Returning Kane scores in vain at Burnley
Burnley 2-1 Spurs
Sat 23 February 2019, 14:23|Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane's clinical finish on his return to action counted for nothing after Ashley Barnes scrambled in an 83rd-minute winner for resurgent Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday lunchtime.
We'd looked bright in the Lancashire sunshine as we sought a breakthrough against a notoriously tough Clarets side but fell behind in controversial fashion shortly before the hour mark when Chris Wood headed home a corner that Jan Vertonghen, Mauricio Pochettino and the television replays suggested should have been a goal-kick.
Ploughing on, Kane, who had earlier seen a swirling 30-yarder clawed away by Tom Heaton as it arrowed towards the top corner, showed no signs of rust after working his way back early from an ankle injury sustained on 13 January as he expertly controlled Danny Rose's quickly-taken throw-in down the left flank before producing a sharp finish to level the scores.
But it was the hosts, enjoying a fine start to 2019, who snatched victory when the other half of their in-form strike pairing swept home at the back post to make it 2-1 after Jóhann Berg Gudmundsson had scuffed a shot across the face of goal - a boost for Burnley's survival bid and a setback to our efforts to scale the table at the other end.
We applied spurts of pressure on the Burnley box in the first half. Kane found an opening and fired just wide on his left foot from 18 yards after 16 minutes before a number of half-chances went begging around the half-hour mark. Harry Winks saw a shot blocked following a clever corner routine, Heung-Min Son would have found Kane in the six-yard box but for Ben Mee's header away, Christian Eriksen's drive was blocked on the next phase of play and the same player tested Heaton with an angled shot from distance after good play from Moussa Sissoko.
Despite all that, it was Burnley who had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when the ball was cut back to Barnes and he fizzed a shot just over from inside the area on the right.
Kane, who had seen a header comfortably taken by England international colleague Heaton moments before the break, almost announced his comeback in sensational fashion five minutes into the second half but, with his right-footed stunner heading for the top corner from some 30 yards out, Heaton again denied him.
We'd made a positive start to the second period but it was Burnley who took the lead from a set-piece in the 57th minute. Vertonghen challenged Jeff Hendrick down by the byline and a corner was given, the ball swung in and Wood crashed a header in off the underside of the bar. Vertonghen was irate at the awarding of the corner but, to the players' credit, we brushed off the disappointment and found a leveller eight minutes later as Rose took a throw-in quickly down the left flank, Kane controlled under pressure before poking lethally past the goalkeeper from a tight angle.
You sensed a confidence among the players that we'd push on to win but it was actually the hosts who had the better chances on the counter thereafter. Hendrick flashed a shot across goal and wide, Barnes was denied by a great sliding block from Toby Alderweireld and Hugo Lloris denied Dwight McNeil before that major blow seven minutes from time, Berg Gudmundsson's mis-hit shot from left of centre falling nicely at the back post for Barnes to stab in. Substitute Erik Lamela might have levelled in added time, but Heaton routinely caught his header.
Both sides were desperate for the points and from a Burnley perspective, the spoils were scooped in fortuitous circumstances seven minutes from time.
A couple of corners hadn't quite been adequately cleared, Burnley kept the ball in and around our area and although Berg Gudmundsson appeared to have dragged his strike away from goal from the left side, Barnes ghosted in at the back post to fire in.
Boss Mauricio felt we were in control of the play at Turf Moor, but was left to rue the final scoreline.
"It was tough and we’re disappointed, upset," he said. "We know well it’s always going to be tough here because of the way they play and if we don’t match that aggression and the way they play, we are going to suffer.
"I thought we controlled the game but it wasn’t enough and we conceded two goals, so it's very disappointing."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Burnley 2-1 Spurs
Burnley (4-4-2): Heaton (c), Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick (Brady 80), Cork, Westwood, McNeil (Berg Gudmundsson 80), Barnes, Wood. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Lowton, Gibson, Vydra, Crouch.
Spurs (3-4-1-2): Lloris (c), Alderweireld, Foyth (Lamela 76), Vertonghen, Aurier, Winks (Llorente 62), Sissoko, Rose, Eriksen, Son (Lucas 88), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Davies, Wanyama.
Goals: Burnley - Wood 57, Barnes 83; Spurs - Kane 65.
Yellow cards: Burnley - Bardsley 72; Spurs - Llorente 64, Foyth 69, Lamela 86.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Venue: Turf Moor.
Weather: Sunny, light breeze, 15 degrees.