Burnley 1-0 Tottenham: Mee header dents Spurs' top-four hopes
Tottenham missed the chance to close the gap on the Premier League’s top four after they were beaten 1-0 by relegation-threatened Burnley.
Ben Mee headed the only goal 19 minutes from time at Turf Moor to boost the hosts' survival hopes, moving them to within two points of safety.
For Spurs, it was a case of being brought back down to earth with a bump following Saturday's thrilling 3-2 win over champions Manchester City.
Antonio Conte's side remain eighth and seven points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, but still with two games in hand on the Red Devils.
Burnley had only won one of their 12 previous Premier League meetings with Tottenham; a 2-1 success here in February 2019.
Sean Dyche's side went close to breaking the deadlock when Josh Brownhill tested Hugo Lloris from the edge of the penalty area after 14 minutes.
Despite enjoying the greater share of possession, Spurs could only register two off-target shots during the first half, while having another blocked. Cristian Romero dragged an effort wide from inside the box, while Emerson wildly blazed over from distance.
The visitors cranked up the pressure after the break. Harry Kane's header rattled the crossbar from an inviting Son Heung-Min cross, while Nick Pope reacted quickly to deny Ben Davies from close range.
Dejan Kulusevski then curled just wide after Lloris did brilliantly to keep out Jay Rodriguez's header at the other end.
But the France international was helpless as Burnley snatched all three points in the 71st minute, with Mee ghosting in at the far post to nod home Brownhill's free-kick.
Rodriguez somehow shot over from inside the six-yard box later on, while Pope held the onto Steven Bergwijn’s effort as the hosts saw out a vital win.
What does it mean? Safety within reach for Burnley
Dyche's side claimed only their second home Premier League win of the season, four months after defeating Brentford at Turf Moor.
After Saturday's success at Brighton and Hove Albion, the Clarets have claimed back-to-back victories in the English top flight for the first time since January 2021.
Meanwhile, Tottenham failed to build on that morale-boosting win at City, drawing a blank in this fixture for only the second time in 15 meetings.
An unlikely hero
Match-winner Mee scored only his third Premier League goal of the campaign – and first since the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace on November 20.
A constant threat at set-pieces, the centre-half recorded a joint game-high tally of four shots on goal – shared with Brownhill – while no player gained possession more times than him (seven, along with Erik Pieters and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg).
Kane unable to build on momentum
The England captain had been directly involved in at least one goal in each of his last six Premier League appearances against Burnley – scoring seven and assisting three – but was unable to add to that here.
Despite registering three shots on goal, none of them were on target, while his tally of just 19 successful passes was the lowest recorded by any Tottenham starting player.
Key Opta Facts
- Burnley have won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since January 2021. The Clarets had won just one of their last 24 league games before this run.
- Tottenham suffered just their third Premier League defeat in 15 meetings with Burnley. All three have come at Turf Moor, and all with a different manager in the dugout (Harry Redknapp, Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte).
- Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has lost four of his last five Premier League games, as many as he had in his previous 21 games in the competition with Chelsea and Spurs combined.
- Burnley's Ben Mee scored his third Premier League goal of the season – his best return in a single campaign in the competition. Indeed, only Maxwel Cornet (6) has more for the Clarets this season than Mee.
After suffering a second defeat in three Premier League away games, Tottenham will look to respond on Saturday when they head to Elland Road to face Leeds United.