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Burnley v Spurs, 26.12.17

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 23RD DECEMBER, 2017
(5.30pm)
BURNLEY 0(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(1)

Scorer:-
Kane, 7(pen), 69, 79

Attendance:- 21,650

Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Simon Bennett, Daniel Cook
Fourth official: Graham Scott

Teams:-
Burnley (4-4-1-1):- Pope; Bardsley, Long, Mee (Capt.), Taylor; Gudmundsson, Defour, Cork, Arfield (sub Wells, 86); Hendrick (sub Vokes, 71); Wood (sub Barnes, 35)

Subs not used:- Lindegaard; Lowton, Westwood, Walters

Booked:- Defour (foul on Davies)

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Dier (sub Lamela, 83); Eriksen, Dele (sub Llorente, 87), Son (sub Dembele, 78); Kane

Subs not used:- Vorm; Trippier, Rose, Foyth

Booked:- Dele (foul on Taylor), Sissoko (foul on Arfield)

Hat-trick Harry Kane again!

We all knew a long time ago that we would run out of headlines about Spurs’ hat-trick hero Harry Kane. Sometimes, you just have to stick to the facts. Last night at Turf Moor, Harry scored his seventh hat-trick of 2017, reaching 36 Premier League goals for 2017, equalling Alan Shearer’s record. Harry is also just one goal behind none other than Lionel Messi, who also scored a penalty yesterday against Real Madrid. With 53 goals for the year, Harry has a chance on Boxing Day of equalling or beating the records of the best scorers in Europe. (Messi has 54) This was another great individual performance, and a very good team performance which should have been even better with 4 or 5 excellent scoring opportunities spurned. Burnley conceded three goals in a game for only the second time this season, and as many goals in this one game as they had at home in their previous 9 home games.

Burnley were missing key players such as the suspended James Tarkowski, and the injured left back Stephen Ward and midfielder Robbie Brady. They have been managing quite well without number one keeper Tom Heaton, but they were exposed last night for the lack of depth in their squad, and suffered defeat for it. The Spurs win takes them back above Burnley and Arsenal, leaving them just one point behind Liverpool and back in the hunt for top four.

Earlier in the afternoon, the town of Burnley had been only just below the level of the prevailing fog, or low cloud in the area. By the time of kick-off, this risk had cleared, and all was set for a crunch match. Burnley fans would claim the crunch came early in the shape of Dele Alli’s tackle on stand-in left back Charlie Taylor. Dele had done some good work in the build-up to the tackle to win and retain the ball, and just over-stretched when the ball ran away from him as he tackled Taylor. The home fans wanted a red card. Burnley manager Sean Dyche described it as “an orange”. Referee Michael Oliver showed Dele a yellow. Incidentally, Mr Oliver has refereed Spurs seven times in 2017, and we have won all seven games, including big away wins at Watford (4-1), Leicester (6-1) and now Burnley.

After 5 minutes Eriksen sent a ball for Son on the left. Son laid it off for Ben Davies, whose woeful attempt at a cross or shot went high and actually went out for a throw just in front of the opposite corner flag. The home fans’ hatred for Dele Alli was compounded a minute later when he won a penalty when nudged in the thigh by Kevin Long. Despite any debate, it was a clear penalty in my initial view, and after watching TV replays. Nonetheless the home crowd targeted Dele for the rest of the game, labelling him a cheat and something that rhymes with “Banker”. Spurs’ fans responded with gutsy renditions of “We’ve got Alli”. As for the penalty, Kane stepped up and sent Pope the wrong way, scoring convincingly to the keeper’s left.

After the kick-off, Dele was fouled in midfield and Mr. Oliver waved play-on. Eriksen fed Son, who had a shot saved. Spurs had started well, but when Burnley got forward I was again concerned at the space sometimes allowed by Serge Aurier at right back. Arfield nearly took advantage after 12 minutes, receiving a ball that took a Spurs deflection, before hitting a dangerous cross/shot which Lloris held well. Dele and Harry were being given some fairly uncompromising treatment from the Burnley defence and after a pass from Dele, Kane was fouled before Davies hit the free kick from which Spurs gained a corner. Nothing came of that, but soon after Eriksen and Davies were involved in a short passing move in the middle, taken on by Kane, who passed to Dele and made a run forward to receive Dele’s deflected looped pass. Harry created a scoring opportunity, but put the ball on the wrong side of the post, when he should have scored. Already Spurs should have had the goals to correctly express their superiority.

After 21 minutes, Spurs played some great football out of defence with Son hitting an overhead ball which was picked up by Eriksen and sent to Dele, still in his own half. Moussa Sissoko made a great run for Dele into the Burnley half and received the right ball, getting to a position where he was one on one with goalkeeper Pope. Sissoko hit his first shot with the right foot, which was saved, and his second effort with his left was also saved by the keeper. The Spurs man should have scored both times. However, much as this attracted much derision from many Spurs fans, Sissoko did have an overall good game, playing a solid part in midfield, and getting an assist for one of Kane’s second half goals.

Harry Kane had another chance after 26 minutes, receiving from Eriksen before hitting a right footed shot well over the target. A mistake at the other end by Aurier, gave Burnley a chance. Wood fed the ball to Defour, whose cross/shot was held by Hugo. It wasn’t long after this when Wood went down injured and had to be replaced by Ashley Barnes.

After 40 minutes, Ben Davies and Son Heung-min made a good break down the left with son giving the final pass to Davies, who again over-hit his attempted cross.

Soon after the second half started Spurs had a good attack down the right. Aurier passed forward to Eriksen, whose cross was met at the near post by Kane with Pope close at hand. The ball went out and the decision was to award a goal kick. Aurier was to have a good second half, particularly with his attacking flair. Eriksen had a wonderful opportunity in front of goal after Kane and Son had teed him up, but he got no strength in his shot. Next up to miss a great chance was Son himself. Kane passed out to Aurier, who gave Son a great pass. Son had an open goal, but fired over. It was a terrible miss.

Harry Kane had a shot deflected for a corner after more good work by Dele. Jan Vertonghen needed some time to sort out one of his boots, and was actually off the field temporarily, while Dier covered him at the back. Dele also went down and needed treatment, but came back on. Spurs had a good move down the right with a ball sent down the line just inside our half. Kane crossed and Dele challenged for a header, but Mr Oliver awarded Burnley a foul. Finally Spurs went 2-0 up. The goal came after a poor Lloris clearance (there are still plenty of those!) was rescued by Sissoko in the middle. Sissoko sent Harry away down the middle and Harry beat the keeper with a firm low shot.

Dyche replaced midfielder Hendrick with another striker – Sam Vokes, who came off the better and with the ball in a challenge with Vertonghen, necessitating another Lloris save. Harry’s hat-trick goal came after he was in a challenge when Mr Oliver waved play-on in our favour. Harry fed Davies, who passed across to Dele, whose final pass back to Harry on the left of goal was fired confidently past Pope’s left arm. The game was up for Burnley, but they didn’t give up with Vokes disappointed by a goal being disallowed for a foul on Lloris after a cross from the left. Lloris also had to save with a dive to his right from a header by Barnes.

A good day for Spurs was enhanced by the fact that both Man Utd and Chelsea drew, after Arsenal and Liverpool had drawn on Friday night. Tuesday’s game at home to Southampton, who haven’t won in their last six games, and who couldn’t beat Huddersfield yesterday, is a great chance to improve our position in relation to our top four challengers again.

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