|DATE||Saturday 7th December 2019|
game against Burnley is not always a thing of joy. A dour
approach can sometimes stifle a game and the season they finished in
a Europa League place was the exception, when they played a bit of
football and deservedly got into the top seven. There is
sufficient quality in their squad to play a more expansive style,
but I imagine that survival is the name of the game, but at some
stage that will not be enough.
Sean Dyche is fulfilling his
brief at the Turf Moor club and he has been relatively successful
with his other clubs, so working on a limited (and sensible)
budget, he has come up with a cunning plan. But Burnley
are a bit of a conundrum, with some good younger players and some
old timers. Full backs Phil Bardsley and Sam Taylor are the prime
examples. Bardsley started with Man U and has been around
passing through Sunderland and Stoke before rocking up at Turf Moor,
while Taylor was signed as one for the future from Leeds but
went straight into the side. It is a pattern in the clubís
recruitment, with some lower league gems picked up and doing really
well. Erick Pieters is another ex-Stokie and Ben Gibson came in form
Middlesbrough, but he is one that hasnít really worked out yet for
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 Burnley 1|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Michel Vorm (calf), Ben Davies (ankle), Hugo Lloris (elbow) and Erik Lamela (hamstring) are all still sidelined by injury, but the rest of the squad are available for the game.
BURNLEY TEAM NEWS :
Burnley have doubts about Ashley Barnes (groin), Ashley Woodward (groin), Phil Bardsley (knock) and Kevin Long (hip). Sam Taylor could return at full back, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson is definitely out with a hamstring pull.
|Premier League||Kick off 15.00|
|Tottenham Hotspur 5 (3)||
Kane 04m 01s
Dier (foul on Hendrick) 72
Lowton (foul on Son) 22
|Crowd : 58,401||Weather : Mild, slight breeze|
|Referee : Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. Adrian Holmes; Mr. Mark Scholes|
|Fourth Official : Robert Jones||-|
|Video Assistant Referee : Lee Mason||Video Assistant Referee Assistant : Dan Robathan|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Burnley :||kit|
22 Paulo GAZZANIGA
Serge AURIER (29
Oliver SKIPP 80)
Ryan SESSEGNON 75)
10 Harry KANE (c)
|Manager : Jose Mourinho||Manager : Sean Dyche|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : LaBa 360|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : Puma|
Games against Burnley are typified by dour, defensive and time-wasting performances by the Lancastrians. But in this game on Rainbow Laces weekend saw some proud Lilywhites with no time to waste, as they took an early lead and ran out easy 5-0 winners with some outstanding goals to boot. Pride of place among them will go to Heung-Min Son ... but more of that later.
From the start, it was clear that Tottenham were not going to make the slow start they had at Old Trafford three days earlier. Attacking with sharp passes down the flanks, two early crosses were first blocked and then the second into Pope's hands. A ball was played up the Burnley right, but Toby immediately returned it and found Son on the same touchline. His pass inside to Harry Kane 30 yards from goal looked harmless enough, until the England captain strode forward five yards and unleashed a shot with such power that Pope was unable to react to it as it flew past him like an Exocet ! It was an exceptional strike and would have been raved about for a long time until later in the game, when, as Harry said, he had his thunder stolen. It was a thunderbolt of a shot and the like of which we haven't seen too much from him so far this season, but now he has got the taste for shooting from outside the area, we might see more of it
Five minutes on the clock and 1-0 ahead, with no need for VAR for Kane's goal, Spurs then set about Burnley, who didn't know what had hit them. Kane's deflected shot earned a corner that fell in the box, with everyone almost freezing for a moment before it was cleared. Son made another rapid run up the left and Kane pulled left, but almost into Heung-Min's path. He got out of the way, as the Korean's low cross was firmly hit and Pope could only block it with his legs. The ball spun up into the air off Ben Mee and Pope recovered to his feet and tried to punch it away under pressure from Dele, but only managed to push it to the far post. Lucas Moura was on hand to force the ball into the net with his studs from a couple of inches out to double the lead with only eight minutes played.
Spurs were pressing well and forcing Burnley into turning over possession, so although our passing wasn't always as spot on as it should have been, we didn't have to wait long for it to be given back to us. The visitors did come back into the game as they now had to do something. Aurier headed away at the far post when Dwight McNeil swung in a free-kick, with a claret shirt behind him and when Moussa Sissoko surged forward with the ball, he played it to Son on the left and continued his run into the area, where he received a return pass and dinked the ball over Pope, who rushed out at him to try and smother his shot. It looked odds on that Moussa would notch for the second home game running, but his effort bounced back off the post ! He was unlucky not to score after a good piece of play between him and Son.
