REPORT: Burnley 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
Late Son winner cruel on Clarets as Dyche left pointless on anniversary
Sean Dyche’s anniversary celebrations will be muted after his side were again undone by Heung-Min Son.
But the Burnley manager, who celebrates eight years in charge at Turf Moor on Friday, will not be downbeat about a performance that merited more against a Tottenham side which is now unbeaten in 10 games and up to fifth place in the Premier League.
The Clarets remain in the bottom three but deserved to at least double their points’ tally as they were the better side for long periods and saw a James Tarkowski header cleared off the line just before Spurs claimed their 77th-minute winner.
Tottenham had barely created a chance but in Son they have a match-winner and the man who scored last term’s goal-of-the-season against the Clarets popped up to head home and move into double figures less than two months into the current campaign.
The Londoners had scored 11 goals in winning their previous two away games in the Premier League but this time the one was just enough as the Clarets drew a blank for a third time in four games – the only blemish on a display which will send Dyche into his ninth year full of optimism.
Having collected their first point a week ago, the Clarets were forced into one change as Erik Pieters was ruled out with a calf injury that prevented him from continuing his odyssey around the pitch to help out wherever needed.
Matt Lowton therefore returned at right-back for his first start since June and the Clarets’ second game back following last season’s summer resumption.
And Lowton played a key role mid-way through the first half when his challenge on Son prevented the South Korean from punishing a mis-cued clearance from goalkeeper Nick Pope.
It had been nip-and-tuck up to that point but the Clarets grew in strength as the opening half wore on to claim superiority by the break.
Hugo Lloris was the busier of the two goalkeepers as he had to get down to keep out efforts from Ashley Westwood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson as the Clarets pulled Tottenham’s back line around.
And when an excellent pass from Dwight McNeil again stretched Spurs again in stoppage time Gudmundsson had another opportunity he curled wide of the target.
The Clarets also had the first chance of the second half as Ben Davies was harried into giving the ball away to Josh Brownhill, who dragged his effort wide from a promising position.
And Spurs manager Jose Mourinho didn’t wait long to make his first change as he sent on Erik Lamela in place of Lucas Moura with less than an hour gone to try and change the flow.
It didn’t have an immediate affect as the joint leading scorers in the league struggled to find a way to break Burnley down.
And still the goal threat came from the Clarets as Ashley Barnes, who had a first-half effort chalked off for off-side and gave Spurs’ back line a tough night, had an effort deflected over the top and Westwood another effort blocked at the end of a fine move.
Burnley were getting closer and with 20 minutes to they were only a matter of inches from taking the lead as Harry Kane cleared off his own goalline from James Tarkowski’s header following a Westwood corner. Spurs hadn’t yet managed an effort on target but moments later they grabbed the lead.
Son had just been denied by Long’s fine block but when Spurs then forced a corner, Tottenham’s leading scorer nodded home his 10th goal of the season after Kane had flicked the ball on from Lamela’s delivery.
It was tough on the Clarets who lost for the second time at home, with Tottenham’s reaction at the final whistle underlining their relief at making it a hat-trick of away wins to get among the early pace-setters.
Burnley: Pope; Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Gudmundsson (Rodriguez 81), Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Wood, Barnes (Vydra 87). Substitutes: Peacock-Farrell, Brady, Stephens, Dunne, Benson.
Booked: Brownhill, Long
Tottenham: Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Moura (Lamela 55), Ndombele (Lo Celso 78), Son (Rodon 90), Kane. Substitutes: Hart, Reguilon, Bale.
Referee: Michael Oliver