Match Report: Spurs 4 Burnley 0 (are we back to winning ways?)
I said we would win 3-1, but we went one better and with a clean sheet. I thought the line up was a good one. It was nice to see Bale back to his old self (nearly!).
Before I go into the match, a bit of nostalgia; 42 years ago, on this day in 1979, Steve Perryman scored the only goal of the game as we booked our place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. The game was against Oldham Athletic. Sadly the next round, we were knocked out by United over two legs. I remember the day well, I caught the train up to Oldham, and I believe it was a very cold day. I was 23 years old then. Where has the time gone? That was February, by the end of the year, I had moved to Barons Court in West Kensington. I moved to Kensington because I had got a job for a company called Distillers CO2 in Hammersmith. In September of that year, I went to Hammersmith Palais to watch Ali beat Leon Spinks to recapture the World Heavyweight title. The fight was beamed over live from America and displayed on their screens in black and white. I had a bet with my previous manager that Ali would beat Spinks and beat him, he did. What a great boxer!
To the match
Gareth Bale scored twice and made another one for us as we cruised to a comfortable win over Burnley, at the same time boosting our hopes of European qualification. We needed this win as we had lost five of our previous six league matches.
We went ahead inside two minutes when Bale converted Son’s low cross. Bale’s superb long pass released Kane to net our second before Lucas Moura added a third from Sergio Reguilon’s delivery. Son was the architect for the fourth as he ran at the Burnley defence before finding Bale, where he then did a forward curled into the far corner to seal our resounding win.
This victory takes us to eighth. We are six points behind fourth-placed West Ham, who occupy the final Champions League qualification spot, but we have a game in hand on the Hammers (who lost on Saturday to Man City).
After winning the Champions League four times for Real Madrid, a lot was riding on Bale on his return to our club, but with a few niggling problems and not totally fit, he failed to show his potential. But gradually – through guest appearances (walk-on parts), he slowly got his act together. Then after the mid-week Europa League game, Mourinho believed he was ready to make a full entrance; and he took his chances with both feet.
Before the game against Burnley, Mourinho had said, Bale “was happier than ever,” and it took the 31-year-old only 70 seconds to score when he had got in between the Burnley central defenders and steered Son’s low cross past Nick Pope in the first chance of the game. When he did that, I screamed at the screen that he was back and about time, as we will need him to climb back up the greasy pole.
As for Kane, he shot just wide, and Moura was denied by Pope before the England keeper was beaten again after 15 minutes (yes, by Kane). That help was from a brilliant long ball from Bale, 30 yards from his own goal, which released Kane, and he then scored his 14th Premier League goal of the campaign.
As for our third goal, well, it came when Reguilon’s cross was inadvertently flicked on by Tarkowski, and Moura took a touch to set himself before firing into the net.
But it was Bale who stole the show in his, arguably, best performance of the season, as he scored again with an excellent curling finish following a storming run forward from Son before he was substituted after 69 minutes. He had done what was expected of him, and it was right to replace him so that he could be fit to fight another day.
We have finished in the top six in the past 11 seasons. We started this match in 10th (because the arsenal inbreds had previously beaten Leicester Titty). Then we beat Burnley, which then took us back above our north London rivals and ahead of Aston Villa into eighth.
We registered our most significant home Premier League win since December 2019 – a 5-0 victory over Burnley.
Burnley have lost 12 of their past 15 top-flight matches at Spurs, conceding 48 goals in total, including at least four in seven games.
Mourinho has taken charge of more league matches against Burnley without losing than any other club in his managerial career.
No player has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley than Kane (eight, level with Riyad Mahrez), with him being involved in 10 in his past six league appearances against the Clarets (seven goals, three assists).
Bale’s first goal for us after just 70 seconds was the fastest conceded by Burnley in a Premier League match.
Bale has been directly involved in seven goals in his past four appearances for us (four goals, three assists).
Only Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne (16) has more assists for a Premier League club than Spurs forward Son’s 15 this season.
In his 285th Premier League appearance, Lloris has become the 16th goalkeeper to achieve 100 clean sheets in the competition and the ninth quickest in terms of games.
What’s next for us?
We have London derbies in our next two matches, going to Fulham on Thursday (18:00 GMT) and then hosting Crystal Palace on Sunday, 7 March (19:15).
A good win against Burnley, and if we can get another six points against our next two games, we could make a serious challenge for a top-four placing.
Be safe, and until next time, Glenn