Tottenham Hotspur 2, Burnley 1

Burnley will bring 2016 to a close with two huge games at Turf Moor after Spurs came from behind to inflict their seventh defeat from eight on their travels.

Sunday, 18th December 2016, 6:43 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:11 pm
Ashley Barnes celebrates his opener with George Boyd

The Clarets host Middlesbrough and Sunderland after Christmas, games which could prove vital in their bid to keep hold of their Premier League status.

The visitors were much improved at White Hart Lane but weren't able to protect Ashley Barnes's opener. They're now just three points from the drop zone after 17 games.

The Clarets had conceded 16 goals on the road in the Premier League heading in to the fixture and they almost leaked another within minutes.

Ashley Barnes celebrates his opener with George Boyd

It took just two passes - the combination of Danny Rose and Harry Kane - to free Dele Alli in to the inner left hand channel but the midfielder missed the target by some distance.

Appeals for a penalty followed soon after as Rose's attempt struck the arm of Michael Keane but the incident went unnoticed by referee Kevin Friend.

The Burnley defender was in the thick of the action again in Spurs' next wave of attack, flicking Christian Eriksen's half-volley wide of the upright with his head.

Sean Dyche's side hadn't scored from open play in seven games on the road up to this point - Sam Vokes's penalty against Southampton at St Mary's being the only success - but they went incredibly close to altering that statistic.

Ashley Barnes celebrates his opener with George Boyd

Stephen Ward did remarkably well to steal possession high up the pitch and picked out Andre Gray but the striker was denied by the legs of Hugo Lloris. Either side of the goalkeeper and the visitors would've had the lead.

Spurs had chances to take the lead; Alli hit the outside of the upright from an acute angle as Victor Wanyama helped on Eriksen's corner while Harry Winks was denied by Tom Heaton having collected Kyle Walker's pass on the edge of the box.

However, in the 20th minute, the away side upset the apple cart by taking the lead. The Clarets won the ball on the left hand side, Scott Arfield fed George Boyd and the winger's cross was stabbed home by Barnes from close range.

That lead, though, was short-lived. The home side's full backs had been menacing in the opening half of the first period and it was Walker that played a big role in the equaliser.

Spurs switched play patiently on the edge of a congested penalty area, working the 'horseshoe' from left to right. Walker beat Ben Mee to pull the ball towards the penalty spot where Alli was on hand to pass the ball in to the corner.

Mousa Dembele scuffed the ball wide as Spurs came forward again before Heaton somehow managed to keep Kane's shot out.

The England international striker ghosted in on the blind side of Mee to latch on to Alli's threaded pass and his attempt was diverted wide by the goalkeeper's heel.

Heaton then saved from Wanyama to keep the scores level at the interval.

Burnley were bright again after the break but it was the hosts who looked the more likely to get their noses in front.

Eriksen's smart drive from 25 yards out zipped just over the cross bar and the Danish international went close again when heading in to the arms of Heaton from Roses's cross.

Alli also went within a whisker of giving Spurs the lead when his wonderfully measured attempt from the angle of the penalty area drifted just wide of the far post.

And when Heaton plunged low to his left hand side to prevent Eriksen's crisp effort from picking out the corner, you wondered whether the Clarets would claim an unlikely point.

However, those hopes were quashed with 20 minutes remaining. Substitute Moussa Sissoko, who could arguably have seen red soon after his introduction for a rash challenge on Ward, broke at speed and the counter was rounded off by Rose whose rasping strike beat Heaton at his near post.

Spurs substitute Heung-Min Son dragged the ball wide of the far upright as the hosts looked to extend their lead and Kane sliced wide from another opportunity.

Dyche rang the changes in a bid to salvage something with Vokes, Steven Defour and Michael Kightly all introduced but the visitors failed to find a second.