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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Lucas Moura’s goal seals Spurs 1-0 EFL win at Turf Moor


By Alessandro Schiavone at Turf Moor


BURNLEY 0-1

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Could Spurs do it on a cold, wet, rainy night in Burnley?

Of course, they could. And they did. Don’t be deceived into thinking that the 1-0 scoreline was testament to a tight and tense affair between the two teams. Far from it. Burnley registered their first shot on target through Ashley Barnes in the 84th minute and never really unsettled Tottenham, who were the much better side on the night and in every department.

Nuno Espirito Santos’ men put a real shift in to win this Carabao Cup tie and advance to the quarter finals, fully aware that this competition provides their best chance to end a 13-year wait for silverware. The unfashionable Europa Conference League being another one. Tonight the 2019 Champions League runners-up also registered their fifth shutout of the campaign, but only their first in almost two months.

Lucas, who replaced the injured Bryan Gil in the first half, succeeded where Harry Kane twice came up short, opening the scoring for the North Londoners with a clinical headed finish after 66 minutes. His heading isn’t among his strengths but the former PSG star must surely have picked up a thing or two from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani in his younger days at the Parc des Princes.

Before half-time, Harry Kane squandered two opportunities to break the deadlock for Tottenham

First, he failed to make the most of an immaculate through pass into space from Lo Celso, firing wide of Nick Pope’s goal.

To compound his woes, the 28-year-old unconventionally skied an acrobatic effort over the bar from close range after Lucas Moura flicked on Lo Celso’s corner towards the back post.

If only he had sanctioned the move to Manchester City for £125m in the summer, chairman Daniel Levy must secretly be thinking to himself. If only Kane and his entourage had pressed harder, pushed through a move, Levy may have raised the white flag and let him join Man City.. Whatever happens, even if Kane rediscovers his best form, the Tottenham hierarchy may never see that amount of money again for someone who turns 29 next year and whose resale value will shrink the more he misses games through injury and the more he fluffs his lines like tonight in front of goal.

If the Carabao Cup provides a perfect opportunity for fringe players to move up the pecking order, Steven Bergwijn is one of those players who did not seize it.

The Dutchman tried his best, but his best wasn’t good enough and he even missed the ball completely with the scores level in the first half. He rarely threatened Burnley’s backline and most of his shots, the ones he managed to get away, were blocked.

Tottenham did not even have to work hard to deny Sean Dyche’s any opportunities, such was their lack of fluency and inventiveness whenever they had the ball.

After failing to find the back of the net, Kane took up the mantle of provider and slipped a delightful ball through to Giovani Lo Celso but the onrushing Pope pulled off a world-class save from the Argentine’s shot.

But their pressure was finally awarded. Soaring unchallenged in the middle of the box, Lucas Moura connected well with Emerson Royal’s centre to plant a header past Pope and give Tottenham the lead their supremacy warranted.

Minutes later the Brazilian nearly got his second on the night but the excellent Pope clawed his shot away to keep Burnley in the game.

In the dying minutes, Burnley suddenly grew into the game and began to fancy their chances while fatigue set in for the visitors.

But they failed to force the game into a penalty shootout as former Atalanta Gollini made an easy save to deny Barnes six minutes from time before Erik Pieters hammered a 22-yard volley over the crossbar.


Line-ups Burnley

1 Nick Pope- 14 Connor Roberts- 22 Nathan Collins- 6 Ben Mee- 23 Erik Pieters- 7 Johann Berg Gudmundsson- 8 Josh Brownhill- 4 Jack Cork- 11 Dwight McNeil-19 Jay Rodriguez-Matej Vydra

Tottenham Hotspur

22 Pierluigi Gollini – 4 Crisitan Romero- 5 Pierre-Emile Hojberg- 6 Davinson Sanchez- 10 Harry Kane- 11 Bryan Gil- 12 Emerson Royal- 18 Giovani Lo Celso- 23 Steven Bergwijn- 29 Oliver Skipp- 33 Ben Davies



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