|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)||BURNLEY 0 (0)|
|Date : – Sunday 15th May 2022||Kick off : – 12.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 61,729|
|Referee : – Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)||Linesmen : – Mr. Simon Beck; Mr. Adrian Holmes|
|Fourth official : – Simon Hooper|
|VAR official : – Stuart Atwell||VAR Assistant : – Matthew Wilkes|
|Weather : – Dry at start of game but rain from before half-time|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 14 minutes
|Kane (p) 45+7m 38s||None|
|Moura (foul on Taylor) 49||Roberts (kicking ball away) 27|
|Lloris (time-wasting) 86||Pope (dissent) 45+8|
|Kulusevski (foul on Taylor) 90+4|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Nick POPE|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||14.||Connor ROBERTS|
|15.||Eric DIER ( 2. )||2.||Matthew LOWTON ( 17. Aaron LENNON 78)|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||22.||Nathan COLLINS|
|12.||Emerson ROYAL ( 14. Joe RODON 90)||3.||Charlie TAYLOR|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||8.||Josh BROWNWHILL|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON||4.||Jack CORK (c)|
|27.||Lucas MOURA ( 21. Dejan KULUSEVSKI 79 )|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||20.||Maxwell CORNET|
|10.||Ashley BARNES ( 9. Wout WEGHORST 78)|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||13.||Wayne HENNESSEY|
|40.||Brandon AUSTIN||26.||Phil BARDSLEY|
|51.||Matthew CRAIG||49.||Joe McGLYNN|
|8.||Harry WINKS||37.||Bobby THOMAS|
|42.||Harvey WHITE||39.||Owen DODGSON|
|23.||Steven BERGWIJN||44.||Dara COSTELLOE|
|44.||Dane SCARLETT||35.||Anthony MANCINI|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – Michael Jackson|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Umbro|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – SpreadEx
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – AstroPay
|Colours : –
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|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|For a 1-0 win over Burnley, for some reason this match was a more tense experience than the victory over Arsenal on Thursday, with the visiting side determined to prevent Spurs playing and wasting time at every opportunity. It is somewhat ironic that with Nick Pope taking far too long over every clearance, the only goalkeeper booked for time-wasting was Hugo Lloris in the 88th minute without a warning, whereas Kevin Friend had warned Pope three times in the first half.
The harassment of the referee by the Burnley players was quite shameful and although they are involved in a relegation battle, their energies were misdirected at the match official rather than getting the points they need to survive. While Cornet was released on the Spurs goal forcing Lloris to a save and Barnes did strike the post with one effort in the second half, there was little threat and Spurs enjoyed the majority of possession and chances. However, it was a prolonged VAR review that gave Tottenham the win.
Going into the game without Kulsevski, who had been suffering fever and stomach pains along with Lloris, Gollini and Winks, Hugo played the game, while the others remained on the bench. With injury problems themselves, Burnley were missing Mee, Vydra, Tarkowski, Westwood, Rodriguez and Gudmundsson, so their bench looked like a list of people you mostly had never heard of.
The game started in warm conditions, with Spurs playing towards the Paxton Road end. From the kick-off, it was clear that Burnley were going to adopt the Brighton tactics of sitting deep and closing the space between the lines to prevent Tottenham finding a way through and also from the kick off, it was clear that they would use every trick in the book to disrupt and delay play. Although Dyche has gone, his legacy remains. It was Davinson Sanchez who had Tottenham’s first effort, with his 25 yarder blocked, but with only Cornet playing a forward role, the ball kept moving back towards the Burnley goal. Emerson Royal tried a shot that was also blocked, with Lucas having one deflected wide and from the short corner that was played, Son tried to catch Pope out at his near post but the keeper saved low down. Harry Kane got a good header to Moura’s stood-up cross and it had good power, but Pope was able to dive to catch it as it went down towards the bottom corner and it was Collins who denied another Kane header, when Sessegnon’s cross was headed back across goal and the defender shinned the ball away from the goal-line at the expense of a corner. From it the ball was cleared to Royal, who struck a fierce rising drive from 25 yards out that Pope had to push over the top.
