1976 was a long time ago. Gerald Ford was in the White House, Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music” was a hit, and Spurs were actually able to beat Burnley at Turf Moor.
But now Tottenham have gone and done it again! A strong second half effort helped Spurs get over their Burnley bugaboo, as they won 2-0 at Turf Moor.
Burnley’s home record was quite daunting, as was Spurs task after some first half injuries. But the Lilywhites were able to pick up a crucial three points.
xG map for Burnley - Spurs. Pretty comprehensive from Spurs. They gave Burnley more possession than usual, entirely stifled them. pic.twitter.com/1NjLKS5qym— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) April 1, 2017
Mauricio Pochettino’s lineup may have surprised some fans, but it wasn’t an April Fools joke. Vincent Janssen made his first Premier League start since October, and Kieran Trippier came in at RB to face his old club. Harry Winks also got a start, as some of Spurs’ most active international players got a rest ahead of the midweek game coming up.
It was pretty much what we all expected in the first half, Burnley made it very tough for us. There were a lot of long balls, and the home side looked the most likely to score.
But the best chance of the half fell to Dele Alli in the 32nd minute. An Eriksen shot forced a save from Tom Heaton, and the rebound fell so kindly to the 20-year-old. But he stumbled and hit the ball over the bar. It was one of those that looked like it would be harder to miss, than to score.
The rest of the half was not fun.
Victor Wanyama went down injured, tried to continue, but eventually had to be replaced by Mousa Dembele. He was able to walk off, but with a significant limp and with a hand on his lower back.
Then Harry Winks suffered what appeared to be a serious injury. He went in for a tackle, but ended up falling backwards into the Burnley technical area. He was stretchered off and given oxygen, with Mousa Sissoko coming in to replace him.
With two midfielders off injured in one half, things were not looking great for Spurs.
After the injuries, Spurs switched to a 4-2-3-1, with Eric Dier coming into midfield. And they started playing much better!
The second half was calmer, and Spurs were more thoroughly in control. Ben Davies had a good chance early, but was denied by Heaton.
Eventually, the breakthrough came from the man who’d just moved into midfield. Burnley couldn’t clear their lines on a corner, and Dier was there to smash the ball into the net.
How about that composure from Dier??? Beautiful.
As expected, the goal opened things up. Burnley had to come out of their shell a bit, and Spurs were able to make it 2-0 on the counter.
Son Heung-min had only just come on as a sub, but he quickly found the back of the net. Eriksen sprung Dele on a break, and Alli simply crossed the ball over to Son at the backpost. It was a tap-in that was met with joy, and relief, from the traveling Spurs fans.
If Dele had his finishing boots on, it would’ve been more than two. He missed a couple close chances in the second half as well.
Spurs saw the game out efficiently, allowing them to gain ground on Chelsea, who lost at home to Crystal Palace. With nine games to go, the gap is down to seven points. Is the title race back on? Only time will tell.