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Burnley 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Harry Kane hat-trick hands Clarets third home defeat as Spurs go above Burnley

23 December 2017

Harry Kane took the match-ball back to North London as his hat-trick sentenced the Clarets to only a third home defeat of the season and took Tottenham back above Burnley into the Premier League’s top six.

Three years ago on the weekend before Christmas, Kane got one of the goals that gave Spurs the points when the two sides met at White Hart Lane.

And the England again kicked off the festive programme in predatory style to take his total of league goals this season to 15 – only one less than the Clarets have managed in total.

That record has not stopped Sean Dyche’s men enjoying an outstanding first half of the season which has brought them 32 points and a run of results to be proud of in securing a highest league position at Christmas since 1973.

But on an evening when Kane – helped on his way by a contentious early penalty for a challenge on Dele Alli – stamped his class on Turf Moor this was an occasion when Burnley’s grit and resilience wasn’t enough to compete with one of the league’s heavyweights.

Tottenham had taken just one point from their last five away games but were given the perfect chance to rectify that run in an explosive start.

And Alli was the central character.

The England international – deemed by many to be fortunate to avoid a sending-off for a challenge on Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne a week previously – was booked when catching Charlie Taylor with a late sliding challenge.

And Alli was then awarded a penalty when he went down in the Clarets’ penalty area with six minutes gone.

It was a classic modern-day penalty decision as Alli knocked the ball beyond Kevin Long and then started to fall before Long’s leg arrived to make the slightest of contact, making it a testing start to the defender’s role as the banned James Tarkowski’s replacement.

Kane rammed home the spot-kick to score his 34th Premier League goal of 2017 – only two behind the record for a calendar year which he was to equal before his day’s work was done.

And he could feasibly have equalled Alan Shearer’s mark even earlier as the Clarets struggled to cope with the visitors’ movement and pressing game in the opening half-hour as they were allowed no time on the ball tio build any pressure of their own.

Kane shot into the side-netting after nipping the ball past Nick Pope and then lifted another effort over the bar after Christian Eriksen had returned a clearance from the Clarets’ keeper.

Pope had seen as much of the ball at his feet as most of his colleagues and kept Burnley in the game with 27 minutes gone with an excellent double-save to deny Moussa Sissoko after Tottenham had broken clear from a Clarets’ corner.

And having survived that, Dyche’s men – with Johann Berg Gudmundsson prominent – began to make their presence felt and get into the game ahead of half-time, despite the loss of Chris Wood.

The striker, who had marked his Burnley debut with a late equaliser against Tottenham at Wembley, was injured in a collision with Hugo Lloris as he looked to get on the end of a low cross from Steven Defour after robbing Serge Aurier to set up the Clarets’ first real opening of the evening.

Ashley Barnes – who had scored against Tottenham on the weekend before Christmas in two of the last three seasons – replaced Wood, although it was the visiting front men who threatened first after the break as Kane poked the ball just wide at the near post from an Eriksen cross.

But that was nothing compared with the miss from Son Heung-Min with 56 minutes gone as the South Korean skied the ball over the top after Aurier’s pass had left him in the clear.

The Clarets were struggling to stem the tide as their previously watertight defence was prised open but at 1-0 they were still in the contest and for a brief spell, with Barnes making his presence felt, started to rattle the visitors.

But with just over 20 minutes to go, Kane killed off any prospect of a fightback with his second of the game in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate.

Sissoko’s early ball left Kane with a clear run on goal and he never looked likely to pass up the opportunity to lift his side within a point of the top four as he calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Pope.

And 10 minutes later the striker completed his hat-trick with another deadly finish, collecting a pass from Alli to drill home his 21st goal of another prolific season.

It had been a tough night for the Clarets, who were denied the chance to give the scoreline a more positive look when substitute Sam Vokes had a late header chalked off, despite not appearing to foul Lloris as he rose highest to nod home a looping Charlie Taylor cross.

Burnley: Pope, Bardsley, Long, Mee, Taylor, Gudmundsson, Cork, Defour, Arfield (Wells 84), Hendrick (Vokes 70), Wood (Barnes 35). Substitutes: Lindegaard, Lowton, Westwood, Walters.

Booked: None

Tottenham: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier (Lamela 84), Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli (Llorente 84), Son (Dembele 77), Kane. Substitutes: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Foyth.

Booked: Alli, Sissoko

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 21,650


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