Lo Celso rescues Spurs from the bench with 8/10 performance to salvage draw at Burnley
Tottenham’s tussle for European football suffered another setback as Jose Mourinho’s men were held to 1-1 Premier League draw by a battling Burnley side at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Spurs started with a buzz as they came close to crafting an opening inside 60 seconds, but it was Burnley who soon went in front after Eric Dier’s weak clearance fell kindly for Jay Rodriguez, and when Hugo Lloris failed to hold on to his effort, Chris Wood was on hand to tuck home and ensure the hosts led at the break.
To their credit, the visitors were much better after the restart, and Dele Alli calmly put Spurs back on terms from the penalty spot after Ben Mee tripped Erik Lamela. That set up an intriguing final 40 minutes as both sides chased a dramatic winner, but it ended a point a piece.
Spurs were much better in all areas after the break and delivered the response Mourinho will have been looking for to level the score within five minutes of the restart. Giovani Lo Celso in particular gave Burnley plenty to think about with a series of attacking bursts into dangerous territory as Tottenham at least avoided a third successive defeat in the league.
Injury problems aside, Tottenham just weren’t good enough before the break and found themselves out-thought, outfought and out of the European spots at the end of an opening 45 minutes that will not live long in the memory, while defensive frailties remained for all to see throughout the 90 minutes as Spurs missed the chance to go fifth.
Manager rating out of 10
6 — It was a game of two halves for the Tottenham boss, who got it tactically wrong in the first half but rectified things at the interval with a reshuffle that saw Alli and Dier move back into midfield with the introduction of Lo Celso proving key as Spurs fought back.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 5 — The France keeper horribly spilled Rodriguez’s strike right at the feet of Wood, who gratefully stabbed home the opener. But he was much more assured thereafter, denying both Dwight McNeil and Wood with a series of routine stops before keeping out Matej Vydra with a fine last-gasp save from close range.
DF Japhet Tanganga, 5 — Given a torrid time on the right by the lively McNeill, but was unlucky not to win his side a free kick in the build-up to the Burnley goal after his block from McNeill’s cross cannoned back off the Burnley man’s arm. Better in the second half, but still far from convincing.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 5 — Like Tanganga, he struggled to contain McNeil early on, allowing the Burnley man to hit the byline and find a cross all too easily. The Colombia international looked far from settled at times and got away with a calamitous challenge on Wood in the second half that had three sides of Turf Moor screaming for a spot kick.
DF Eric Dier, 5 — Started in preferred territory at the heart of a back three, but his tough week got even worse when his poor headed clearance led to the Burnley opener. He found himself back in midfield after the break and improved significantly, including a superb last-ditch challenge to thwart Vydra when a goal seemed inevitable.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 5 — This wasn’t Tottenham’s best defensive day all around, but a lack of fight in the first half was summarised by Alderweireld’s decision to stop playing after suffering a knock, which almost allowed Wood to double Burnley’s advantage. Not at his best in the second either and he was almost punished by Vydra late on when the striker brushed aside the Belgian’s challenge.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 5 — The defender was less exposed than fellow full-back Tanganga as Burnley opted to build their attacks down the left early on, but made two important first-half interventions to keep his side in the contest, including a vital clearance after Dier naively let the ball bounce in his own area. He was fortunate to escape a spell of penalty area pinball late on as Vydra fired straight at Lloris.
MF Oliver Skipp, 5 — You suspect the teenager had mixed emotions as he made his first first league appearance of 2020, considering the extent of Spurs injury list. He didn’t really grasp the opportunity in truth as his side failed to secure a decent foothold and he was withdrawn at half-time.
MF Tanguy Ndombele, 6 — Contributed next to nothing in a woeful first-half performance from the visitors and found himself hauled off by a less-than-happy Mourinho at the interval, along with his midfielder partner Skipp.
MF Erik Lamela, 6 — Picked up a needless booking for a late challenge on McNeill as frustrations bubbled over, but he did test Nick Pope for the first time on the half-hour mark with a stinging drive from 20 yards. In fairness, the Argentine offered his side a route back into the game when he found space in the box on the right and intelligently tumbled over Mee’s desperate challenge.
MF Steven Bergwijn, 6 — Poor in the first half, but linked up nicely with Lucas Moura to allow Alli a sight of goal after the break. Bundled over by Jeff Hendrick, which saw the Burnley man booked, before Bergwijn saw yellow himself late on for a foul on Ashley Westwood.
FW Dele Alli, 6 — Struggled to create anything of note in a poor first half spent out of his preferred position, but he improved tenfold in more familiar territory after the break and dragged Spurs back on terms shortly after the restart with an excellent, composed penalty into the bottom-right corner. Came close to a second with a deflected strike into the side netting.
DF Serge Aurier, N/R — Replaced Lamela in the 79th minute and added yet more pace to the Spurs attack, but his searching cross from the right was overhit with Alli lurking in the box.
MF Giovani Lo Celso, 8 — Brought on at the interval and injected some vital energy and intensity into Tottenham’s game to put his side on the front foot. He made an immediate impact too, picking out Lamela who won the penalty that allowed Alli to level the score.
FW Lucas Moura, 6 — Introduced at half-time with Spurs lacking a focal point up top. His introduction, coupled with a reshuffle in formation, helped the visitors to move up a gear and he was unlucky not to pick out a teammate with a low delivery that flashed across the face of goal.