Well, we’ve seen this before. Four days after an incredible away win over Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur went to 19th placed Burnley in the middle of a rainstorm and laid an egg at Turf Moor. Ben Mee scored a header on a set piece late in the second half, and Burnley eked out a 1-0 win over Spurs at Turf Moor. Harry Kane thundered a ball off the crossbar and Steven Bergwijn had another effort saved, but it wasn’t enough.
The result is not only embarrassing — this was Burnley’s second win in a row but only their third all season — but hugely damaging to Tottenham’s chances of finishing top four. The weather and the wet field conditions did Spurs no favor, but let’s not beat around the bush — they played poorly against a team that they really should’ve beaten.
Here are some of my match notes (the ones that aren’t furiously scribbled out or filled with copious profanities).
- Sean Dyche clearly watched the Southampton match, because he had Burnley, a team that only selectively presses, actually pressing Spurs high, giving them trouble in the wet conditions.
- That first half was a crime against football, but the good news was that as awful as Tottenham was going forward they snuffed out all of Burnley’s attacks. That half was a slog, but not necessarily actively damaging considering the weather. I would’ve guessed that 0-0 was far more likely than a loss after that first half.
- Burnley’s goal was pretty simple, really — just a good ball in on a set piece to Ben Mee’s head. Not sure there’s much to say about it — it just blows, because Spurs were the better team in the second half. Hard to understand why Spurs are so terrible against set pieces under Conte, though. It’s a continual issue.
- Both Spurs wingbacks — Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon — were pretty poor on the day, which explains why Conte subbed them both off. Shame, since both of them played so well against City, but this wasn’t a match where wingbacks were going to do Tottenham much good. Is that on Conte? IDK, he set up the team, but also recognized the problem and made the subs. The other problem was that Lucas Moura, who came in for Emerson Royal, was just as bad if not worse as Emerson.
- In the match preview I suggested that Harry Winks might have been a good choice to play in this match. I was wrong. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again. Hopefully Bentancur’s okay.
- There’s something almost poetic about beating City and then turning around and helping Burnley potentially avoid relegation all within a week. Tottenham Hotspur, the condensed edition. I mean, Burnley away is always a tough out, though just about every other Premier League team has managed it thus far, so IDK what that says about Spurs.
- Yeah. Well. Spurs just lost at Burnley, no real way to sugar coat that one. It was a match that was both bad and ugly, and Spurs now head to Leeds with a team that just doesn’t turn up against teams that sit back and defend. This team is weird, and I’m not sure how they fix it.