Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Burnley
Gareth Bale scored twice as Spurs made a welcome return to form, sweeping Burnley aside by four unanswered goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Impressive cameo performances against West Ham and Wolfsberger ensured Mourinho was unable to ignore the Welshman and handed him only his third Premier League start since returning to North London.
And Bale couldn’t have made a better start, arriving to meet Heung-Min Son’s low centre and guide beyond the stranded Nick Pope with the first action of the contest.
Having landed an early big punch, Spurs went looking for the kill. Harry Kane was a whisker away – sending a right-footed attempt the wrong side of an upright, while Pope blocked from Lucas Moura after Son had fashioned an opening from the right.
But a second goal was coming and it duly arrived on the quarter of an hour mark. Kane’s effort deflected off James Tarkowski – Pope was left stranded as the ball fizzed into the net.
It was three just after the half-hour. Sergio Reguilon crossed from the left – Lucas Moura supplying a controlled, crisp finish to all but seal the contest inside it’s opening third.
Jay Rodriguez tested Hugo Lloris on the cusp of the interval. But on their return, Spurs – and Bale – continued the rout.
This time, the returning hero fired low, with pace and power to beat Pope. It had all been too easy.
Pope produced a brilliant one-handed save to keep out Kane’s sweeping strike, and then flung himself to his right to claw away Son’s goalbound attempt. Soon after, Son sent another effort into the stands as the traffic remained distinctly one-way.
Spurs move up to eighth place as a result of the win, although whether they kick on from here remains to be seen. I’d suspect the N17 faithful will require a little more evidence before getting overly excited.
Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Thursday, March 4 when they take on Fulham at Craven Cottage (6pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Sergio Reguilon, Toby Alderweireld, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Davinson Sanchez, Heung-Min Son, Gareth Bale (Erik Lamela 71’), Harry Kane, Serge Aurier (Matt Doherty 81’), Lucas Moura (Dele Alli 66’) Tanguy Ndombele Subs not used: Joe Hart (GK), Harry Winks, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Ben Davies, Carlos Vinicius
Goals: Gareth Bale 2’, 55’, Harry Kane 15’, Lucas Moura 31’
Burnley: Nick Pope, Matthew Lowton, Charlie Taylor, Jack Cork (Dale Stephens 81’), James Tarkowski, Ben Mee (Capt), Josh Brownhill, Dwight McNeil, Ashley Westwood, Jay Rodriguez (Lewis Richardson 88’), Matej Vydra (Chris Wood 73’) Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell (GK), Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Jimmy Dunne, Josh Benson, Anthony Driscoll-Glennon
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Simon Beck and Adrian Holmes
Fourth Official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Martin Atkinson
Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday