Pedro’s perfect for Spurs

Brian Jeeves

Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley – Emirates FA Cup third-round – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Burnley 

Pedro Porro’s delightful second-half strike settled an otherwise uneventful Emirates FA Cup third-round tie as Tottenham progressed at the expense of dogged Burnley in N17.

Contrasting league positions meant very little to Lilywhites boss, Ange Postecoglou: “It will be a tough game. Their form has improved in the Premier League,” the Australian explained.

 “Obviously, they’re fighting hard to stay in the Premier League for next season. 

“They’ve had some good cup runs over the last couple of years and that’s the thing about any cup competition, form and what’s going on in the league becomes a separate entity, it’s about what you can do in that 90 minutes of football. 

“Every game is special, it’s a home game and we’re looking forward to it.”

Tottenham started brightly. Richarlison twice scuffed attempts after being sent clear by Oliver Skipp and Rodrigo Bentancur respectively, while Brennan Johnson forced Burnley stopper, Arijanet Muric into a flying save after curling goalwards from the angle of the area.

Burnley Skipper Josh Cullen escaped a VAR check with a booking after clattering into Giovani Lo Celso. Meanwhile, Zeki Amdouni lifted a great chance over as the visitors finally created a viable opening of their own.

Johnson volleyed wide after Richarlison had flicked on Pedro Porro’s centre. But despite their dominance, Spurs were frustratingly guilty of a pass too many, allowing decent opportunities to go to waste and Burnley to settle.

Tottenham’s Brennan Johnson tries his luck (Rob Newell CameraSport)

The game followed a similar pattern after the restart. Dejan Kulusevski’s effort zipped narrowly wide, while Johnson fired into Muric’s gloves. Cullen was off target as Burnely mounted a rare foray forward.

The home side desperately needed a spark. Muric produced a routine save to thwart Johnson. Indeed, Burnley were drawing confidence from their resolve as Tottenham became somewhat muted. 

Tottenham’s Dejan Kulusevski tries to breach the Burnley backline (Rob Newell CameraSport)

But a moment of sheer magic was to break the deadlock, largely out of context with what had gone before. Pedro Porro picked the pocket of Ameen Al-Dakhil and surged forward before sending an exquisite dipping right-footed strike beyond the stranded Muric, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Ryan Sessegon should have done better after arriving from the bench, but could only guide wide after Bryan Gil had seized on some hesitant Burnley defending. 

The unmarked Al-Dakhil missed a glorious late chance to force a replay when firing over from close range after goalkeeper Muric, sent up to bolster the attack, had nodded on Josh Brownhill’s corner. 

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Sunday, January 14, when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford (4:30pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Pedro Porro, Royal, Davies, Udogie, Skipp (Hojbjerg 77′), Bentancur (Capt) (Donley 83′), Lo Celso (Bryan 58′), Kulusevski, Richarlison (Scarlett 83′), Johnson (Sessegnon 83′) Subs not used: Forster (GK), Dorrington, Phillips, van de Ven

Booked: Bryan (foul)

Goals: Pedro Porro 78′

Burnley: Muric, Vitinho, O’Shea, Delcroix, Taylor (Al-Dakhil 68′), Zaroury (Tresor 68′), Cullen, Ramsey (Redmond 68′), Odobert (Brownhill 58′), Foster (Bruun Larsen 46′), Amdouni Subs not used: Vigouroux (GK), Cork, Roberts, Rodriguez

Booked: Cullen (foul), Tresor (foul)

Goals: None

Referee: Sam Barrott

Assistants: Neil Davies and Mark Scholes

Fourth Official: John Brooks

VAR: Darren Bond

SVAR: Christopher Kavanagh

AVAR: Stuart Burt

Attendance: 60,982


Brian Jeeves