Tottenham vs Burnley match report: Erik Lamela scores stunning first Premier League goal to hand Spurs all three points

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Burnley 1

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The Independent Online

Erik Lamela fired the winner to keep Tottenham within shouting distance of the top four and pile sympathy on Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who simply can’t afford to sign star-studded foreigners.

The Argentinian midfielder may have taken his time to settle at White Hart Lane but the club’s record £30m signing had this game – and a growing army of fans – in the palm of his hand.

Lamela’s sublime link-up play with Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen illustrated further that English football is increasingly identifiable by the ability to make significant worldwide signings  rather than produce plucky homegrown players.

OK, local boy Harry Kane underlined just how important youth development can be with his 14th goal in 23 games for Tottenham; but it was the pinball-like passing by his foreign team-mates going on around him that really caught the eye.

This was the sort of football  Mauricio Pochettino was brought in to mastermind and, judging from the way Burnley chased shadows for much of the afternoon, the plan is beginning to work.

Lamela settled the issue in the 35th minute with an explosive  20-yarder for his first league strike of the season after Chadli and Kane had combined.

Spurs might have expected to have run away with things after that and much credit must go to Burnley, suffering only a second loss in six league matches, for the fact that they failed to do so. The visitors had taken just six minutes to pull themselves level after Kane’s 21st-minute header had underscored Tottenham’s mesmerising opening spell.

Kane nodded in Chadli’s inch-perfect cross, having taken himself a free kick awarded against Michael Keane for an unlucky handball that the defender knew next to nothing about. Barnes then replied with a 20-yard strike into the top corner, thanking David Jones and George Boyd for the spadework.

Lamela forced a neat diving save from Tom Heaton and Eriksen somehow missed a near open-goal at the far post before the break, while Burnley marksman Danny Ings forced a couple of decent saves from Hugo Lloris, who also need to be alert to push away substitute Ross Wallace’s late free- kick to safety.

You have to hand it to Burnley, though. Having gone 10 games without a win they are making a decent fist of it in the top-flight but, when push comes to shoves, it is the likes of Lamela who really make the difference. Pochettino knows that only too well and was naturally keen to hail Lamela’s performance at the end of a week that has yielded three victories.

“Erik is very happy. We are happy, too, because he helped the team get three points. He is a big talent – it’s been difficult for him but today was great for him to build his confidence, and he will be stronger,” he said.

Dyche applauded Tottenham’s foreign legion and explained:  “Recruitment takes time for us. We have a English-British group for no other reason than the resources available to us.

“We delivered another good performance. I’m frustrated at their first goal because Keane got a little flick-on ball but I didn’t think he could get out of the way of it.”

Talking of foreigners, there is suggestion that Porto striker Jackson Martinez will arrive at Tottenham next month. But surely not to replace Kane, more likely Emmanuel Adebayor or Roberto Soldado on their current form.

Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason limped off with a twisted ankle just before the break but is not expected to be sidelined for long.

Tottenham: (4-5-1) Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Mason (Stambouli, 44), Bentaleb; Lamela, Chadli, Eriksen (Rose, 93); Kane (Soldado, 84).

Burnley: (4-4-1-1) Heaton; Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee; Boyd (Kightly, 79), Marney, Jones, Arfiel (Wallace, 79); Barnes (Jutkiewicz, 89); Ings.

Referee: Mike Jones.

Man of the match: Lamela  (Tottenham)

Match rating: 8/10

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