It was 25 minutes in when the first real worry in our box arose. McNeil looked to get on the end of a cross, but Ryan Sessegnon had done well to track his movement and prevented him reaching the ball. A couple of minutes later, Roberts fouled Sessegnon that looked like a yellow card and when the referee did produce it, it was for the Welsh defender kicking the ball away. Just before the half hour, Burnley came out of defence and Collins played a ball inside Royal and Cornet was into the box with only Lloris to beat. Hugo stood his ground and the striker could only hit his shot straight at the Spurs captain, who saved it. Cornet then needed some lengthy (there’s a surprise) treatment after a head clash with Royal, who was fine.
With Burnley defending deep it allowed our defenders to get forward and Davies’ shot was blocked and the fourth official showed four added minutes to be played shortly after. Sanchez did well to manoeuvre the ball to Kane, who shot wide and Bentancur tried to break the deadlock, but his effort rose way too high. Two minutes into added time, Sessegnon won a corner when his cross was blocked. Another short corner routine was worked with the ball being deflected high into the air in the box, Sanchez tried to knock the ball on with it coming off his shin, Burnley cleared it to the right and when Lucas out-witted Taylor, bursting into the box to pull it back for Kane who turned and frustratingly fired his shot wide of the near post by a couple of feet. Then the video screens at the ground showed that VAR was looking at a potential penalty for handball. From where I was, it hadn’t been clear where this had taken place and it appeared that VAR had the same problem, as the review took a good two minutes and then Friend was advised to go to the monitor to have a look, which usually only means one thing. He took his time and then walked away from the screen pointing to the spot. The visiting players surrounded the referee and the replay showed that Barnes’ arm was at right angles to his body (unnatural) and that Sanchez’s flick had his his arm. More time was spent with Pope trying to delay things by moaning and getting booked for it and the Burnley players were trying to put the pressure on Kane, so it was in the eighth minute of added time that Harry stepped up to take the spot-kick. It wasn’t the most convincing he has taken, but possibly one of the most important, as he didn’t make a clean contact, but the ball bobbled into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner as Pope stood still in the middle of the goal. It had been a long time coming, but with the goal being the last action of the half, how would the Clarets approach the second half needing vital points themselves ?
After Jermain Defoe had been interviewed at half-time, it was clear that the break had done Spurs no favours. We were off the pace as Burnley tried to press forward. A needless free-kick conceded by Sess gave Burnley the chance to load the box with their giants and Long won it but couldn’t get his header on target, missing the far post, with Collins putting his header over the bar from a free-kick when Moura got booked for a foul on Taylor. Sessegnon is looking more like the player he was at Fulham, making strong runs forward and in the 55th minute, his cross found Kane, who took the ball on his chest, but Taylor was in a position to block it, with the loose ball being struck by Ryan, but over the bar. Kane had the same end result after a good move down the right and it looked as though his aim was slightly off form open play today, while Son looked tired causing him not to be as involved as he normally is.
With 57 minutes gone and with still only one goal in it, Barnes headed a free-kick just wide, but he went closer on the hour when a forward pass picked him out 20 yards from goal and he rattled Hugo’s right-hand post with a shot that had the Spurs keeper beaten. It was a wake-up call and Spurs responded with Sessegnon played in on the left and his pull-back picked out Son, eight yards out on the near post and his low shot was shovelled around the post by the keeper with a good stop.
There was just over 10 minutes left when Burnley introduced giant striker Wout Weghorst, so you knew what was going to happen, especially as they introduced winger Aaron Lennon, who got his usual warm welcome for the THS crowd. However, it was only Pope who was keeping them in the contest, with the Sessegnon-Son partnership worked again, with Son being given the ball ten yards out and he struck it on the turn, with the keeper swiping it away with his forearm in a smart reaction save. With play carrying on, the ball was smashed at goal by Rodrigo Bentancur, but again, his accuracy was off, with the ball going over the bar and ending up high in the South Stand.
