OPPONENTS Burnley at Turf Moor
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 7th March 2020
PREVIEW Spurs return to the site of where it all started going wrong for Mauricio Pochettino last season.  Since then, our previously excellent away record has crashed and burned and the loss of the then manager has brought Jose Mourinho to the club to take an under-strength Tottenham team to Turf Moor, lacking goals-scoring forwards and a defence that creaks more than the Marie Celeste.

Maybe boosted by the return of Hugo Lloris, that will still not guarantee a clean sheet and the thought of getting two goals is slightly outweighed by the other side getting more, as Wolves proved last week.  The defending needs to start from the front and the pressing game has not been kept up since Poch left, so teams have more time with the ball at the back, but our marking is not tight deeper than that and space is given for teams to play in.

Burnley are a straight-forward team in terms of attacking.  Either hitting the wingers early, or playing balls in behind the back line for Wood and Barnes to run onto.  Barnes is out injured, so the dislikeable Rodriguez will slip into his place.  Both are decent finishers, with Wood the lesser of the two, but he adds an aerial presence in the box at set-pieces, along with Tarkowski and Mee up from the back.   Matej Vydra is a more mobile forward, who can pull plays out of their position, but is often used off the bench.  They have been tight at the back lately, so getting through them might not be as easy as in previous years (or even earlier this season).  With Lowton out, it might upset the balance of the back four, although Taylor will probably replace him, with Bardsley on the other side of the four.  Pope in goal was a keeper we looked at when he was at Charlton, but he went to Burnley and has kept eleven clean sheets this season.  In midfield, Cork, Westwood and Hendrick are annoying, niggly players and McNeil offers an outlet wide on the left, while Robbie Brady can deliver a good dead ball.  Aaron Lennon is still at Burnley, but often starts on the subs bench and Josh Brownhill was a consistent scorer with Bristol City before signing for the Clarets.

Tottenham's only hope is the fact that Burnley don't score many goals.  Starting with a fast tempo would be good, but the lack of fitness among the players and the number of games we have played probably dictates that if we do, it won't be kept up.  Taking our openings will be crucial to getting anything from the game and with Burnley on a good run, they will have the confidence that we lack after exiting the FA Cup having played 120 minutes. 

Not a great prediction, but I would be glad of a draw, even though we need a win.

PREDICTION Burnley    1        Tottenham Hotspur    1
The trip to Burnley will go ahead without Harry Kane (hamstring), Heung-Min Son (broken arm) and Moussa Sissoko (knee).  Hugo Lloris is  back in contention after returning to training following a groin strain.

The Turf Moor side will be missing Matthew Lowton, Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.


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TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)

Premier League Kick off 17:30
Burnley  1 (1)  
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0)

Wood  12m 05s


Dele  (p) 49m 04s

Crowd :   20,496 Weather :  Chilly wind, dry
Referee :  Jonathan Moss (Leeds) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Marc Perry; Mr. Eddie Smart
Fourth Official :  Andy Madley  
Video Assistant Referee :  Craig Pawson Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Andy Halliday
Spurs kicked off and played towards the East Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + ? minutes.
Taylor (foul on Moura) 51
Tarkowski (foul on Dele) 57
Cork (foul on on Moura) 59
Hendrick (foul on Bergwijn) 76
Westwood (kicking the ball away) 90+3


Lamela (foul on on McNeil) 19
Sanchez  (foul on Wood) 56
Bergwijn (foul on Hendrick) 78
Lo Celso (foul on McNeil) 90+2


Burnley : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Nick POPE

  James TARKOWSKI      
  Ben MEE  (c)
  Charlie TAYLOR      

  Dwight McNEIL
  Jack CORK      
18  Ashley WESTWOOD      
  Jeff HENDRICK        (25  Aaron LENNON  89)

  Chris WOOD 
19  Jay RODRIGUEZ  (27  Matej VYDRA  68)

