Burnley 0 Spurs 3
Spurs gained a measure of revenge for the 1-1 draw that Burnley eked out at Wembley earlier this Season (Post 28). We went up to Turf Moor on a cold night and came back with 3 points, putting Kane level with Shearer on 36 PL goals for a calendar year.
It was a comfortable if not quite ‘back to our best’ win after last week’s mauling at the Etihad. We enjoyed 60% possession and had 18 shots to 5 (8 v 2 on target). Good chances missed – by Sissoko put clean through (by Alli), and Son with an open goal skied over the bar (an unselfish pass by Aurier) – saved Burnley a 5-0 or worse embarrassment.
Although our team played solidly, Kane was the difference (yet again). He scored a clinical penalty, then a ruthless right footer when put through by Sissoko (“that’s how you do it Moose”) and finally a perfect left footer ending a move that Kane himself started with a tackle. Yet another hat-trick.
The stats read like an encyclopaedia of coming greatness:
Calendar Year: Now level with Shearer on 36 PL goals in a year, Kane has a chance to break the Premier League record, in our home match against Southampton tomorrow.
Spurs List: Kane has already scored 93 PL goals – now second only to Teddy Sheringham (97) for goals in the competition for Spurs.
Away Games: Kane has scored 50 PL AWAY goals in just 67 games; at least 18 games faster than any other player in the competition’s history (Sergio Aguero next on 85).
Europe in 2017: Kane still could finish the year as the top scorer in Europe’s top 5 leagues (England, France, Germany, Spain, Italy): he is on 53 for Spurs and England, level with Cavani (PSG), Lewandowski (Bayern) and Ronaldo (R Madrid) just behind Messi (Barcelona).
2017/18 Season: Kane is now the joint top scorer in the Premier League this season with 15 goals from 19 games (Level with Salah who has 15 from 19)
The ‘controversy’ of the match was an early (4th minute) tackle by Alli, whose temperament is one of the media’s talking points of the month. He made a bad challenge on De Bruyne last week (yellow carded) and this time lunged early into a 50-50 with Burnley’s full back Taylor (yellow carded). Pundits called it an “orange” card; certainly a yellow but probably not a red. Replays showed that he was aggressive but not malicious. Neither Taylor nor Dele was in full control but it certainly looked to me that a sending off would have been harsh.
Credit to Dele. He played from then on (until 87th minute when Llorente replaced him) on a yellow and still influenced the game without risking a second card. He is still far from his influential best but he’s the kind of player that makes the difference. He earned our penalty in the 6th minute. His pass put Sissoko clean through one-on-one with Burnley’s keeper for what should have made it 2-0. He assisted Kane’s third with a neat reverse. Only Darren Anderton (20 assists for Sheringham) now stands ahead of Dele (13 assists for Kane) in Spurs PL history of prolific combinations.
After Match Day 19, Spurs are now back up to 5th with 34 points (10-4-5), ahead of Arsenal in 6th on goal difference (+16 v +11). Liverpool are 4th (35 pnts), Chelsea 3rd (39), M United 2nd (42) and M City top (55). At Christmas, the battle for Top 4 is shaping up to be as exciting at the Title battle will be boring.