v Spurs Premier League Stats
- The defeat against Burnley was only the second in Spurs’ last eight Premier League away matches.
- Ashley Barnes has now scored four goals in his last 4 Premier League games
- Harry Kane has now scored four goals in his last three games against Burnley
What the Managers Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“I think it was a fantastic opportunity for us to be a real contender and to show everyone that we deserved to be there. If you come here and in the end you are not capable of winning then of course you cannot justify your defeat or say you are not a contender because something is outside of our environment.”
“The most important thing is to see inside yourself, we need to improve, we need to defend better, we need to play better, we need to be better in possession, we need to improve our quality, we need to be stronger. When you play a team like Burnley it’s very clear the transitions, the long ball in behind our back three, playing with two strikers that are so strong. I think it was never under control the game, then we conceded and we scored and in the end never was it a game that we could say we had it under control.”
“Okay we had the possession, we created more chances than Burnley but it’s not enough. At this type of level if you want to be a contender you have to come here and show your credentials and say ‘we are here because we deserve it and we are going to be real contenders’. That didn’t happen and we need to find why, inside not outside.”
Burnley Manager Sean Dyche
“It was a thorough performance and a good win. We know there’s a lot of work to be done but they’re certainly putting in the work. We’re not a side who can slick it around like Man City but we have very good players. We wanted to get in behind them. I thought our front two were outstanding.” (BBC Sport)
Burnley v Spurs Man of the Match
From a Spurs perspective, Harry Kane was their best player. There were some doubts over whether he was going to be involved at all but Pochettino chose to start him against Burnley, showing just how big he considered the game to be. As well as his clinical goal, Kane looked lively in the early exchanges and almost scored one of the goals of the season but for the good work of Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
What’s Up Next for Spurs?
Spurs can put this bad result behind them immediately behind them when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Then they face rivals Arsenal on Saturday at Wembley in what promises to be a brilliant North London derby.
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