OPPONENTS Burnley at Wembley 
COMPETITION Premier League 
DATE Saturday 15th December 2018
PREVIEW No preview produced.


PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    3       Burnley   0

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Match of the Day 2  (BBC 1) - Sunday 22.25 (highlights)  Also available online.

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TalkSport (DAB or 1089 MW)

Premier League Kick off 15:00
Tottenham Hotspur  1 (0) Burnley  0 (0)


Eriksen  90+1





Brady  (time-wasting)  63
Bardsley  (time-wasting)  68


Crowd :   41,645 Weather :  Cold; Wet throughout
Referee :  Graham Scott (Oxfordshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Simon Long; Mr. Neil Davies
Fourth Official :  Lee Mason  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the East Stand in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 8 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Burnley : kit
  1  Hugo LLORIS  (c)

  2  Kieran TRIPPIER
33  Ben DAVIES
  Danny ROSE

52  Oliver SKIPP  (  7  Heung-Min SON  75)
7  Moussa SISSOKO 

27  Lucas MOURA  (23  Christian ERIKSEN  65  )
20  DELE Alli
11  Erik LAMELA  (18  Fernando LLORENTE  82)

10  Harry KANE

Unused subs: 
  8  Harry WINKS

  20  Joe HART

26  Phil BARDSLEY     
  Kevin LONG
  5  James TARKOWSKI
  6  Ben MEE
  3  Sam TAYLOR

25  Aaron LENNON  (  9  Sam VOKES  90+3)
12  Robbie BRADY       (
13  Jeff HENDRICK  90+2)

  Ashley BARNES  (11  Chris WOOD  80)

Unused subs: 
  1  Tom HEATON
  2  Matthew LOWTON
14  Ben GIBSON
27  Matej VYDRA

Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Sean Dyche
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  LaBa 360
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Puma
Match report


When only one team turns up for a game (e.g. Estonia v Scotland 1996), the usual procedure is to award a 3-0 victory to the team who bothered to rock up for the match. So, why we had to wait until the 91 st minute to claim the points from a Burnley side, who failed to get a shot on target and seemed intent on wasting as much time as possible. Perhaps they thought they wouldn’t be criticised for their rough tackling if the ball was in play for the minimal time possible.

Sean Dyche’s team is in a perilous position in the Premier League and are suffering from their early pre-season Europa League exertions. As a feisty player, he has taken the same attitude into management, defending his player against Klopp’s assertion that they were tackling too hard and then setting his team out to frustrate in the most obvious and unashamed way. The game started in what became a predictable manner that followed the large majority of the match. Attack after attack were launched on the Burnley goal, but the 5-4-1 formation threw themselves in the way, squeezed space and the life out of the game and generally tried not to use the ball themselves in an attacking manner. I think a past bespectacled manager of the Woolwich Wanderers might have called it anti-football.

A Spurs fan from Belgium was sat in front of us and it was his opinion that he wasn’t the man who deserved praise for getting to the game, despite coming from another country, but the Burnley fans were the real heroes, travelling down to London to watch the rubbish their team served up.

With Eric Dier having had his appendix out, Oliver Skipp came into the side and Spurs rested several players, with TJ Eyoma on the bench too.  Burnley’s side had Barnes up front to provide a physical presence, while the rest of the side was packed with defenders and defensive midfielders. And so, the ebb and flow of the game had no ebb. Spurs attacked with Lamela knocking a long ball from halfway into the area and where you would expect to see Dele running onto it, this time it was Moura, who got there before the hapless Bardsley and stuck out a leg that would have left Hart helpless if it was on target. As it was, the ball went a couple of feet past the post.

Spurs had a penalty shout when Toby’s 40-yard pass was touched back by Dele for Harry Kane, who was bundled over by Tarkowski, but the ref said it was just a coming together. On the few occasions Burnley went forward and looked for set-pieces, they crowded around Lloris at corners moving all their giant defenders into the Spurs box. When they didn’t win headers, they went down injured to break up play and use up time, whereas Toby took a boot in the head from Brady as he tried an overhead kick, but just got on with it. From it, Tottenham should have gone ahead when the free-kick was taken quickly and Kane found Sissoko, who had made a forward run and passed the ball to Erik Lamela inside the box to his left. He was in on Hart, but his first touch was too heavy and the keeper was able to close him down and save, when it should have finished off. Harry almost found Dele with a neat ball into the area, but it was just a little too far ahead of our 5 million pound man.  Danny Rose repeated his finish in the Nou Camp when he was breaking into the box from the left wing, but got under his shot too much.

Just before half-time, Spurs almost handed Burnley a goal, when Hugo passed the ball out, but straight to Bardsley, 25 yards out. Instead of trying to put it back past the keeper while he was out of position, he crossed to Barnes, who won the header, but it sailed over the bar.  Early in the second half, the Clarets also had a chance. A long free kick was knocked back across the box by Bardsley and Barnes hit a shot that Alderweireld and Kane blocked, when it looked like it might beat Lloris. Harry Kane cleared it and then was involved at the other end as he went down under challenge, but nothing was given and he then hit a cross-shot from the right, which was not going to  find Lucas, but forced Hart to save at his near post.

