Spurs 2-1 Burnley
Report from the Lane
20 December 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Erik Lamela scored a sensational winner as we recorded our third victory in a week to overcome Burnley in a hard-fought and entertaining contest at the Lane on Saturday afternoon.
The Argentina international curled in a magnificent 25-yard drive nine minutes before the interval to register his first-ever Premier League goal and put us back in front in the game and we held on to claim the three points. Harry Kane had nodded us ahead on 21 minutes with his 14th goal of the campaign, before Ashley Barnes hit a superb equaliser six minutes later.
Both sides had opportunities after the break, but a combination of fine goalkeeping and spurned chances ensured the score remained at 2-1 and saw us climb up to sixth in the table – for now at least.
The two sides exchanged early chances with Scott Arfield firing the first shot of the game over the bar for the visitors on two minutes, while Ryan Mason’s snap shot drifted wide shortly after.
It was a contest that was easy on the eye, with us enjoying the majority of possession but Burnley proving to be a real danger on the counter and there was a nice ebb and flow to the game, with chances for both teams as well.
Kane saw an effort blocked by Michael Keane on 16 minutes but he wasn’t to be denied six minutes later as we took the lead. We won a free-kick awarded for handball midway inside the Burnley half, Kane grabbed the ball and took it quickly. It was meant for Christian Eriksen who was standing in an offside position so the Dane left the ball which allowed Nacer Chadli to sprint on to it down the left flank. He got to the byline and dinked a cross which Kane – who’d burst into the box – nodded into the far corner from the edge of the six yard box.
Lamela had a 25-yard curler saved by Tom Heaton but the visitors went straight up the other end and grabbed a fine equaliser on 27 minutes, George Boyd laying a pass in to Barnes who took a touch and smashed a superb drive from 25 yards into the top right corner past the dive of Lloris.
Kane’s goalscoring touch deserted him a few minutes later when he somehow fluffed his lines from two yards out after wonderful skill from Lamela down the right, who jinked his way past Ben Mee to the byline inside the six yard box and sent over a low cross which the England Under-21 striker missed in front of goal. The ball ran to Eriksen but he blazed it over the crossbar.
But we were back in front on 36 minutes with a counter-attack of our own. A Burnley attack broke down, Jan Vertonghen sent Chadli away down the left, and the ball found its way across the pitch to Lamela via Kane and Ryan Mason. The Argentine cut inside onto his left and sent a delightful curling effort past the despairing dive of Heaton and into the far corner.
Mason almost added to the scoreline five minutes before the interval after latching on to Eriksen’s neat pass but he fired over, injuring himself in the process and was replaced by Benji Stambouli.
And there was still time for Kane to smash a curling shot over the bar and former Spur Dean Marney to drive low but wide of the post for Burnley in stoppage time in the first half, as we took a narrow advantage into the break.
The Clarets were quickly out of the traps for the second period, with Lloris needing to make two smart saves in quick succession to keep out Ings, the second from a corner. And the two did battle again nine minutes later, Lloris again coming out on top with a good save low down to his left to deny the Burnley striker from a difficult angle.
Chadli had the ball in the Burnley net on 65 minutes only for the assistant referee’s flag to go up for offside – a correct call – while Kane could have done better after winning possession 30 yards from goal, his shot blocked when Chadli and Lamela were well placed in the area. And neat link up play between Eriksen, Chadli and Lamela almost released Chadli, a well-timed tackle from Mee sending the ball for a corner.
Burnley were pressing high and not allowing our players any time to settle on the ball, which led to some loose passes at times, but we kept the tempo of our play up and were close to opening up the visitors on a number of occasions, just the final ball preventing us from adding to the scoreline.
That was illustrated perfectly on 83 minutes as Eriksen broke clear down the left and sent over a cross which was just out of the reach of both Lamela and Kane.
There was late danger as Fazio upended Ings 25-yards from goal and Kieran Trippier stepped up to take the free-kick, curling it up and over the wall but Lloris palmed the ball away for a corner, which he eventually gathered after a scramble in the six-yard box. That was the last notable chance and the whistle blew moments later to seal the win.
Mauricio Pochettino said
“The way we conceded was a little unlucky but we feel very pleased because the players always believed, they never lost their faith in trying to win,” said Mauricio.
“It was a good performance, it’s always hard to win in the Premier League and congratulations, it was a big performance and a big three points for us.”
“That is football, and that is the Premier League. It is one of the best leagues in the world. You never have complete control of the game. We started well, created lots of the chances but if you don’t score sometimes you can then concede, we conceded but the most important thing is we came back, scored twice and maybe could have scored more.”
“We play in a system that finds the best for them [full backs], we try to provide the tools for them to show their quality and we’re happy, in the last few games they are showing high quality.”
Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Fazio, Davies, Mason (Stambouli 44), Bentaleb, Lamela, Eriksen (Rose 90+3), Chadli, Kane (Soldado 84). Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Chiriches, Dembele, Townsend.
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Shackell, Keane, Mee, Arfield (Wallace 79), Marney, Jones, Boyd (Kightly 79), Barnes (Jutkiewicz 89), Ings. Substitutes (not used): Gilks, Reid, Chalobah, Long.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 21, Lamela 36; Burnley – Barnes 27.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Davies.
Referee: Mike Jones.