Burnley 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs falter on Harry Kane’s return

Chris Wood has scored six goals in his last eight Premier League games

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge suffered a huge blow as they were beaten by Burnley at Turf Moor.

The Clarets opened the scoring shortly after the break as Chris Wood rose highest to head home Dwight McNeil’s inswinging corner.

Harry Kane, making his first appearance since 13 January, equalised after latching onto Danny Rose’s quick throw-in and poking past Tom Heaton, before Ashley Barnes tapped in Burnley’s second late on.

The match ended amid drama as the frustrations of Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino spilled over at the final whistle.

The Argentine, who earlier was clearly unhappy about the awarding of the corner that led to Wood’s opener, angrily confronted referee Mike Dean before being pulled away by Burnley’s Phil Bardsley.

Spurs stay in third place, five points behind Liverpool who face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Burnley rise to 13th and are now six points clear of the relegation places.

Kane scores on return as Spurs falter

Tottenham should have been buoyed by the return of Kane, who made his first appearance since picking up an ankle injury in January’s defeat to Manchester United.

But he struggled to get into the game in a first half that saw him on the end of several hefty challenges by Ben Mee and James Tarkowski. When he did escape their attentions, he fired wide from the edge of the box and saw a header easily saved by Heaton.

He improved in the second period, drawing a magnificent save from Heaton who sprang acrobatically to his right to keep out a swerving shot bound for the top corner.

But not even the in-form Burnley goalkeeper could deny Kane a goal on his return as he latched on to Rose’s throw and poked home to level.

However, with Spurs pouring on the pressure late on the Clarets stood firm, with second-half substitutes Fernando Llorente and Erik Lamela both denied by blocks.

Battling Burnley’s unbeaten run continues

Despite their excellent form – Burnley are one of only two unbeaten Premier League sides in 2019 – Sean Dyche’s men were underdogs coming into this match.

That was mainly due to the fact they had taken just two points from their last 42 available at home against the established top six sides.

But the Clarets emphatically bucked that trend against Spurs.

The hosts were rarely troubled in a first half of few chances, and in the second they more than matched the visitors.

Suspect Spurs defending helped Wood open the scoring, although replays suggested the corner the goal came from should not have been awarded as the ball appeared to come off Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick as he challenged with Jan Vertonghen.

Pochettino’s frustration at the decision was emulated by Dyche a short time later when Rose took a throw-in several yards upfield from where the ball went out of play and Kane ran through to tuck home the equaliser.

At that point Burnley may have been forgiven for sitting deep and taking a point, but they did anything but.

Ashley Westwood, Barnes and the impressive McNeil were all denied by Hugo Lloris before Barnes scored the decisive goal – tapping in from substitute Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s pass.

The result means the Clarets have gone eight games without defeat – only Manchester United are on a longer unbeaten run – with any fears of relegation all but dispelled.

Man of the match – Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

Barnes was a thorn in Tottenham’s side throughout and got his reward by scoring the winner late on. And his recent form is drawing international interest, too, with Austria boss Franco Foda watching on at Turf Moor

‘A big disappointment’ – what they said

Burnley goalscorer Ashley Barnes on Sky Sports: “I thought we had it then we gave them a sloppy goal from a throw-in. We needed to be alive and we switched off but for us to keep going and get the result was massive.

“They are top-quality players so we just had to concentrate on ourselves. We made it hard for them and that was what the gameplan was.

“We are getting back to ourselves now. We need to keep being resilient and compact. That’s what we did.”

Team-mate Chris Wood, speaking to Sky Sports: “We knew we could give Tottenham a right good game. We are full of confidence and it showed and that’s why we are getting the results.”

Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris speaking to Sky Sports: “Obviously it is a big disappointment. Today was a good opportunity for us and we missed it. It was a tough game. We expected a battle.

“We conceded the first goal and it makes things harder. Especially when you concede a corner that didn’t exist. It is part of the game.”

Burnley on best top-flight run since 1966 – the stats

  • Burnley are unbeaten in eight Premier League games (W5 D3), their longest top-flight run without defeat since a run of nine in 1966.
  • Tottenham suffered only their second defeat in their last eight away games in the Premier League, after losing two of the four before that.
  • Burnley have accrued 18 points from their last eight Premier League games (W5 D3), after picking up just 14 from their previous 24.
  • Burnley scored their opening goal with their first shot on target of the game on 57 minutes.
  • Burnley striker Chris Wood has netted four goals in his last four Premier League appearances, as many as in his previous 27 in the competition.
  • Burnley forward Ashley Barnes has scored in each of his last four Premier League games (4 goals), after netting in just three of his previous 24 in the competition (4 goals).
  • Johann Berg Gudmundsson has registered 15 assists for Burnley in the Premier League, nine more than any other player.

What’s next?

Burnley will look to continue their good run against Newcastle at St James’ Park on Tuesday at 20:00 GMT. Spurs will hope to bounce back when they visit Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday (20:00).

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