Unused subs: 
20  Joe HART
28  Kevin LONG
  Robbie BRADY

    1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  6  Davinson SANCHEZ     

39  Japhet TANGANGA
28  Tanguy NDOMBELE  (18  Giovani LO CELSO  46     )
  Oliver SKIPP  (27  Lucas MOURA  46)


23  Stephen BERGWIJN     
11  Erik LAMELA       (24  Serge AURIER  78)

20  DELE Alli  (p)

Unused subs: 
  8  Harry WINKS
30  Gedson FERNANDES

Manager :  Sean Dyche Manager :  Jose Mourinho
Sponsor :   Love Bet Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

In the circumstances, a point taken from Turf Moor against Burnley, who dominated the first half, was earned by a much improved second half performance which could have seen Spurs walk away with all three.  Spurs on a bad run of no wins in four and Burnley unbeaten and keeping clean sheets, the omens didn't look good ... but that is that part of Lancashire for you.

Tottenham almost opened the scoring inside 40 seconds, as the ball was worked through to Erik Lamela, who poked a pass to Stephen Bergwijn on the edge of the box. He shanked his shot, but the ball ran just behind Dele who was near the penalty spot, but he flicked it behind him to Lamela, who had continued his run. Unfortunately, again, the ball was behind the Spurs man and it was cleared by the Burnley defence. Their first effort came in the sixth minute, as Tanganga’s clearance was  played back in for Alderweireld to head out, only for Wood to fire it back instantly with venom and the ball whizzed over Lloris’ bar, but not by much. A couple of minutes later, a corner from their left was taken by the wind to the far post, where Mee’s header hit the post and a goalmouth scramble was blocked a few times by spurs defenders, before it was booted clear.

Burnley were targeting Tanganga’s side where he had little cover in front of him to stop Taylor and McNeil working that line. When Japhet was caught diving in on Rodriguez, McNeil got free with Sanchez in front of him and his cross hit the Spurs defender, bounced back at him and onto his arm. From his second cross, it was cleared out to the edge of the box by Dier but Rodriguez had recovered and fired in a low shot that Hugo got behind in the middle of the goal, but failed to hold, spilling it in front of Wood, who slipped it past him to put Burnley one up with 12 minutes gone. The goal stood despite the handball, because it wasn’t involved in the assist to the goal, which came from the second phase of play. I thought a handball was a handball, but there you go !

The offensive chanting from the classy home crowd died away as they celebrated their goal and it wasn’t undeserved as they had been pumping crosses into the box as Spurs struggled with a back three and five in midfield in front of them. They were allowing McNeil to find space and his runs at the defenders were causing problems. As Tottenham tried to play out from the back, there were few options available as the movement to make space to receive passes was missing.

Lloris made a very good diving save and catch away to his left to hold McNeil’s free kick from 25 yards and Spurs smuggled the ball away when Wood won it against Dier, who let the long high through ball bounce in the swirling wind. Eventually, Spurs had a shot at goal on 29 minutes, when the ball was won by Lamela, who went on to shoot, but Pope took it at head height, although Vertonghen was in space to Erik’s left. Westwood had the chance for a volley inside the D on the edge of the box but hit it wide of the mark.  Tottenham were getting into positions on the edge of the box but were reluctant to shoot or more willing to pass the ball on, allowing Burnley to get men in the way to prevent any danger. There was a headed chance for Rodriguez that was blocked by Vertonghen’s hands, but they were not away from his body nor raised and the ball lopped up for Bardsley to attempt a scissors kick that flew way over the bar.

The first half had seen Spurs be too open and not urgent enough to cause too many problems for the other side, but they needed to get people moving off the ball to stretch Burnley and to allow the player on the ball to have someone to want it. Mourinho decided that the pairing of Ndombele and Skipp wasn’t working, so changed personnel and system. Giovani Lo Celso and Lucas Moura came on to try and make something of the majority of the possession they had.

