Saturday 15th December 2018

Spurs 1 Burnley 0

It looked like it was going to be one of those frustrating days as we totally dominated with over 70 per cent possession, Hugo Lloris not having a save to make in a game of one-way traffic, but the breakthrough just wouldn’t come as Burnley defended for their lives.

But the great Dane delivered the magic moment in the 91st minute, taking Harry Kane’s pass and firing past Burnley keeper Joe Hart to give us a hard-fought 1-0 win.

With Jan Vertonghen missing with a thigh injury and Eric Dier suffering from a virus, left-back Ben Davies stepped in at centre-back while 18-year-old Academy product Oliver Skipp was handed his full Premier League debut. Fellow Academy starlet TJ Eyoma was on the bench as defensive cover.

The game took a while to get going as Burnley set out their game plan from the first whistle, happy to sit back and invite us to break them down while countering whenever the opportunity arose and it was 18 minutes before we fashioned our first chance. Erik Lamela clipped a ball over the top for Lucas Moura who met it first time with a right-foot lob from just inside the area, but it sailed just wide.

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We had claims for a penalty waved away after a coming together between Kane and James Tarkowski and Dele Alli had a shot blocked before Hart made the first save of the game on 31 minutes. A quick free-kick taken by Moussa Sissoko just outside our area led to a swift move involving Lamela and Kane, who swept the ball out wide to the supporting Sissoko, he in turn found Lamela inside the area but Hart was out quickly to smother from close range.

Burnley’s first real chance came in the last minute of the half, Lloris’ clearance going straight to Phil Bardsley who clipped in a cross which was met by Barnes but he headed way over.

And it was the visitors with the first sight of goal after the interval, Robbie Brady’s 48th-minute free-kick volleyed back across goal by former Spur Aaron Lennon to Ashley Barnes, whose effort from 10 yards out was blocked by a combination of Toby Alderweireld and Kane.

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But from then on we dominated the second half, certainly in terms of possession as we controlled the ball for long periods, switching from left to right and back again, trying to open up the massed ranks of the Burnley defence. The fact that both Brady and Bardsley were booked for time-wasting showed the frustrating nature of the game.

One great opportunity did come our way in the 75th minute when we switched the ball out to the left to Danny Rose, his cross falling to the feet of Lamela whose side-footed effort from six yards was kept out by Hart’s strong hand low down to his right.

Within the last 25 minutes we made three attacking substitutions as Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Fernando Llorente all entered the fray. And two of them almost combined for the breakthrough five minutes from time, the latter heading down for Son, but he dragged his shot wide from the corner of the six yard box. Then in the final minute of normal time it almost came again, Son’s low cross going all the way to the back post but Dele just couldn’t get a clean touch and he hit the side-netting.

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But eventually the pressure told and when Kane collected the ball with his back to goal inside the area, he had the foresight to wait for Eriksen’s support before laying it into his path, the Dane lashing the ball past Hart to the delight of all but a small corner of Wembley Stadium. It was no more than we deserved, a reward for our patience in a tough, frustrating match but another big three points on the board.

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