Kane spot-kick ramps up pressure on Gunners

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Burnley

Harry Kane’s penalty eight minutes into first-half stoppage time edged Tottenham Hotspur past a stubborn Burnley side, into the Premier League’s top four and ramping up the pressure on North London rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners must now take all three points against Newcastle United on Monday night to redress the balance in the race for Champions League football. But in the meantime, Spurs have done all that they can in a contest that, rather expectedly, was nervy and far from a classic.

Tottenham enjoyed plenty of the ball and almost all of the genuine opportunities. Burnley stopper, Nick Pope saved from Kane and Ben Davies, while the former was a whisker away with another attempt as the Lilywhites dominated.

However, the visitors dug deep, frustrating the home side until the last knockings of the opening period. Referee, Kevin Friend was invited to take a second glance after Ken’s header had brushed off Ashley Barnes. The England skipper remained ice-cool to fire home the resulting spot-kick and ultimately claimed all three points.

A nervy second half saw Kevin Long nod just wide, while Barnes hit an upright with a thumping strike from distance. But Tottenham were not to be denied, following up Thursday’s derby success over their nearest and dearest with another sizable three points.

Burnley came here to play a defensive game, well-organised, no spaces for us,” Spurs boss, Antonio Conte explained.

“Despite this, I have seen the maturity of my team today. I’m delighted to see the improvement of these players. Maybe, three months ago, in this type of game, we’d risk losing. Instead, our heads were cold, and we faced the game in the right way.

“For sure, if we scored one more goal, we’d be more relaxed in the last ten, fifteen minutes, and we had chances to improve the final result, but the most important thing was to keep the clean sheet, to get the three points and to finish in this way.

“Until the end, we are in this race, and that’s a big achievement. I have to thank the players because they showed me from the first day great commitment, great attitude, great behaviour and they decided to improve and become strong.”

Tottenham Hotspur concludes their Premier League campaign on Sunday, May 22 when they face Norwich City at Carrow Road (4pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (capt), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Royal (Rodon 90′), Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon, Lucas (Kulusevski 79′), Son, Kane Subs not used: Gollini (GK), Austin, Craig, White, Winks, Bergwijn, Scarlett

Burnley: Pope, Roberts, Collins, Long, Lowton (Lennon 78′), Taylor, Brownhill, Cork (Capt), McNeil, Barnes (Weghorst 78′), Cornet Subs not used: Hennessey (GK), Bardsley, Thomas, Dodgson, Mancini, Costelloe, McGlynn

Referee: Kevin Friend

Assistants: Simon Beck and Adrian Holmes

Fourth Official: Simon Hooper

VAR: Stuart Attwell

Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes

Attendance: 61,729

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]