Changing to a flat back four, with Dier moving up alongside Lo Celso, Spurs looked more comfortable. Immediately, you could see that there was a better opportunity to break on Burnley, but the wind was causing problems at the back and after he failed to let the ball go out giving Wood the chance to put the ball into the box, he left a bouncing ball to hook the ball away from the same player.

Three minutes into the half, Lo Celso took the ball off Rodriguez and ran forward from ten yards inside his own half. Having a couple of options, he played the ball to his right for Lamela to run onto and as he got to the edge of the box, Mee slid in thinking Erik was going to come inside, but he let the ball run across him and the Burnley defender caught his trailing foot to concede a penalty. After Wednesday’s penalties fiasco, it wasn’t with great confidence that Dele stepped up to take the spot-kick. However, he confidently stroked the ball into the opposite side of the goal as Pope dived to his right.

1-1 and all to play for with 40 minutes left.

There was now the urgency that Tottenham had been missing, with some more closing down to put pressure on what now seemed a nervous Burnley side that was resorting to snide fouls to stop the forward momentum that we had got going. Five minutes after the Spurs penalty, Burnley wanted one when Sanchez challenged Wood and he went down. Sanchez went for the ball, while Wood tried to turn him in the air and the referee was not interested, even having to go to explain to the Burnley striker why when he had been fouled a minute later by Sanchez that got him a yellow card, as a flurry came out of Moss’ pocket, mostly to home players that caused a huge outrage amongst their ever so knowledgeable fans.

Toby fired a shot from outside the box over the bar from a cleared corner, as Burnley were dropping deeper, but the crosses in from wide positions were not really hurting the home side. Lamela and Dier exchanged passes inside the Burnley area, but the ball just ran away at the vital moment. Dele than remonstrated with Lamela for not shooting when he tried to play Moura in, but he had been blocked off in the area by Mee. Dele had been guilty of prevaricating on the ball when a shot might have been a better option in the first half of the match. Spurs were breaking on Burnley and Hendrick, who had already flicked a heel into Alderweireld’s midriff and Lo Celso’s knee, tried to trip him with a naughty flick of his boot, but wasn’t good enough even to do that. Toby was soon in action in defence, with McNeil playing the ball through to substitute Vydra in the box and he cut back inside the Belgian to open up a shooting opportunity, only for Eric Dier to slide in for an important challenge to stop what could have been a clear shot for the striker. From the corner, Lloris got a hand to the ball among a crowd of players and Tottenham switched the ball upfield through a 50 yard Lo Celso run, ending with Dele shooting wide when it had seemed a good position.

Hendrick finally got booked for a crude lunge as Bergwijn beat him and the opposite situation  happened about two minutes later, but Bergwijn’s tackle was not half as bad. Aurier came on for Lamela and slipped into a wide right-hand side position to attempt to get the ball into the box. Lucas broke up a move in the centre circle and ran the ball up to the 25 yard mark, before slipping it to Vertonghen on his left and the drilled shot was blocked by Mee.  Vydra knocked a ball down to Wood 25 yards out at the other end to shoot, but it lacked power and was straight at Lloris, who held the ball well. With ten minutes left, Aurier and Lucas linked well on  the right, with Moura pulling the ball back to Lo Celso 20 yards out, who curled a shot to the far post that missed by a foot with Pope no hope of reaching it. Two minutes after that, Sanchez headed away a cross, but only to McNeil on the left. His low cross-shot that was going well wide got caught under Toby’s feet and Vydra was onto it. The defender managed to recover his bearings to get the bottom of his boot to the effort and Lloris reacted sharply to his left to keep the ball out by pushing it wide. Dele had a good chance when Tanganga freed Aurier on the right and his low pull back came to the Spurs midfielder 12 yards out, but the ball rippled the outside of the side-netting, having been deflected by Tarkowski.

