English Premiership

Spurs sink Burnley to keep title hopes alive

2017-04-01 18:40
Eric Dier (Getty)

Burnley - Tottenham breathed fresh life into the Premier League title race as Eric Dier and Son Heung-Min inspired a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

With Chelsea surprisingly losing 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, Mauricio Pochettino's second placed side closed the gap to seven points on the leaders to set up an enthralling last six weeks of the season.

England international Dier opened the scoring midway through the second half and South Korea forward Son sealed the points soon after.

Spurs arrived in Lancashire trying to catch Chelsea while also stealing a march on Manchester City, who do not play until Sunday, as the race to secure Champions League qualification gathers pace and they departed with both targets still in reach.

Without star striker Harry Kane, injured in their FA Cup quarter-final win over Millwall last month, question have been asked about Tottenham's potency and urgency up front.

But Dele Alli has been in lethal form recently and so Spurs looked to him and Vincent Janssen to damage Burnley.

However, early on in this contest, Spurs had little interest in getting forward and opted to start the game with five at the back, hoping to douse any early Burnley attacks.

Fortunately for them, few were forthcoming as both sides struggled to find any momentum in the first half.

The opening period remained woeful until Spurs finally awoke close to the half hour mark as Alli squandered a glorious opportunity.

After putting Christian Eriksen through on goal down the left wing, Tom Heaton saved Eriksen's low drive but parried right into the path of Alli, who blasted over when it appeared far easier to slide the ball into the empty net.

Burnley became more direct and dangerous, although Hugo Lloris remained relatively untroubled in the Spurs goal.

Spurs were not helped by the loss of Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks - the latter stretchered from the pitch after colliding with firstly Stephen Ward and then an icebox close to the Burnley dugout.

After the restart, both sides seemed more sprightly and direct and Janssen rifled one low shot at Heaton, who did well to block that effort and the rebound which fell at the feet of Moussa Sissoko.

Soon after, Ben Davies also forced Heaton into a decent save as Spurs looked to twist the knife.

After 66 minutes, their superiority was handsomely rewarded as Dier slotted home from six yards out after react quickest to a loose ball in the area following a corner.

That goal gave Spurs the confidence and freedom to pour forward at will as they looked to put the result beyond doubt, something they managed to do with aplomb with 13 minutes remaining.

Alli, as fast and threatening as always, produced a fine ball for Son who could not miss from six yards out, slotting into an empty net as Heaton scrambled across.

A fascinating end to the Premier League season could now be in store if Spurs remain as determined and as impressive as they were here.

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Fixtures
Saturday, 19 August 2017
Swansea City v Manchester United, Liberty Stadium 13:30
Liverpool v Crystal Palace, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Brighton & Hove Albion, King Power Stadium 16:00
Southampton v West Ham United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Bromwich Albion, Turf Moor 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Watford, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Stoke City v Arsenal, Bet365 Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 20 August 2017
Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United, The John Smith's Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea, Wembley Stadium 17:00
Monday, 21 August 2017
Manchester City v Everton, Etihad Stadium 21:00
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