The referee had an erratic game. He warned Mee as Burnley captain about time-wasting and then spoke to Hart twice about the time it was taking him to take a goal-kick. When Brady needed treatment for an injury and Spurs had possession, he gave a competitive drop-ball. How often do you see one of them ?? Brady was the first to receive a yellow card because he was taking forever over a free-kick. There was a hilarious moment when Burnley had a throw in level with their own box and Bardsley strolled over to take it. Arrogantly, he stood looking at the fans, who were booing
him, but he didn’t see the ref coming up behind him waving a yellow card. You felt like shouting out "Behind You" as it is pantomime season.  This prompted a discussion about the booking and wasted even more time.

Spurs were getting shots in on goal, but with so many players in the box, it was hard to find a way through. They were getting closer with Rose standing up a cross that missed out Kane and fell to Lamela at the far post, but his finish lacked conviction and Hart reacted well to stop the ball. It ran loose, but just out of Kane’s reach. Substitute Fernando Llorente nodded it on to Son behind him on the right and his low shot from a narrow angle went all the way across goal. A Burnley free-kick found Taylor getting in around the back on their left wing, but he collapsed as it hit by a bus and the ref waved play on.

When play switched to the other end, Son fired across goal from more or less the same place as his previous effort and Dele was just unable to force it home at the far post. As that came in the last minute of the 90 and although there were four minutes to be added (a massive under-estimation by the officials), it looked as though it wouldn’t be our day and that cheating would pay off for the visitors.

Spurs were aiming for Llorente and a high ball saw Mee and Tarkowski so keen to get to it, they knocked each other over and the ball bounced high on the edge of the box. Bardsley showed his lack of composure when Dele jumped for the ball and the defender took him out rather than go for the ball. It dropped for Harry Kane, who had the presence of mind to gently lay it into the path of Christian Eriksen and the Dane swept the ball over Hart’s vain dive at his post to score the goal that had been a long time coming.  It was bittersweet that Bardsley, who had spent so much time running the clock down made a head-strong cross-press on Dele that he left the space for Christian to move into and score. 

It was all that Burnley deserved and they looked shattered as the ball hit the net, but funnily enough, they were now very keen to get on with things. Joe Hart’s Benny Hill type scuttling about to take goal-kicks was in sharp contrast to the previous 90 minutes.  Late substitutions changed nothing for Dyche's side and it was Pochettino's subs that changed the game.  Son made darting runs that the visitors couldn't cope with and Eriksen bossed the ball and got up for the winner.  Llorente affected the game without touching the ball in the build-up to the goal, but his presence caused panic and left the way open for the Eriksen to grab the three points for Spurs.

It was another decent team performance and the promising full debut of Oliver Skipp, with an assured touch and always available to receive the ball, shows he is a mature 18 year old.  As for the other side, Dyche came and got a point last year.  His set up this season showed that he has little faith in his players to get something at Wembley, so by battening down the hatches, he thought he might take something back North.  But it was grim down South, when a team comes from the North and brings the weather with them.  An all round miserable day, but once more, Spurs prove resilient enough to grind out a win against the least willing of opponents to play ball, but a bit more adventure might have given them at least half a chance, which would have been more than their 0 shots on target in the whole game.

Philip Martin

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What you thought
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Other scores during this week :
Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0 Saturday
Fulham 0 West Ham United London 2 Saturday
Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1 Saturday
Manchester City 3 Everton 1 Saturday
Watford 3 Cardiff City 2 Saturday
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 Bournemouth 0 Saturday
Southampton 3 Arsenal 2 Sunday
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 Chelsea 2 Sunday
Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1 Sunday


League Table  2018-19
  P W D L F A Pts GD
1 Liverpool 17 14 3 0 37 7 45 +30
2 Manchester City 17 14 2 1 48 10 44 +38
3 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 17 13 0 4 31 16 39 +15
4 Chelsea 17 11 4 2 35 14 37 +21
5 Arsenal 17 10 4 3 37 23 34 +14
6 Manchester United 17 7 5 5 29 29 26 0
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 7 4 6 19 19 25 0
8 Everton 17 6 6 5 24 22 24 +2
9 Watford 17 7 3 7 23 25 24 -2
10 West Ham United London 17 7 3 7 25 25 23 0
11 Bournemouth 17 7 2 8 25 28 23 -3
12 Leicester City 17 6 4 7 21 21 22 0
13 Brighton & Hove Albion 17 6 3 9 19 24 21 -5
14 Newcastle United 17 4 4 9 14 22 16 -8
15 Crystal Palace 17 4 3 10 14 23 15 -9
16 Cardiff City 17 4 2 11 17 33 14 -16
17 Southampton 17 2 6 9 16 32 12 -16
18 Burnley 17 3 3 11 15 33 12 -18
19 Huddersfield Town 17 2 4 11 10 28 10 -18
20 Fulham 17 2 3 12 16 42 9 -26


Position before match :  3rd
Position after match :  3rd
Position after the weekend :  3rd


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