Lo Celso twice gave the ball away in the last minute, with Dele having to turn a cross off for a corner off his chest, which the home crowd saw as a handball. From it, Mee won the header to Wood at the far post, but his shot from six yards out was blocked by Dier and the ball went out, but there was no time for a corner to be taken, as the final whistle went.

A point was probably the right result, with each team having the better of one half. Tottenham’s performance was so much better in the second half, with Dele finding a new lease of life, with the team’s passing more accurate and the movement much better causing Burnley into rash tackles and hurried passes that turned over the ball.

Dyche had his usual hard done by speech at the end of the match, claiming they should have had a penalty when Sanchez bumped into the back of Wood in the box and it would have been given anywhere else on the pitch. It seems that the poor old fellow is suffering from short=term memory loss, as the same incident happened by the corner flag at the Spurs end, with no free-kick given to Burnley, just a goal-kick to Spurs. He also inferred that the referee’s performance was influenced by being spoken to by the Spurs management at half-time, but he seemed to fail to remember that he and his staff spent much of the game in the fourth official’s ear, waving his arms about like a scarecrow in the wind to pressurise the officials. It is a tactic he very often employs and for all his talk about demanding that his players don’t dive but being “clever” has been going on forever, most things he says contradict something else that has come out of his mouth. He moans every decision against his team and the ball-boys only return the ball to Burnley players. It looks as though they are turning into the new Wimbledon.

Hopefully, there were no more injuries picked up in this physical encounter, although Lloris got up gingerly from one save and Lucas was limping after Cork took his boot off with some studs down his ankle.  The team probably fly out to Germany on Monday to meet RB Leipzig the following day, when I hope that Coronavirus is the only major threat to our continued presence in the Champions League !

Burton Bradstock

Match facts

Dele Alli scored his 50th Premier League goal.

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How the players did
Hugo Lloris -.
Japhet Tanganga -.
Toby Alderweireld -
Jan Vertonghen -
Davinson Sanchez -.
Eric Dier -.
Oliver Skipp -.
Dele Alli -.
Stephen Bergwijn -.
Tanguy Ndombele -.
Erik Lamela -.
Giovani Lo Celso -.
Lucas Moura -.
Paulo Gazzaniga -.
Serge Aurier -.
Harry Winks -.
Ryan Sessegnon -.
Gedson Fernandes -.


What you thought
- -.
- -.


Other scores during this week :
Liverpool 2 AFC Bournemouth 1 Saturday
Woolwich Wanderers 1 West Ham United London 0 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Watford 0 Saturday
Sheffield United 1 Norwich City 0 Saturday
South Coast Big Club 0 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 Saturday
Frank Lampard's Chelsea 4 Everton 0 Sunday
Manchester United 2 Manchester City 0 Sunday
Leicester City - - - -day
Aston Villa - - - -day


League Table  2019-20
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 82 +45
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 68 31 57 +37
3 Leicester City 28 15 5 8 54 28 50 +26
4 Frank Lampard's Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 48 +12
5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 44 30 45 +14
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 41 34 43 +7
7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 43 +4
8 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 29 11 8 10 47 40 41 +7
9 Woolwich Wanderers 28 9 13 6 40 36 40 +4
10 Burnley 29 11 6 12 34 40 39 -6
11 Crystal Palace 29 10 9 10 26 32 39 -6
12 Everton 29 10 7 12 37 46 37 -9
13 Newcastle United 29 9 8 12 25 41 35 -16
14 South Coast Big Club 29 10 4 15 35 52 34 -17
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 29 6 11 12 32 40 29 -8
16 West Ham United London 29 7 6 16 35 50 27 -15
17 Watford 29 6 9 14 27 44 27 -17
18 AFC Bournemouth 29 7 6 16 29 47 27 -18
19 Aston Villa 27 7 4 16 34 52 25 -18
20 Norwich City 29 5 6 18 25 52 21 -27


Position before match : 
Position after match : 
Position after the weekend :


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