Bale at the double as we beat Burnley - match report and debrief
Spurs 4-0 Burnley
Sun 28 February 2021, 15:59|Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale marked his first Premier League start at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with two goals as we recorded our second 4-0 victory in the space of five days with a commanding win against Burnley.
While the Welsh forward was a regular at the Lane during his first spell with us, this was his first start in the league at our new arena – his third overall this season – and he looked quite at home with an excellent display, scoring twice and assisting Harry Kane for his goal. Lucas Moura was also on target as we matched the scoreline against Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League on Wednesday, with Hugo Lloris recording the 100th Premier League clean sheet of his career with this shutout of the Clarets.
We opened the scoring with Bale’s fastest-ever Premier League goal, coming after just 68 seconds, as he timed his run perfectly in behind the Burnley defence to side foot home from Heung-Min Son’s tempting cross from the left.
It was the perfect start and we looked to build on it quickly, Kane firing inches wide on six minutes before Lucas was through on goal but blasted straight at Nick Pope. The second wasn’t long in coming though, 15 minutes on the clock when Bale hit a sumptuous pass from mid-way inside his own half which drifted over the head of Josh Brownhill right onto Kane’s foot down the inside left channel and the striker advanced into the area before hitting a right-footed shot which flicked off the boot of James Tarkowski and flew over Pope.
Continuing to dominate, we made it 3-0 just after the half-hour mark as Sergio Reguilon’s cross from the left glanced off Tarkowski’s head and fell to Lucas, who controlled the ball and swept home with his left foot for his third league goal of the campaign. The final action of the first half saw Lloris save comfortably from Jay Rodriguez, while we made a positive start to the second period with our fourth of the afternoon and it was a superb goal from start to finish. It began down the left with a lovely back-heel from Tanguy Ndombele to Reguilon, who set Son away into the Burnley half. His pass found Bale down the inside right channel and he cut onto his favoured left foot and curled past Pope, in off the far post.
The visitors looked for a response with Matej Vydra having three chances in quick succession, the best a header when unmarked in the 60th minute which went high over the crossbar, but they were thankful for two smart saves from Pope to prevent further damage as he denied Kane and Son. Kane really should have added his second and our fifth in stoppage time, unusually scuffing his kick when 10 yards out in front of goal, but he was able to raise a smile despite the miss as the scoreline told a happy story.
Strong start sees us home
Having suffered five defeats in our last six league matches, it was important to get back on track on Sunday afternoon and it was a quick start that laid the foundations for this victory. In fact we couldn’t have asked for a better start with the opening goal in the second minute, Bale continuing his recent good form by converting Son’s cross. Burnley couldn’t cope with wave after wave of Spurs attacks in the first 15 minutes and we could have been 3-0 up, Kane faking with his left before shooting just wide with his right while Lucas burst through the Clarets’ defence to find himself with just Pope to beat but fired straight at the goalkeeper.
Bale and Kane combined for our second to give us the goals our football deserved and, while Burnley had the ball in forward areas on plenty of occasions, they weren’t able to really trouble Lloris, the absence through injury of their regular forward pairing of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes a telling factor.
Lucas took his goal on 31 minutes really well to put us in a commanding position and he almost added a fourth three minutes later after a great run infield from Serge Aurier, who rolled the ball in to the Brazilian but he skied his shot from the edge of the area.
The last time we led 3-0 at half-time against a team in claret and blue, West Ham came back to steal a point in late dramatic fashion, but there was to be no repeat on this occasion. An excellent fourth goal made sure of that, coming 10 minutes into the second half with Bale showing his class with a fine curling finish.
We hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the league since beating West Brom 2-0 on 7 February which meant Lloris was stuck on 99 in the league, but he was able to complete his century on this occasion. He didn’t have a great deal to do because defensively we were solid in front of him and that ensured a landmark game for the skipper.
Late chances came and went for us, Kane’s swerving 25-yard drive in the 71st minute needing an excellent one-handed save from Pope, who then got down sharply to push away Son’s low curling effort two minutes later. A late counter-attack almost yielded our fifth of the afternoon, but this time Kane was off target.
Hugo joins elite list
As mentioned, this was Lloris’ 100th clean sheet in the Premier League, becoming the 16th goalkeeper in the competition’s history to achieve such a feat. He is only the eighth keeper to reach a century of Premier League clean sheets with the same club.
Team news saw Jose Mourinho make 10 changes from the midweek win over Wolfsberger AC with only Toby Alderweireld retaining his place in the starting line-up. It was three changes from the last Premier League game at West Ham with Aurier returning from injury in place of Japhet Tanganga, Alderweireld for Eric Dier and Bale for Erik Lamela.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'A really strong performance'
First Team Assistant Ledley King told Spurs TV afterwards: "It’s always the plan, especially at home, to start as quickly as possible and put teams on the back foot.
"We scored an early goal, that was great, and that set us up and we were able to dominate the game, a really strong performance. I thought some of the football that we played at times was excellent and maybe we could have scored more goals, but, overall, I think we have to be very happy with the performance."
Spurs 4-0 Burnley
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier (Doherty 81), Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lucas (Dele 66), Bale (Lamela 70), Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Dier, Davies, Winks, Sissoko, Vinicius.
Burnley (4-4-2): Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee (c), Taylor, Brownhill, Cork (Stephens 81), Westwood, McNeil, Rodriguez (Richardson 88), Vydra (Wood 73). Substitutes (not used): Peacock-Farrell, Long, Bardsley, Dunne, Glennon, Benson.
Goals: Spurs - Bale 2, 55, Kane 15, Lucas 31.
Referee: Kevin Friend.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Sunny intervals, gentle breeze, nine degrees.