Barnes Belter but Burnley Beaten at Spurs
White Hart Lane
Saturday 20th December 2014 @3pm Kick-Off
Burnley put in a very good performance at White Hart Lane but in the end could not avoid a 2-1 defeat despite a stunning goal from Ashley Barnes. The Clarets at times looked naive defensively especially in the first half and basically gave the hosts far too much space often being caught out by the pace of Spurs moving forward. It was perhaps no surprise when the hosts took the lead in the 21st minute although the goal by Harry Kane was controversial to say the least. Spurs were awarded a free kick after Michael Keane was adjudged to have handled the ball despite this looking somewhat innocuous and accidental. The controversy grew when the quickly taken free kick found Christian Eriksen quite clearly in an offside position. He let the ball run to Nacer Chadli who`s first time cross found Harry Kane to head home inside the far post leaving Sean Dyche, Burnley players and visiting fans protesting in vain. Six minutes later though Burnley deservedly equalised and it was a 25 yard stunner from Ashley Barnes that silenced the home fans. In the 35th minute, Spurs regained the lead though after Erik Lamela cut in from the right to curl in a left-footed shot from outside the area to give the hosts a 2-1 half time lead. Burnley battled hard in the second half and although you might argue Spurs took their foot off the pedal and were happy to let the Clarets run at them, we could so easily have got that equaliser but it wasn`t to be. Although we lost there was a lot of positives to take from this game considering the quality of opposition we were up against. We pressed hard at times and put their defence under a lot of pressure. Our defence too coped better in the second half having learned their lesson.
Sadly this narrow defeat plunged Burnley back into the drop zone. A hat-trick by Charlie Austin for QPR gave them a 3-2 victory over West Brom despite the Baggies at one point being two goals up and that meant we dropped back to third from bottom still with fifteen points. Second from bottom, Hull though lost 1-0 at home to Swansea and bottom club Leicester went down 2-0 away to West Ham. Palace losing 3-0 against Manchester City are now on the same number of points as the Clarets with a better goal difference and two other clubs West Brom and QPR have only two points more than the Clarets so could easily be caught. Enough results went our way over the weekend to give Burnley some hope that come the New Year they could be out of the bottom three although we do face some quite tough games over the festive period with Liverpool at home on Boxing Day, Manchester City away two days later and then a tough game against Newcastle at St James Park on New Year`s Day. The performance against Spurs though was encouraging and they should take heart from that and keep up the momentum in these up-and-coming challenging games ahead.
It was an unchanged starting eleven for the Clarets and we lined up as follows:
Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee, Arfield, Marney, Jones, Boyd , Barnes, Ings
Subs: Gilks, Long, Reid, Chalobah, Wallace, Kightly, Jutkiewicz
Full Match Report
Chester referee, Mike Jones got the game underway and both teams had chances in the opening stages. Scott Arfield had an early opportunity but could only fire over the bar whilst the hosts came close when Ryan Mason drilled a low shot wide of target. In the 21st minute though, Spurs got their noses in front thanks to a controversial goal from in-form striker, Harry Kane. Spurs had been awarded a free-kick after Keane had been deemed to handle the ball. It looked nothing but accidental but that`s not where the controversy ended. The quickly taken free kick headed towards Christian Eriksen who was clearly in an offside position but play continued. Eriksen did not make contact with the ball allowing it to roll to Nacer Chadli. Chadli then hit a first time cross with Burnley players already protesting to the referee and it found Kane to head home inside the far post. Everyone associated with the Clarets were miffed but the protests were fruitless and the goal stood. The Clarets showed great character though and came back strongly to score a sensational equaliser just six minutes later. It was a thunderbolt from Ashley Barnes that stunned the home fans. It all started when George Boyd found the former Brighton striker in space in the centre of the pitch. Barnes after his first touch found room to then unleash a stunning shot from 25 yards out that sweetly curled into the top corner of the net to level things up. The Clarets though couldn`t capitalise on their goal and Spurs came charging back almost immediately. Lamala crafted his way to the by-line to put over a ball that flew across the face of goal only for Kane to completely miss his kick. Eriksen though latched onto the loose ball after charging to the far post but thankfully blazed the ball over the bar. It wasn`t long after though that the hosts did in fact regain the lead. It was Lamala this time that put in a solo effort after cutting in from the right to unleash a shot that beat Heaton and flew into the bottom corner of the net. Burnley though were not going to let the goal dispirit them too much and they almost drew level again on the stroke of half-time. Former Spurs player, Dean Marney charging towards goal latched onto the ball cut back by Danny Ings. He then attempted a 'daisy cutter` that stubbornly flew just wide of target.
Neither manager made any changes for the start of the second half and this time the Clarets started the brighter of the two teams and had two chances to equalise within a minute of the restart. Ings was the threat in both cases but the Spurs keeper was equal to both chances. First he denied the England u21 international following a pulsating run by the striker and then saved at the near post after Ings attempted to stab the ball home. Ings was causing the Spurs defence all sorts of problems and once again he could do anything but score. He then had another chance in the 50th minute. Barnes set this one up for his strike partner after splitting the Spurs defence with a superb through-ball that found Ings. Racing clear, Ings unleashed another shot but once again the Spurs stopper denied him a goal with a save at the near post. Spurs were surprisingly looking very nervous at this stage and Burnley fans began to believe the game was not over by a long chalk as the Clarets continued to press for an equaliser and put the hosts under some pressure. The hosts seemed content to defend deep and let Burnley come at them hoping to catch them out on the break. There was always the danger that would happen and Heaton had to be alert to deny Chadli after getting a glove to his ferocious shot from a narrow angle. Dyche decided to freshen things up on both flanks in the 79th minute bringing on Wallace and Kightly to replace Arfield and Boyd. Burnley fans remembering that stunning free-kick from Wallace towards the end of the Leicester game that earned the visitors a 2-2 draw late on were hoping for history to repeat itself at White Hart Lane when the Clarets were awarded a free kick in stoppage time after Ings had been brought down 30 yards from goal. Wallace duly stepped up to the plate again but this time although coming close it wasn`t to be. The ball curled over the wall towards the left hand post but this time the keeper saved to deny the Clarets any points with the match finishing 2-1 to the hosts.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Lamela, Kane (Soldado 83), Fazio, Chadli, Eriksen, Davies, Mason (Stambouli 44), Bentaleb
Subs Not Used: Rose, Chiriches, Vorm, Townsend, Dembele
Goals: Kane 21, Lamela 35
Booked: Yellow Card for Davies (2)
Burnley: Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee, Arfield (Wallace 79), Marney, Jones, Boyd (Kightly 79), Barnes (Jutkiewicz 89), Ings
Subs Not Used: Gilks, Reid, Chalobah, Long
Goal: Barnes 27
Possession: 65% Tottenham Hotspur, 35% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Mike Jones (Chester)
The Dyche Deliberation
'I was a little disappointed with the decision for their first goal. I think Harry Kane gets a little nudge and it was ball to hand with the defender. Then they play a quick free-kick and there is an offside. We all know the debate on offside: is he interfering? Is he not? If he was in the line of the goal I think they'd have to say he was interfering. But that's another debate.'