Burnley 0-2 Spurs
Report from Turf Moor
01 April 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Second-half goals from Eric Dier and substitute Heung-Min Son gave us a vital win at Burnley to cut Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points on Saturday.
After a frustrating first period in which neither side really hit top form, Dier popped up with a 66th-minute breakthrough after the home side failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Dier was playing in an advanced role alongside the highly effective Mousa Dembele by that stage after our starting central midfield pairing of Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks were forced off injured towards the end of the first half - the latter on a stretcher, after tumbling over and out of play between the two dugouts.
But we kept our focus and Son netted the second on 77 minutes after good work from Dele Alli to give us a bit of breathing space, while Dele himself went close to extending our lead on a couple of occasions as we bossed the game to see out a 2-0 victory.
With leaders Chelsea going down 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, the three points are precious as we continue our pursuit of the Blues.
Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that started against Southampton last time out - Kieran Trippier, on his first return to his former club, came in for Kyle Walker, Winks for Dembele in midfield and Vincent Janssen for Son up front in the Dutchman's first league start since November. Winks' last top flight start was also against Burnley at White Hart Lane in December, but sadly this one would end prematurely for the young man.
Chance: Alderweireld tests Heaton – 17mins
In an opening period devoid of any clear chances, Toby Alderweireld’s strike from range was the closest we came to taking the lead. Christian Eriksen touched a free-kick to the centre-back who connected sweetly from 30 yards, but Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton did well to handle.
Chance: Eriksen and Dele come close – 32mins
Eriksen did well to make space for himself and dispatch a testing left-footed strike, but Dele wasn’t able to capitalise when Heaton’s save fell to him and the midfielder failed to hit the target from close-range - a big chance for us to take the lead.
Injuries: midfield rocked by Wanyama and Winks' departures - 43-45mins
Wanyama was struggling and after a challenge by Scott Arfield, he went down for a third time and had to limp off. Not two minutes later, his central midfield comrade Winks looked in trouble as he tumbled out of play in front of the dugouts and, after treatment, was carried away on a stretcher as the half-time whistle blew. Dembele and Moussa Sissoko came on in their places with Dier moving forward to join Dembele in the middle and Sissoko operating in attack as we reverted to a 4-2-3-1 system upon the resumption.
Above: Ben Davies goes up for a challenge with Ashley Barnes.
Chance: Sissoko slices wide – 64mins
We grew into the game as the second period developed and after Heaton made good saves from Janssen and Ben Davies, Sissoko nearly put us ahead shortly after the hour mark. Janssen bundled his way through and the ball ran into Sissoko's path, but the midfielder blasted wide from the right-hand side of the goal.
Goal: Burnley 0-1 Spurs - Eric Dier – 66mins
Dier fired in a deserved opener and his first goal of the season midway through the second half in front of our vociferous visiting support. Burnley failed to deal with Eriksen’s corner and the England international came up with a solid finish from the loose ball in the box.
Goal: Burnley 0-2 Spurs - Heung-Min Son – 77mins
Michael Keane and Arfield were off target as the Clarets had a little spell, but we were soon back on the front foot and Son was left kicking himself after firing into the side netting following a good break forward by Eriksen. The South Korean international was all smiles 30 seconds later, though, as he converted Dele's pinpoint ball across from the right at the back post to double our advantage.
Chances: Dele almost extends the lead, twice - 80-85mins
We were in complete control and as we approached the last 10 minutes, Sissoko picked out Dele but the midfielder's delightful curler went just wide after beating fellow England international Heaton. Five minutes later, the midfielder fired across goal as he tried without success to capitalise on good work from Son.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It was a massive three points for us, especially in the way things happened in the first half. That was difficult but in the second half we dominated, created chances and in the end fully deserved the victory. We knew this was going to be a difficult game because Burnley are tough opposition but it’s true that we were professional and we fought for every challenge and that was key to winning the game."
Hugo Lloris said
"It was a bit strange when you’ve lost two of your players in the first half - it’s never easy to manage, especially for Winksy, because that looked tough from my position on the pitch. We showed again how strong we are. This was more about mentality, especially after losing two players in the first half and playing a tough game away after an international break. It showed everyone is ready – ready to fight, ready to help the team. We had a very strong team performance. It wasn’t fantastic but very solid, very concentrated, we stopped a lot of crosses, won a lot of second balls and that was key."
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton (c); Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward; Boyd (Brady 74), Hendrick, Barton, Arfield (Defour 78); Barnes, Gray (Vokes 56). Substitutes (not used): Robinson, Flanagan, Tarkowski, Westwood.
Spurs (3-4-2-1): Lloris (c); Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Trippier, Wanyama (Dembele 44), Winks (Sissoko 45+2), Davies; Dele, Eriksen; Janssen (Son 73). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Walker, Carter-Vickers, Nkoudou.
Goals: Spurs - Dier 66, Son 77.
Yellow cards: Burnley – Keane 48, Barnes 80.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
We travel to the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night (April 5) to face Paul Clement’s rejuvenated Swansea City. The Welsh side succumbed to a 5-0 loss at the Lane in this season’s reverse fixture in December but are a different proposition now with ex-Spur Gylfi Sigurdsson in magnificent form.