For 68 minutes Tottenham Hotspur played some of the most boring and dour football I’ve seen all season against Burnley at Turf Moor. Then Lucas Moura did a good! Emerson Royal put a pinpoint cross to Lucas’ head midway through the second half, and Lucas headed the ball off the turf and past Nick Pope to give Spurs a narrow 1-0 win over the Clarets in their League Cup clash on Wednesday.
The win puts Spurs through to the quarterfinals of the League Cup, and they will find out their next opponents on Saturday.
Nuno put together a pretty strong side, especially considering the team he sent to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League last week, but with a few rotated pieces. Harry Kane retained his place at striker, but Gio Lo Celso came in, along with Pierluigi Gollini, Ben Davies, and Bryan Gil. Unfortunately, Gil picked up what looked like a hamstring injury early in the first half and was subbed off for Lucas in the 24th minute.
The majority of the match was, in a word, dullsville with neither team having a shot on target in the first half. That changed in the 64th minute when Nuno subbed on Tanguy Ndombele and Son Heung-Min for Oliver Skipp and Steven Bergwijn, and the match changed after that. Burnley made a late offensive charge to try and level the score, but Spurs were able to hold them off with a stout defensive performance.
Here are some quick notes from the match!
- Dear GOD was that a boring game for most of it. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Nunoball. Spurs looked — again — uninspiring going forward and without a good idea of how to get the ball into good positions.
- The injury sucks for Bryan Gil, but he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire up to that point, was he? I was hoping for a more dynamic performance from him. The injury didn’t seem to be that bad so maybe he just tweaked something and it was a precautionary sub.
- Did you notice how much better we looked when we had both Tanguy and Gio together in midfield? Surprised it was Skipp that made way rather than Pierre, but whatever. Is our Nuno learning?
- We got Good Lucas in this one, especially in the second half. Now if only Good Lucas could put a consistent run of games together.
- Emerson Royal was probably Tottenham’s best player on the day. Exceptionally good in defense, and put in a pinpoint cross to Lucas’ head for Spurs’ only goal. He was fantastic.
- So was Gio! As awful as the football was for much of the match, Gio flat out ran the midfield and was emphatically not the problem. And as Spurs got better in the second half, so did Gio. Play him against United.
- Thought the entire backline was solid today, even Sanchez who had some immense stops though he at times looked like he was shaky. Thought he actually had a pretty good performance today, even against a Burnley team that wasn’t putting up much of a fight until they brought on Wood, Barnes, and Cornet.
- By contrast — Harry Kane was absolute dogs—t.
- Great to see Aaron Lennon again! Love that guy.
- The win was good, but let’s not pretend this was a good football match. It wasn’t. I’m getting so tired of Nunoball, I can’t even tell you. Even the wins are borderline unwatchable.