Dele had a chance to add to the score-line when he was sent through and got to the penalty area allowing a tackle to rob him of a shooting opportunity as he slowed down, when he should have passed square to Son on his right. It might not have been allowed anyway, as he looked offside when he received the ball. Dele was involved again, trying to flick Aurier's low right wing cross for a team-mate, but it went off for a goal-kick.
Burnley came close to reducing the lead. McNeil put in a good cross form the CLarets' left and Robbie Brady was unmarked at the far post, allowing him to loop a header back over Gazzaniga to see it hit the bar, come down off the post and bounce up for Chris Wood to have a header at goal. Davinson Sanchez had been aware of his presence and as the ball was going towards goal, got his head in the way to block it away for a corner. From that, the ball was cleared to Sonny, who played it forward to set off a breakaway, but was unceremoniously taken out by Lowton, way after the ball had gone. It was a challenge using excessive force and a nasty one that the referee punished with a yellow card. Son needed a bit of treatment and when he came back on, the free-kick had come to nothing.
The Spurs goal came under threat again when Pieters got away on the Burnley left wing and his cross was met with a glancing header at the near post by Jay Rodrigues and it was more or less straight at Paulo, so it was a routine save just in front of the line.
The effort being put in to close down the Burnley player on the ball was paying off and none were working harder than Lucas, who forced so many turnovers that gave Spurs momentum.
When Dier fouled Rodrigues near the halfway line, it looked as though Burnley might try and capitalise from the set-piece. It was played towards Tarkowski
, but Jan stuck a leg around him to knock the ball out to Heung-Min Son. A couple of yards outside of his own box, he controlled the ball as Tarkowski urged Lowton to come and tackle the Spurs man. Maybe the booking played on his mind, as he backed off, allowing Son to run forward with the ball. dele was supporting him, but there wasn't the angle to play the pass, so on Son ran away from Tarkowski and Brady, bursting past Pieters' desperate lunge and then, at the end of a 80 yard dash, having the composure to slide the ball to Pope's left to score an absolutely outstanding goal. The pace and footwork to keep the ball under control at that speed were magnificent and it is a goal for the ages, as we can say we were there. As this made it 3-0, a case of deja-vu was upon us, but with 13 minutes to half-time, there was plenty of time to add some more.
Kane rose highest to head a Son free-kick over the angle of the crossbar and the post, but it was Burnley who came closes to the next goal in the game. Sanchez got a touch to a cross by Brady to take the ball out of harm's way, with Wood behind him waiting for the ball to arrive, but Rodrigues had a better opportunity seven minutes before half time, when McNeil's cross found him in front of goal and a couple of yards out, but his header was directed down and missed the target when one on the mark would surely have beaten Gazzaniga.
Dwight McNeil was about the only player who came out of this match with any credit, with some good skill and a series of crosses into the Spurs box being the most likely way the Clarets might have got back into the match. However, when they did get the ball in the net from a McNeil cross being forced over the line, Gazzaniga had been fouled and it was chalked off. Tarkowski won a header in the Spurs box from along free-kick, but Eric Dier was there to head away. It looked like the Spurs defensive midfielder was getting up to speed again, with some good tackles to break up play, some thunderous tackles to win the ball and although his passing wasn't 100%, he still managed to set Spurs on the way a few times.
Right on 45 minutes, a foul on Dele (although there could have been two before the whistle finally blew) just to the left of centre was taken by Son and he hit the wall amidst shouts for handball. Both sets of players surrounded the ref, but VAR ruled play on and a throw-in was given. If VAR is now being used to give a throw, then I really think things have gone too far ! The half finished with Son having a shot blocked but the applause that rang around the stadium as the players trooped off was in stark contrast to the boos at the Sheffield United game.
The break gave Spurs fans the chance to draw breath on as exhilarating a 45 minutes of action as we have seen for a while. It wasn't the 4-0 lead we had over Crystal Palace earlier in the season, but could have been more. The tempo from the start had put Burnley on the back foot and they couldn't cope. Still, the next goal would be important in the match, with Tottenham's propensity to give away goals.
An early goal at the start of the second half would have set us back, as it did against Manchester United, but when Wood played the ball to Rodrigues in the box and he couldn't control it, that threat receded and disappeared with 54 minutes gone. A loose pass from Lowton, who was having a mare of a match, was picked off five yards inside the Burnley half and played to Dele in the left channel. Lowton did get back to tackle him, but only succeeded in playing it to Harry Kane 25 yards out. The Spurs captain shaped to go to Tarkowski's right, but came inside and unleashed a rising right foot shot that gave Pope no chance as it ripped into the net. It was another great strike from Kane and it looks like he is willing to shoot on sight now, which isn't always the best option, but he is hungry for goals and is gaining the benefit.
Another Burnley free-kick played into the Spurs box saw Brady fire it way over the bar, before Kane was at it again, forcing Mee to block another effort. The game got bogged down in midfield for a while, with only the substitution of Robbie Brady bringing Aaron Lennon into play seeing both sets of fans welcome him, with the Spurs crowd's chants of "One Aaron Lennon" ringing around the ground.
