Burnley 1, Spurs 1: Chris Boden’s match verdict
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But the display against Spurs, extending their unbeaten record to seven Premier League games, showed how far they have come since that dismal afternoon in North London three months ago.
Yes, you may have heard that Spurs were without Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Moussa Sissoko - scorers of four of the five goals they claimed back in December.
However, a Burnley side, also without Ashley Barnes - who loves a goal against Spurs - Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Matt Lowton, were more than equal to the rest of Jose Mourinho’s men at Turf Moor, on a night when you came away disappointed with a just a point.
Spurs could still call on a galaxy of talent, but it took a double substitution at half-time by Mourinho, and a lapse from skipper Ben Mee, to get them back into a game in which the visitors were distinctly second best in the first half.
Mourinho’s side trailed 1-0 at the break, and were fortunate it was not more.
Sean Dyche restored top-scorer Chris Wood to the starting line-up at the expense of Matej Vydra, but the Clarets didn’t use that as an excuse to go long early and often.
Indeed, Burnley played more of the sort of fluent, purposeful football they had with Vydra and Jay Rodriguez as their front two.
The Clarets had a field day down Spurs’ right hand side, with Dwight NcNeil and Charlie Taylor repeatedly enjoying a numerical advantage against Japhet Tanganga.
Burnley’s opener came via that route, as McNeil’s cross was poorly cleared by Eric Dier, and when Rodriguez’s low volley was spilled by Hugo Lloris, Wood was on hand to claim his 11th goal of the season.
That means Wood has topped his best season in terms of goals at this level, and makes him only the third Burnley player to net more than 10 times in a Premier League campaign, after Barnes last season (12) and Danny Ings in 2014-15 (11).
Dyche admitted it was a difficult decision to leave out Vydra, but was there ever any doubt Burnley’s top scorer would return to the side?
The only disappointment at half-time was that the Clarets failed to add to their lead, having seen a Rodriguez header cleared off the line, while Wood and Rodriguez had further openings, to add to strikes from Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood and Phil Bardsley.
Spurs had to change things at half-time, and Mourinho responded by throwing on over £50m worth of talent in Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso.
The pair changed the game, Lo Celso leading the press and dictating the tempo, as his passing pinned Burnley back, while Moura found pockets which caused the Clarets all kinds of problems.
Lo Celso’s pass tempted Mee into stretching for the ball, but he couldn’t get there, and ended up catching Lamela’s ankle.
It was a clear penalty, and Dele Alli won the battle of wits with England colleague Nick Pope, sending him the wrong way.
However, while the Clarets had to dig in at this stage, Pope wasn’t tested again, and Burnley slowly began to re-establish their grip on the game.
Wood should have had a penalty after being clumsily barged from behind by Davidson Sánchez- literally anywhere else on the pitch a foul would have been given, but then again, referee Jon Moss seemed to be applying different rules in the second half, after a discussion with some of the Spurs back room staff on the way to the tunnel at half-time.
The official got that one wrong, and went on to dish out eight second half bookings, after only one in the first half - letting the two worst challenges go unpunished from Tanguy Ndombele, who was hauled off at the break.
Moss won’t be Wood’s favourite referee - he was the official in charge when Wood ludicrously had an equaliser chalked off at Leicester earlier in the season, after consultation with VAR.
If VAR had a look at Wood’s penalty claim - and it wasn’t clear whether it did - it is surprising the original decision wasn’t overturned.
But then again, you couldn’t predict which way any decision was going to go on the night.
Vydra responded well to the disappointment of returning to the bench, coming on to influence the game, linking well with Wood.
He was only denied a goal by a superb intervention from Dier, after cutting inside Toby Alderweireld from McNeil’s through ball, while Lloris later saved from close range from Vydra’s shot on the turn.
McNeil enjoyed a superb spell in the last quarter of the game, most noticeably when beating Lo Celso twice, either side of nutmegging Alderweireld, with a frustrated Lo Celso forced into a cynical challenge, earning a booking.
If there was going to be a winner late on, the whole ground sensed it would be Burnley, but it didn’t come - any disappointment tempered by the Clarets extending their unbeaten league run to seven games, as they collected another point to move to 39 with nine games remaining, and any European ambitions still alive.
Burnley will do well to make it eight without defeat, bearing in mind they are at Manchester City on Saturday, but in this form - beating Leicester and Manchester United, while feeling hard done by with a point from Arsenal and Spurs - there is no reason why they can’t.