Burnley 0, Tottenham Hotspur 3

The FA's backbone will be tested once again after England international Dele Alli won the controversial penalty that sent Spurs on their way to victory at Turf Moor.

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 7:25 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 7:40 pm
Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez battles with Scott Arfield

Replays posed questions of the 21-year-old's actions once referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot in the sixth minute with the midfielder seemingly going to ground under minimal contact from Kevin Long.

The incident will put pressure on the game's governing body to act in their bid to clean up the growing culture of simulation.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche had called on the Football Association to take a firmer stance on imposing retrospective bans to players following Aaron Ramsey's success in winning Arsenal a decisive penalty that earned the Gunners maximum points last month.

Addressing the necessity to clamp down, Dyche had said: "I hope retrospective bans are handed out all over the place.

"For me they should be all over the place and all over the pitch. If you're going to do it right and clean it up then clean it up. Don't make it nearly impossible.

“I think they could be a bit more stringent on the rule personally.

“I just think it needs sorting out all over the pitch. Nobody wants to see it. It's not fair on referees. Let them ref properly on what they see.

"They're having to give decisions on people going over because there's so many going over. “It's going to be interesting to see how it moves forward. For me, the moralistic view is 'tidy it all up'."

Alli's behaviour, in front of Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, was similarly animated as he acrobatically tumbled to the turf, though the former MK Dons man could consider himself lucky to still be on the pitch.

The midfielder, who was fortunate to survive a dismissal following a reckless challenge on Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne at the Etihad, was over-exuberant in closing down Charlie Taylor and went in late on the full back. Oliver's decision was to show a yellow card.

As it was, it was left to Harry Kane to add insult to injury. The striker converted with pace and precision, side-footing the ball to his right hand side while sending goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way in the process.

The visitors, who were held to a 1-1 draw by the Clarets at Wembley earlier in the season, had opportunities to extend their lead after the dubious opener had put them on the front foot.

Heung-Min Son's right-footed daisy-cutter from outside the penalty area was easily dealt with by Pope though the Burnley stopper breathed a huge sigh of relief when Kane's effort moments later crawled wide of the upright.

The 23-goal forward beat Pope to the loose ball once Ben Mee had taken the sting out of Alli's attempt but, having worked the angle to shoot, he slipped the ball the wrong side of the post.

The Clarets were always going to have to err on the side of caution when looking for an equaliser against a Spurs side that had scored three times against Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in the Champions League and netted four times against Liverpool in the Premier League.

But, having committed men forward for a corner, they were almost undone when a couple of passes - one from Christian Eriksen and another from Alli, sent Moussa Sissoko clear.

The Frenchman had two bites of the cherry, but failed with both, when Pope saved with his legs on both occasions before the Clarets cleared their lines.

Burnley applied the pressure in the latter stages of the half but were dealt further agony when record signing Chris Wood limped off following a collision with Hugo Lloris.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were one of the pick of the opponents at Turf Moor last season and they were just as impressive this time around.

While many have struggled to craft clear cut opening against Burnley on their own patch, Spurs had numerous sightings of goal.

Pope denied Kane at his near post when the striker, who played alongside Wood during a loan spell at Leicester City, connected with Eriksen's cross.

Son should have done better 10 minutes in to the second half when Serge Aurier unselfishly squared the ball in to his path but the South Korean, with just Pope to beat, blazed over the crossbar.

Burnley rarely concede shots from inside the box but the visitors were certainly getting their fill. The outstretched boot of Mee denied Kane as he looked to pick out the far corner but the forward, shortlisted for the 2017 Ballon d'Or, wouldn't be denied again.

He made it 2-0 in the 68th minute when squeezing between Long and Taylor to slide the ball past Pope from Sissoko's pass and then added a third with 12 minutes remaining.

Kane initially stole possession from Johann Berg Gudmundsson before, having taken the ball back off Alli, slotting confidently in to the corner.

The home side did have the ball in the net late on but substitute Sam Vokes was adjudged to have impeded Lloris when challenging for Ashley Barnes's cross.