Dier was booked for a foul on Hendrick, but shortly after, Spurs won the ball at the back, played it forward to Son, who passed it to Sissoko running onto it from inside his own half. Taking the ball forward 25 yards, the midfielder fed Kane on the left and his first time pass was exquisite. The weight on it was perfect for Sissoko's run into the area to take it in his stride to drift past Mee and as Cork came in from his right, Moussa poked the ball past Pope's left hand to rack up the fifth goal. It was another sweeping move from back to front that Burnley couldn't deal with.
Dele forced Pope to save with another shot from just outside the area between the introduction of Sessegnon (for his home debut) and Oliver Skipp. With the game approaching it's last ten minutes and with Spurs fans wishing it would never end, Kane tried to wrap up his hat-trick with an audacious curled lob from inside the centre circle in the Burnley half, as Spurs snaffled another loose ball to him. Unfortunately, it was wide of the goal and didn't have enough on it to trouble the keeper. Rodrigues tried for a consolation goal but struck his shot wide and a great ovation was given to Dele as he trotted off to be replaced by Troy Parrott. The welcome afforded the 17 year old striker, who immediately went up top ahead of Kane, is hopefully one that will become a regular feature of the Irishman's career.
None of the subs had a chance to make much impact, although Skipp looked neat on the ball, but as the match descended into a training game, we did as much as possible to nearly handing Burnley a goal by passing around at the back within inches of giving the ball away.
That might have been game management, but what would be a better way of managing a game is to try and continue how they had started. The attacking start to the game had blown Burnley away and they were there for the taking as Spurs kept up the pace of the game and bore down on their goal time and time again. It was a very good team performance, with players all over the pitch excelling. It bodes well for a lot of games, but will we be able to produce this sort of game against the top sides ? That will be the crucial factor in the team's progression. It is unlikely that will be the case against Bayern Munich in midweek, with some of the fringe players getting an opportunity to impress, but with games ahead against Chelsea and Liverpool in the next few weeks, it will be a test of how far the team can go.
In the final analysis, on this day, Burnley were not fit to Rainbow Lace the Spurs players boots, but even then, the game could have finished 9-3. If this is the new Mourinho style, it will be a real rollercoaster ride !
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|How the players did|
|Paulo Gazzaniga||Little to do directly, as the nearest Burnley came was hitting the bar with a header Paulo had little chance of getting to.|
|Serge Aurier||Another good performance from the Ivory Coast international. Crossing might have been better today, but a good defensive game by Serge.|
|Toby Alderweireld||Never looked troubled and was always seeking out forward players with balls from the back.|
|Jan Vertonghen||Another excellent display by Jan, who is back to his best. Couple of vital interceptions and a tackle that set Son on his way to his wonder-goal.|
|Davinson Sanchez||Played well against a physical opponent and made a goal-saving intervention with his head to stop Wood after the ball had come back off the bar.|
|Eric Dier||Looking back up to speed and could be a regular as Jose is a big fan. Left Burnley in no doubt that he meant business today.|
|Moussa Sissoko||Another one for the goal-machine, who put in a strong running performance and could have had two goals today with a bit of luck.|
|Lucas Moura||Great effort to quickly close down Burnley players with the ball was rewarded when he was on the spot to turn in the second goal.|
|Dele Alli||No goal today for Dele, but his play deserved one. Was the link man today and was responsible for keeping forward moved going.|
|Harry Kane||Two ferocious shots to score a brace and good link-up play would have given Jose great pleasure after Wednesday's performance on the periphery of the game.|
|Heung-Min Son||What can you say about Son ? A superstar in his own country and now a Spurs legend. A goal that will live long in the memory and involvement in three other goals making it a great performance by our favourite Korean.|
|Troy Parrott||Little time to do much, but will get more playing time in the coming months.|
|Ryan Sessegnon||Only had a couple of touches, but showed good movement off the ball.|
|Oliver Skipp||Came on and played a few good passes. Tried to calm the team down when they were keeping possession at the back ... just !|
|Giovani Lo Celso||Unused.|
|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Manchester City||1||Manchester United||2||Saturday|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2||Sunday|
|Aston Villa||1||Leicester City||4||Sunday|
|Norwich City||1||Sheffield United||2||Sunday|
|West Ham United London||1||Arsenal||3||Monday|
|League Table 2019-20|
|4||Frank Lampard's Chelsea||16||9||2||6||31||24||29||+7|
|12||Brighton & Hove Albion||16||5||4||7||20||24||19||-4|
|16||West Ham United London||16||4||4||8||21||29||16||-8|
Position before match : 9th
Position after match : 5th
Position after the weekend : 7th
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