It was two minutes from time when Hugo was booked for time-wasting, which just went to show how inconsistent the level of refereeing in this country has become. Also Burnley were picking up some cheap free-kicks and one dropped to Long, who struck a mis-hit shot well wide of the goal, although it was nearly a quick Spurs free-kick that exposed the visitors. Kane played it through with Son breaking beyond the away defence, but Pope rushed out to kick it clear. With the ball being played high into the Spurs penalty area in an attempt to capitalise on the height advantage the Burnley players had, Hugo did really well coming for crosses and catching them to nullify the threat posed from the set-pieces. Rodon had come on for Royal to add height to our defence and won a good late header in our box as the defence stood firm against the tepid onslaught that was all Burnley could produce.
For a side who are perilously close to the drop zone, Burnley were hoping for a draw and got nothing, which was about what they deserved. Klopp complained about Spurs’ tactics the other week and I wonder what he would have made of Burnley’s today. I feel sorry for Lennon having to play the way the club go about their football, but it would be no great loss if they went down. They (like West Brom before them) employ tricks to eek out the time and it rarely works for them, as their record of 7 wins out of 36 games shows. They have had one good season since they were promoted when they got a place in Europe, but have been surviving by the skin of their teeth nearly every campaign, but maybe they have reached the end of this cycle of being a well-run club in the Premier League rather than being the yo-yo club they had been. The resources at a club like Burnley are limited, but with a decent coach in place they might be able to play in a way that would win them more points over the space of a season, as they are the second lowest scorers in the table, although their defensive record is better than Manchester United’s. A review of the club needs to be taken by the hierarchy at Turf Moor to look at how they can improve.
And at Tottenham, that is just what Antonio Conte has done. In just over half a season, he has turned Tottenham around to form a side that only Manchester City and Liverpool have won more points and scored more goal. The effect he has had, with Fabio Paratici’s ability in the transfer market to bring in players who have made a difference, has formed a team that has a controlled aggression and a flair that can take teams apart or in today’s case, grind a result out. Dier’s re-emergence at the heart of the defence and Ben Davies’ renaissance are an example of how he has got the best out of the players at the club.
Today wasn’t one of the best team performances, but to win when you are not firing on all cylinders is an important ability when looking to rise up the table. With Sanchez coming in and doing well in place of the injured Romero and Royal turning in good performances (as did Doherty before Cash ended his season), there are decisions to be made over the summer. Some may have already been made and for some of the players doing the lap of appreciation, it might be the last appearance at the stadium, but to be challenging for a place in Europe, as Daniel Levy said in his end of season statement, looked unlikely when Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked. Last summer was about keeping Harry Kane. This summer will be about keeping Antonio Conte and that is why Champions League football is a priority for that, because we have a better chance to attract the players he wants.
It is still out of our hands, but all we can do is keep winning and one more is the most that we can hope for.
Just imagine what a whole season under Conte might look like !
|Harry Kane became the first player in Premier League history to score more than 70 goals on two different days of the week (Saturday and Sunday).
Lucas Moura played his 200th game for Spurs.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg made his 100th Spurs appearance.
Harry Kane’s penalty was Tottenham’s 150th home goal against Burnley in all competitions.
|Aston Villa||1||Crystal Palace||1|
|Leeds United||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||1|
|West Ham United London||2||Manchester City||2|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||1||Norwich City||1|
|Newcash United||2||Woolwich Wanderers||0|
|South Coast Big Club||1||Liverpool||2|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|7||West Ham United London||37||16||8||13||59||48
|10||Brighton & Hove Albion||37||11||15||11||39||43||48||-4|
|15||South Coast Big Club||37||9||13||15||42||63||40||-21|