- Attendance 21,338
Match Report by John Ellis at Turf Moor
Premier League: Burnley 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Sunglasses in Burnley in February! I would like to write that it was not just because of the 16 degrees glorious sunshine but also because Spurs dazzled with an outstanding performance to throw their hat into the title chase ring.
Alas… this was not the case. Spurs served up a slow tempo ponderous performance with players frequently holding on to the ball far too long. This played straight into the hands of the Burnley defence who were able to organise themselves and get back into position to close out the Spurs attacks.
The line up showed several changes notably Harry Kane surprisingly coming straight back into the first eleven – one wonders who made that decision!
The early exchanges saw both teams threaten down the flanks and the combination of the bright low sun and swirling wind combined to cause Lloris a couple of early anxious moments.
Mike Dean and his officials as ever did their best to anger both sets of fans.
Harry Kane cut inside from the right and fired a low shot wide when a pass to the unmarked Rose looked to be the far better option.
Spurs gradually got into their stride and started to test Heaton in the Burnley goal with Eriksen and Kane having efforts stopped and intercepted.
Whilst Foyth had a shaky first half, Aurier excelled at both ends of the pitch.
The half time whistle blew with the feeling Spurs had to up their game if they were to come away with three points.
In the 50th minute Kane struck a sensational effort which brought a great finger tip save from Heaton
This brought a prolonged spell of pressure but without any clear cut chances being created.
The 57th minute brought disaster from a corner which from the away end looked a goal kick. Nevertheless Spurs defended the set piece weakly and a free header putting Burnley 1-0 in front.
Danny Rose’s crosses continued to disappoint…
In the 65th minute Harry Kane announced himself back on the Premier League stage with a swashbuckling run in from the left and lovely finish to bring the scores level! 1-1!
Instead of celebrating, Kane signalled the team’s intentions by rushing into the net to collect the ball. There was a game to be won.
Having berated Dean the Spurs fans sang his name. It seemed for all the world an ugly high tackle by Foyth would lead to Dean producing his 100th red card but no… he remarkably only produced a yellow.
Similarly an equally horrible tackle on Rose was only deemed worthy of a yellow card.
Instead of Spurs going on to dominate the match, Burnley created several opportunities to regain the lead.
It was though loose play from Aurier who up to that point had had a decent match which put Burnley in and the chance was taken… 2-1 with six minutes to go…
In truth Burnley played out the last minutes comfortably – only a Lamela header brought an easy save from Heaton.
The final whistle brought unseemly scenes in the centre circle. Pochettino confronted Mike Dean and his officials. Perez who almost lost it completely.
The away fans could understand their frustrations as Dean made so many mistakes during the match in giving free kicks and goal kicks to the home side.
Spurs though ultimately have only themselves to blame for losing this match but the standard of refereeing in the Premier League seems to be at its lowest in living memory.
Without a strong holding midfielder in the team, the back five and later four looked exposed. Over the 90 minutes, this enabled Burnley to create a number of good chances whilst Spurs play was for the most part lethargic and befitting of an early kick off.
The bad news is there are several more early kick offs ahead…
Throughout the match, Spurs created space down the left wing which brought frustration as Rose was either unable to beat the first man and when he did the cross sailed high over all incoming attackers. Vertonghen proved to be a hard act to follow in the left wing back position.
This was certainly a bad day at the office and not an ideal way to start a crucial ten days which could well define Spurs season.