Clarets land blow to Spurs' faint title hopes
PUBLISHED: 14:37 23 February 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Premier League: Burnley 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Tottenham Hotspur’s faint Premier League title hopes were dealt a big blow following a 2-1 defeat away to Burnley this afternoon.
Harry Kane returned for Spurs and netted at Turf Moor, but it wasn’t enough to give the north Londoners another win.
It was a frustrating day for the Lilywhites with boss Mauricio Pochettino unhappy with referee Mike Dean come full time and Tottenham remain five points off current leaders Manchester City with both clubs having played 27 fixtures.
Liverpool are the real danger for the N17 outfit now, with the Reds level with City on 65, but with a game in hand now, which will be played on Sunday at Man United.
Surprisingly Kane was included in the starting XI as Pochettino’s team played their first match in 10 days.
Few chances were created in the opening quarter of an hour, but with 16 on the clock Tottenham’s number 10 showed his sharpness with a left-footed effort which flew just wide.
Ashley Barnes went close for Burnley in the 33rd minute, although his fierce first-time strike went over.
Spurs continued to dictate possession, but the Clarets were typically organised and the game remained goalless at the break.
Following the restart, Tottenham came out with more purpose and they almost broke the deadlock five minutes into the second period.
Kane was again involved and he let fly from range, but Tom Heaton produced a great save to keep the scoreline 0-0.
In the 57th minute the opener did arrive, although against the run of play it went to the hosts at Turf Moor.
Dwight McNeill whipped in a wonderful corner and Chris Wood managed to hold off Juan Foyth and nod home from six-yards.
Pochettino made a substitution moments later with Fernando Llorente introduced for Harry Winks and in the 65th minute Tottenham got back on level terms.
Danny Rose took a quick throw and Kane raced away, kept his composure and added the required finish to make it 1-1.
The pace of the game became frantic now with both sides creating chances and Spurs brought on Erik Lamela with 14 minutes left for Juan Foyth.
It was Burnley who found the decisive third goal, however, with 84 gone when a ball to the back post came for Barnes, who tapped home.
Spurs’ final roll of the dice was to summon Lucas Moura from the bench as the club’s faint title hopes began to evaporate.
Four minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the 90, but the Clarets saw the contest out to earn a valuable 2-1 victory.
Tottenham will be frustrated, but will aim to bounce back on Wednesday away to Chelsea in a game which no doubt will be tough.
After this result, Pochettino will be desperate for a response and eager to keep Spurs on track for a third-placed finish again with the title looking out of reach.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris ©; Foyth (Lamela 76), Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Aurier, Sissoko, Winks (Llorente 62), Eriksen, Rose; Kane, Son (Moura 88).
Unused substitutes: Gazzaniga, Davies, Walker-Peters, Wanyama.