Burnley 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
It wasn’t pleasant on the eye, but it panned out much as Jose Mourinho had predicted.
Burnley – busy, bustling and above all, desperate to kickstart their Premier League campaign – provided a rugged, wholehearted, honest resistance. Mourinho’s Spurs were forced to dig deep and at times ride their luck. But the patient approach was to pay dividends.
Having duked it out, Tottenham sprung out. Harry Kane glanced on Erik Lamela’s flag-kick – Heung-Min Son arriving at the far post with a flying header to plunder the points.
The results moved Tottenham within touching distance of the summit. And in what is already being discussed as an unusual season, some mentioning the Lilywhites as contenders. But that verbal accolade is still currently a bridge too far for their Portuguese chief.
“I will never consider ourselves title considers,” he confessed.
I assume that every match we play doesn’t matter where or against who, we go to win. Every match I will tell the players a draw is not the result we want. Doesn’t matter where – I will take that position of let’s see what happens.
“I don’t have anything more than this to promise. But we need to keep ourselves very balanced. Today, I was speaking to Joao and Ledley about changes during the match but in the end, we need to keep the balance.
“This is the kind of match where if you risk too much you have the risk of losing it. And with the level of the attacking players we have, even not playing well and creating lots of chances, there is always the chance to score a goal, which we did. And the last fifteen minutes we managed the game very well.”
Mourinho spoke about the challenged posed by a Burnley side, well-drilled by Sean Dyche and providing reasonable evidence to suggest they won’t be in the bottom three for too long.
“This is the kind of match with all the ingredients to lose points,” he added.
“It’s a Monday night, empty stadium, cold and rainy night, an opponent that defends very well and cope very well with the attacking power of an opponent like us. It’s a kind of match with all ingredients to lose points unless you want very, very much to win.
“When you want, very much, to win matches it’s something very special. I don’t change my speech. I want the team to go to every stadium at home, away, Europa League and Premier League and go to every match to win.
“Then you lose, then you draw, but you go to win. It’s something very special. I believe it’s a change of mentality, it’s a change of philosophy.”
Spurs return to Premier League action on Sunday, November 1 when Brighton & Hove Albion are the visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (7:15pm).
Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor, Westwood (Capt), Brownhill, Gudmundsson (Rodriguez 84’), McNeil, Wood, Barnes (Vydra 89’) Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Dunne, Benson, Stephens, Brady.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Lucas (Lamela 57’), Ndombele (Lo Celso 79’), Son (Rodon 90+3′), Kane Subs not used: Hart, Reguilon, Bale, Vinicius.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett
Fourth Official: Kevin Friend
VAR: Craig Pawson
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn