Set Piece is Difference for Tottenham Hotspur in 0-1 Win at Burnley

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur knew the game would be tough at Burnley, and that a set piece could be the difference only today it was Spurs who scored the set piece.

While Spurs have had a hard time keeping a clean sheet this season, the defense has not been terrible; rather it has mostly been dead ball plays that have hurt Tottenham Hotspur. Whether a set piece or worse a penalty kick, most of the goals Tottenham have conceded thus far have come after a whistle. Against Burnley, it was Spurs who took advantage of a dead ball opportunity and left with all three points.

Tottenham have struggled keeping clean sheets this season, getting their first in all competitions last week against LASK in Europa League. Spurs got their second in a row and first in the Premier League with the 1-0 victory over a tough and talented Burnley side at Turf Moor. Burnley had their chances, outshooting Spurs 13 to 9 and having one more shot on target than Tottenham 4 to 3.

However, the game came down to who could leverage their opportunities best and Monday night it was Tottenham. Burnley had 11 dead ball situations overall, with seven Tottenham fouls and four corners. Tottenham had a few more at 14 on nine Burnley fouls and five corner kicks. That was 25 chances between the two teams to manufacture a scoring play rather than work it down the pitch.

Tottenham and Set Pieces

Luckily for Tottenham, it was their turn to finish one of these set pieces. Spurs have clearly been working on both end of the pitch on these situations, as they held an impeccable line on a couple different instances. Further on the offensive side we saw something today, like the Ben Davies floater to a free Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at the back post.

Unfortunately, for Spurs that first past was a bit overhit by Davies, but the intent was clear and Hojbjerg was free. It was the fifth of the five corners from Tottenham on the evening when the team finally hit paydirt. Lamela – who had substituted on for Lucas Moura near the hour mark hit the ball in and it was a bit deeper and more toward the top of the box than usual.

Given the penchant for Spurs free kick takers to hit the first man, seeing a ball go long and another played a bit deeper and higher were refreshing. In this instance Harry Kane was the first to react and he was able to hit the ball back toward the Burnley goal – but not on goal. This is where Son Heung-Min then popped up and headed that Kane pass in with authority for the 1-0 Spurs lead.

Kane did an excellent job on the play getting to the ball which seemed a bit deep and then Son reacting first to Kane’s header was just magnificent. Not exactly as it was drawn up, but likely pretty darn close and it was good enough for the point and the win.

Spurs even showed some growth defensively as who else but Harry Kane cleared a Tarkowski header off the line following a Burnley corner. On a different day the opposite results occur, but on this day it was Kane saving the day on both ends as he set up Son just five minutes after the clearance off the line, giving Spurs all three points.  Those three points take Tottenham to fifth in the table, just 2 points back of first place Everton.