The Independent London Newspaper
25th March 2019

Spurs close in on Gunners as Rose hits winner against battling Burnley

    Spurs

    Published: 18 December, 2016
    by KOOS COUVEE at White Hart Lane 

    Premier League
    SPURS 2, BURNLEY 1

    MAURICIO Pochettino needed a spark of brilliance from one of his Tottenham players this afternoon to win a hugely competitive match against a gritty Burnley side.

    After an average first-half performance with the sides at 1-1, a brilliant strike from equally brilliant left-back Danny Rose saved the day at White Hart Lane.
    The 2-1 win ensures Spurs remain in contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League, particularly after Arsenal’s loss at Manchester City - just one point now separates Spurs from Arsenal and Liverpool, who both have 34 points.  

    Speaking after the game, Pochettino said: “I’m very happy. It was not the best performance but we fight and we did very good things in the end.

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    “Burnley is a team that challenges for every ball and they fight and are very aggressive. They try to find the ball in the box from everywhere. I’m very pleased with the performance because we fight and created a lot of chances. We fully deserve the three points.”

    Spurs needed to show character in the second period after a disappointing first which saw the sides level at 1-1.

    Pochettino’s men started the second half better but failed to find a way through. But when Moussa Sissoko came on for Mousa Dembélé after 62 minutes he made an instant impact with powerful runs forward.

    In the 71st minute, he led a counterattack into the Burnley half, unselfishly finding Danny Rose to his left in the box. Rose, who had one of his best games this season, smashed the ball past Burnley keeper Tom Heaton for the winner.    

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    There was some controversy around the goal, however, as it came directly after Sissoko was given only a yellow card for a high, late challenge on Stephen Ward. Asked about the challenge after the game, Burnley boss Sean Dyche said the winger should have been sent off, but Pochettino disagreed.

    The Spurs boss said: “I can understand him [Dyche], maybe he thought it was a red card, [but] from my point of view it wasn’t a red, maybe a yellow card, but it's difficult to see for me.”

    He added: “Sissoko came on [and he] added to the team with good actions, I’m very happy with him and Ben Davies (the other substitute).”

    Spurs should have been in front after just two minutes, when Dele Alli found himself one-to-one with Heaton but fluffed his lines, shooting wide and over the goal with his right foot. Instead it was Burnley - who last beat Spurs here in 1983 but looked dangerous on the counterattack and battled for every ball - who took the lead through Ashley Barnes after 20 minutes.

    However, six minutes later Dele Alli atoned for his awful second-minute miss by running into the Burnley box and tapping in Kyle Walker’s low cross.  

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    Much of the attacking play from Spurs came through full-backs Walker and Rose, as Kane was largely absent and Eriksen, who came close with a few shots from distance, failed to score.

    Indicating how vital the full-backs are to his side, Pochettino said: “I’m very happy with them [Walker and Rose]. They’re showing their quality and they can play in different formations. We try to provide them with the best tools and the best position to show their quality. Maybe it was Danny Rose’s best performance and he scored a great goal. I’m very happy for him.”

    He added: “The feeling is not like last season, but we need to be clever, keep our philosophy and work hard.

    “I think our position is good, now it’s about winning games, keep the gap close to the second place. It’s still a long way until the end of the season.”

    Asked whether he thought the 10-point gap between Spurs and leaders Chelsea was unbridgeable, he added: “In football a lot can happen.”

    SPURS: Lloris (C), Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Winks, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane.
    Subs: Sissoko, Son, Vorm, Nkoudou, Trippier, Wimmer, Davies.

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