That bloody stadium.
In a frustrating afternoon at Wembley, Spurs conceded a late, larte goal to draw 1-1 with Burnley in the Premier League today.
Much had been said about last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea and many people saw today’s match as the perfect opportunity to finally get a win at our new temporary home, given Burnley’s away record in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons.
Spurs started well and were passing the ball around well, looking for gaps to appear in Burnley’s aparrent 6 man defensive line which they adopted as soon as we had the ball all game (see picture below). Perhaps most noticably, Toby Alderwiereld’s long range diagonal passes to Kieran Trippier on the right hand flank were causing Burnley issues, only to be stopped by Burnley’s excellent Robbie Brady on multiple occasions.
The sides went in at half time 0-0, with both teams having chances to break the deadlock – Spurs in particular seeing Harry Kane miss a couple of half chances go begging. The game was following a worrying pattern – Burnley sit back and absorb the pressure that Spurs were piling on, comfortable enough to let them have all the posession, then break with pace and power through Brady and Vokes, which was causing us many issues, only for Moussa Dembele and co to mop up the loose ends several times. If there was going to be a winner, then you’d have been foolish to assume it was the home team who were going to pick up the three points.
Then, the deadlock was broken early in the second half. Latching on to the ball which was free inside the penalty area, Dele Alli slotted home to ease the pressure that had been building inside Wembley. Burnley gambled first with their substitutions and bought on club record signing Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes shortly after the Spurs goals to chase a goal and caused the Spurs back 4 all sorts of issues with their height and power.
The home side continued to have the majority of the posession and squandered several clear cut chances, with Kane and Eriksen in particular failing to score what would’ve been the killer second goal.
Burnley grew into the game and really piled the pressure on in the last 10 minutes forcing Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal to make several crucial stops to keep the game tilted in Spurs’ favour, just. However, the home side couldn’t quite hold on and Burnley managed to find an equaliser in the last few seconds of the game when a speculative pass managed to find an unmarked Chris Wood 18 yards out who excellently slotted his shot past Hugo Lloris, sending the 3,500 travelling fans into raptures and the Spurs fans heading to the exits in their thousands, not quite believing what was happening yet again at their adopted home. Davinson Sanchez, the new Colombian club record signing from Ajax was thrown on for the final few seconds, but the final whistle was met with an almost disbelieving murmur of noise coming from the stands and with everyone almost certainly thinking the same thing – this is now becoming a real issue.
Despite the result, Spurs were comfortable for very large periods of the game today. Enjoying more than 60% posession, Pochettino’s side poked and prodded for 80 or so minutes, trying to find gaps in a Burnley defence which was expertly organised by Sean Dyche. It is clear that despite the signing of Sanchez and the imminent signing of right-back Serge Aurier, a player with pace is required in the final third of the pitch. Full-backs Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier huffed and puffed today, trying to provide width from deep, but something was missing. Teams like Liverpool and Manchester United have proved so far this year that attacking players with pace have become crucial in the Premier League now – Salah, Mane, Rashford etc, and you struggle to see where the pace in the current Spurs side comes from. Kane, Alli, Eriksen – perhaps three of the most talented players in Europe currently, but neither have that blistering turn of pace which opens compact defences up. Had we have seen that introduction of pace off the bench today, I am sure we’d have been talking about a win, rather than one of the most frustrating draws I have witnessed during the recent history of this club.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Sanchez 90+2), Eriksen (Winks 88), Dele, Son (Sissoko 70), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Walker-Peters, Oakley-Boothe, Janssen.
“Of course we’re disappointed, especially in the way we conceded the goal, only we’re responsible for conceding that goal,” said Mauricio.
“It was a lack of concentration at the end like it was against Chelsea and it’s a real shame after all our effort to concede the draw. I think we deserved more but in the last two games here against Chelsea and Burnley we’ve suffered from a lack of concentration at the end of the game.”
Needless to say, had one of our other chances found the net, it might have been a different story.
“It’s true we had a lot of possibilities to score the second goal and kill the game and when you don’t kill the game, you always give hope to the opponent to play a long ball to a big striker,” added Mauricio.
“The feeling was if we don’t kill the game, that can happen and that’s how they scored. There is nothing to say now, we will work hard and try to fix the problems we’ve had at the start of the season.”
We go again after the International break (yes, there’s one already), with an away trip to Everton, who have started well.