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16:59 26th September 2009


Burnley were again given a harsh taste of life in the rarified atmosphere at the top end of the Barclays Premier League as they succumbed to another defeat away from the sanctuary of Turf Moor.

A four-goal blast from Robbie Keane left the Clarets still seeking their first points away from home in the top-flight as Tottenham joined Chelsea and Liverpool in adding their name to a list of classy assassins to have beaten Owen Coyle's men.

Yet whereas the defeats at Stamford Bridge and Anfield had been all but sealed by the opening goal, Burnley put up a brave fight back in the capital before being sunk by a late barrage of goals.

Trailing to an early Keane penalty, Burnley should have been level but were again on the wrong end of an off-side decision which prevented the impressive Steven Fletcher from opening his league account.

And only a deflected effort by Jermaine Jenas gave Spurs a two-goal cushion at the break.

Burnley then dominated the opening stages of the second half when Robbie Blake hit a post but thereafter Spurs showed their ruthless streak to hit five goals for the fourth time this season.

Keane was the main beneficiary as he picked off a tiring defence with some incisive finishing to record his first-ever four- goal haul to leave Burnley digesting another painful lesson and possibly rueing a cruel fixture list in the opening weeks of the campaign.

The attacking intent Tottenham have displayed all season had been in evidence from the start as Keane and Jermain Defoe sat on the shoulders of Burnley's central defensive pairing of Andre Bikey and Clarke Carlisle.

And Keane timed a run to perfection after just 11 minutes to meet a pass from Jenas and race clear with just Brian Jensen to beat.

But the Clarets keeper, passed fit to start after recovering from a deal leg, again proved his value to his side with a fine block as he stretched out a leg to thwart the Spurs captain.

Wade Elliott tangles with Jermaine Jenas

The threat was not one way, however, as Burnley felt their way into the game and David Nugent's persistence paid off when the striker, making his full debut in place of the injured Martin Paterson, harried Vedran Corluka into surrendering possession and from a tight angle forced Carlo Cudicini to save.

Fletcher was proving even more of a handful for the Tottenham defence and a fine run and shot ended with a vital block from Sebastien Bassong as the Scot sensed a first Premier League goal.

But Burnley always knew they would have little margin for error at the back and with 18 minutes gone a mistake by Andre Bikey handed Tottenham the lead.

Caught out by Defoe, Bikey was late with a tackle on the England international who was tripped for a penalty which Keane converted.

Without a goal away from home all season Burnley needed an instant lift - and they should have been provided with it by an equaliser from Fletcher.

The record signing finished well after a neat little pass from Joey Gudjonsson, starting his first league game of the season in place of the injured Chris McCann, but an incorrect off-side decision curtailed his celebration.

That looked a big decision and so it proved as Tottenham doubled their lead before the break.

Defoe should have done better with a chance created by Jenas but evidence that Burnley's luck out was out was underlined when Jenas made it 2-0 in the 32nd-minute.

The Clarets averted the immediate danger of another rapid break when Niko Cranjcar's initial shot was blocked by Bikey but when the ball broke loose to Jenas he fired home thanks to a big deflection off Stephen Jordan, which left Jensen completely wrong-footed.

With the last kick of the half Nugent was given a another sight of goal following more goodwork by Fletcher but the two-goal hero of the previous weekend this time produced a weak finish.

But the impression that Burnley would not just accept their fate was reinforced four minutes after the re-start when a sustained spell of pressure ended with Tyrone Mears crossing and Robbie Blake stinging the hands of Cudicini with a fierce angled drive.

It was a brave response from Coyle's side, although any hopes of a comeback would have been killed off but for another fine block by Jensen, who again spread himself to deny Defoe from a Keane pass after Bikey had conceded possession.

That signalled the end of Defoe's involvement as he fell awkwardly and damaged a hand and with half an hour to go Coyle also made a change as he sent on Chris Eagles for the tiring Nugent.

Robbie Blake does his best to get Burnley back in the game

And with the Clarets continuing to take the fight to Spurs, they were the width of a post from making it 2-1.

A long-range free-kick from Mears should have been meat and drink for Cuducini, but the former Chelsea keeper dropped the ball and Blake pounced to poke a shot against the woodwork from a difficult angle.

A goal then would have had Spurs on edge, but with 17 minutes to go they killed the game off thanks to Keane's second of the game as Aaron Lennon burst clear and pulled the ball back for the striker to lash a shot into the top corner.

And three minutes later Keane completed his hat-trick when he again got behind the Burnley back-four from Bassong's ball over the top and steered a left-footed volley past Jensen.

Burnley's fire had been extinguished and Keane added to the pain four minutes from the end when he latched onto a flick-on from Peter Crouch to shoot through the legs of Jensen.

Burnley: Jensen, Jordan, Bikey, Carlisle, Mears, Alexander, Elliott, Gudjonsson, Blake (Guerrero 80), Fletcher (Thompson 72), Nugent (Eagles 63). Substitutes: Penny, Duff, Caldwell, McDonald.

Tottenham: Cudicini, Huddlesteone, Lennon (Bale 85), Jenas, Keane, Palacios, Defoe (Crouch 56), Bassong (Dawson 88), Kranjcar, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto. Substitutes: Gomes, Hutton, Bentley, Naughton.

Ref: M Dean

Attendance: 35, 462

    Data provided by Press Association