The visitors had executed their game-plan to perfection, and seemed certain to enter the interval level, until Kevin Friend awarded Antonio Conte’s men a penalty deep into stoppage time.
The referee walked over to check the monitor when liaising with VAR Stuart Attwell after striker Ashley Barnes was adjudged to have handled Davinson Sanchez’s flick on.
England international Harry Kane stepped up in the 48th and tucked the ball into the corner, with Nick Pope rooted to the spot.
Barnes almost atoned for his error in the second half, but his thumping attempt from outside the penalty cannoned back off the post with Hugo Lloris well-beaten.
It ended 1-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Here are the player ratings.
1. Nick Pope 8
It took a controversial penalty to breach his guard, which was disappointing, given there had seemed no way through for Spurs. He saved from Son, Kane and Royal in the first half, then made a couple of outstanding stops to deny the South Korean after the break. Performed to a very high standard yet again.
Photo: Stu Forster
2. Connor Roberts 7
Played very well on the right hand side of a back five. Perhaps too narrow on occasions, when Spurs switched the play, but defended well on the whole. Gave Sessegnon very little to work with at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and gave Son a hard time.
Photo: GLYN KIRK
3. Charlie Taylor 8
Brilliant at the back and always an outlet for the Clarets going forward. Made countless blocks to prevent Royal from getting the ball into the box, made an excellent challenge inside the penalty area in the second half, and whipped in an exquisite cross for McNeil before the deadlock had been broken. A very encouraging display.
Photo: Richard Heathcote
4. Kevin Long 7
Headed, kicked and got his body in the way of everything that he needed to. Stood up to the physicality of Kane, protected his six-yard box effectively when Spurs delivered from wide areas, and almost netted in the second half from a Brownhill set-piece.
Photo: Alex Livesey