LONDON – Tottenham came away with three points on Monday night in a frustrating away match in which it produced few clear scoring opportunities, nosing its way in front of Burnley on a second-half goal by Son Heung-min and holding on for a 1-0 win.
Jose Mourinho’s men came into their Premier League Matchday 6, behind-closed-doors contest at Turf Moor five points behind Everton and defending champion Liverpool in the standings and could ill-afford any slip-up against a club near the bottom of the table.
Even so, the Spurs’ head coach opted to leave Gareth Bale on the bench and also ended up declining to send on the star Welsh winger (on loan from Real Madrid) as a second-half substitute.
Prior to Son’s goal, Burnley had several chances to open the scoring. In the first half, Ashley Barnes had a goal ruled out for offside in the 20th minute and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had to intervene to stop a low shot by Ashley Westwood in minute 38.
In the second half, Spurs central defenders Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld dug deep to keep the game scoreless and striker Harry Kane contributed defensively by clearing away an on-target header by Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
Having warded off danger at one end of the field, Tottenham finally got on the board thanks to the prolific attacking duo of Kane and Son.
The scoring play began with a corner kick off the foot of substitute Erik Lamela; Kane headed the ball on to Son, who then powered a header past goalie Nick Pope in the 76th minute.
With the win, Tottenham is currently in fifth place with 11 points, with only the Liverpool clubs (13 points apiece) and Aston Villa and Leicester City (12 points each) ahead of it.
Burnley is now in 18th place with just one point after five games played.
In one other Premier League contest on Monday, Brighton and West Brom – two clubs near the bottom of the standings – played to a 1-1 draw at Falmer Stadium in Brighton and Hove.
The home side, which had squandered several first-half scoring chances, finally took the lead in the 40th minute on an own goal by West Brom’s Jake Livermore.
After the break, the visitor had opportunities to score on shots by Matheus Pereira and Filip Krovinovic before Karlan Grant capitalized on a fortuitous deflection in the area to notch the equalizer in the 83rd minute.
Brighton (in 16th place with five points) remains two points ahead of West Brom following Monday’s result.