It wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done! Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min combined again as Sonny scored the match’s only goal in the 76th minute off of a corner kick, and Tottenham Hotspur turned what looked like a drab scoreless draw into a solid 1-0 win away from home against Burnley on Monday.
Jose Mourinho’s match day lineup was a bit surprising to the casual observer. Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld started in the heart of the back line, with Matt Doherty and Ben Davies slotted in at fullback. Mourinho opted for a flexible three-man midfield of Pierre Hojbjerg, Moussa Sissoko, and Tanguy Ndombele. Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min, and Harry Kane made up the forward attacking band.
The bench is where the pre-match excitement lay — Gareth Bale, Gio Lo Celso, Sergio Reguilon, and Erik Lamela made up the core, while newcomers Carlos Vinicius and Joe Rodon also starting in reserve. Harry Winks, Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Steven Bergwijn, and Dele were all left out of the matchday 18.
4’ — First half chance of the match goes to Burnley. Header into the box from Gudmondsson forces Hugo out to punch it away.
7’ — Spurs nearly get one on the counter — Tanguy springs a pass forward to Lucas, who shoots instead of passing to Son in the middle. Ball bobbles, but Pope nabs it.
12’ — Toby Aldwerweireld catches an elbow on an aerial challenge with Ashley Barnes and is down on the pitch, bleeding from the forehead. Didn’t look intentional but still. Owwwwwww. Three minute delay and Toby’s back sporting a Gauze Helmet™.
21’ — Ashley Barnes has the ball in the back of the net for Burnley, but he’s waaaaaaaaay offside.
41’ — Oh no Harry got an ankle knock and he’s limping... but he looks like he’s moving okay. Maybe he just got kicked.
43’ — Gudmundsson with a low effort on target, forcing Hugo to go low and make the save.
HALF TIME: A ditchwater dull scoreless draw after 45 minutes. Not much excitement, Burnley doing Burnley things on the defensive end. Yawn.
No changes for either side at the break.
50’ — Hospital ball back pass from Ben Davies leads to a shot for Burnley, but it thankfully goes just wide of the left post. Yiiiiikes.
53’ — Terrible call by the official — Kane muscles his way into getting a long pass in Burnley’s box and is taken down, but the foul is called on KANE for a push before the play for some reason.
57’ — First sub for Spurs as Erik Lamela comes on for Lucas. Now we’re talking. Go break stuff, Coco.
65’ — Mazy, forward run from Eric Dier who found himself in Burnley’s box and gets a half chance that goes wide. Chiriches-esque, that.
72’ — Terrifying moment from Spurs as Harry Kane heads a Burnley ball off the line to spare a goal! AIEE!!
75’ — Close from Sonny after Ndombele feeds him the ball on a run. He gets the shot off but it’s deflected away.
76’ — GOAL!! IT’S SON HEUNG-MIN! Off a corner kick, even! Harry Kane heads the corner towards goal and Sonny is there to fire it home! 1-0 Spurs! And another assist for Kane!
78’ — Sub for Spurs — Gio Lo Celso comes on for Tanguy Ndombele.
83’ — Lamela with a low volleyed effort on target, but Pope saves. Insert your favorite Catholic joke here.
84’ — Sub for Burnley: Rodriguez on for Gudmondsson.
89’ — Another Burnley sub: Barnes off for Matej Vydra.
90’ — Lamela with a baaaad tackle and somehow escapes not only a card, but a foul. King. Four minutes of extra time to be played.
92’ — Final sub for Spurs: Joe Rodon makes his Tottenham debut! Son comes off.
FULL TIME! Boy, it wasn’t pretty but Spurs get their third away win out of three so far this season, and jump up to fifth place in the table. Final score: 1-0.
- Burnley defended well in this match, but holy smokes, this was some pretty awful football. Just pretty much drab and miserable for (almost) the entire match. That’s reflected in the xG for this match, which is a big ol’ YIKES.
xG map for Burnley - Spurs— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) October 26, 2020
a slog of a match full of longballs and Spurs scored their one chance from a corner and Burnley didn't pic.twitter.com/hTo9X3HLKs
- A big part of the problem was the lack of pace from Spurs’ two fullbacks, Doherty and Davies. Spurs rely on their fullbacks to progress the ball, and Burnley were able to sit deep because neither fullback were threats to get past their back line.
- Likewise, Lucas Moura was a black hole and offered very little on or off the ball in the first half. Spurs got better when he came off for Lamela (even though I don’t think Lamela was what was needed here).
- The football was mostly bad, but Spurs have good players, and good players do good things like score goals. Son and Kane combine again for another goal, and that was fun.
- Tanguy Ndombele was amazing, one of the few bright spots in the opening 3⁄4 of the match.
- Kane and Son again showed their near Vulcan mind-meld ability, combining well for Spurs’ only goal. That Son header was not easy!
- Kane now has 8 assists in six matches. The Premier League assist record is 20. He’s gonna break it.
- Spurs up to fifth in the table, two points behind Liverpool and Everton. Try not to think about where they’d be if either Newcastle or West Ham don’t score late goals from free kicks in those matches.