Tottenham Hotspur 5 Burnley 0
Goals: Harry Kane (£10.9m) x2, Lucas Moura (£7.0m), Son Heung-min (£9.9m), Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m)
Assists: Alli x2, Son, Kane, Jan Vertonghen (£5.2m)
Bonus Points: Kane x3, Vertonghen x2, Son x1
Harry Kane (£10.9m) delivered two goals and his first double-digit haul in 15 matches as Spurs put Burnley to the sword.
The Tottenham captain had managed just one goal from his last four starts prior to Saturday’s fixture, but he added an assist and the maximum bonus award to his brace to hand a season-best 16 points to his 18.3% ownership in Fantasy Premier League.
Rotation issues mean Christmas is rarely the season to be jolly for Fantasy managers. Kane’s untouchable status at his club and the lack of viable alternatives up-front – five-minute wonder Troy Parrott (£4.4m) anyone? – mark him out as a festive exception.
Even he is unlikely to start all of the next five games, which begins with tough tests against Wolves and Chelsea. But if he shows further evidence that he’s finally relocated his mojo, the run of Brighton, Norwich and Southampton that follows could bring in his New Year with a bang.
Kane certainly ensured Burnley went down with a whimper at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Sean Dyche’s side managed just one attempt on target all match as Spurs overwhelmed them with pace and attacking intent from the off.
The hosts were ahead after just four minutes when Son Heung-min (£9.9m) laid off the ball to Kane and he lashed home a shot from close to 30 yards out.
That could have been the goal of the match, and yet it didn’t come close.
Lucas Moura (£7.0m) doubled the advantage five minutes later from close range, with the assist going to the in-form Dele Alli (£8.7m), somewhat fortuitously, as the ball grazed his head before reaching the Brazilian.
But the goal was essentially down to a superb jinking run by Son that carved open Burnley’s backline.
That could have been the run of the match, and yet it didn’t come close either.
Son then set up Moussa Sissoko (£4.9m), who hit the post, before being denied a tap-in when clean through with Alli, who dithered just long enough for the golden chance to go begging.
The South Korean clearly decided he wasn’t going to rely on anyone to get him a goal after that, so he did it all by himself with the run – and goal – of the match after 32 minutes.
Picking up the ball on the edge of his own area, he burst past half the Burnley team on his way into the other box before finishing with ease past the helpless Nick Pope (£4.7m).
Among Spurs players, only Kane is more popular in FPL than Son (17.2%) at present, and he’s clearly enjoying life under Jose Mourinho, with two goals and four assists in the four matches since the Portuguese coach took charge.
The South Korean has proved to be an incredibly reliable Spurs assets since Mourinho took over. Providing both goals and assists, he has averaged 9.3 points per game, while Alli has managed 9.5 per game.
Jan Vertonghen‘s (£5.2m) tackle diverted the ball to Son to earn him the assist on the wonder goal – the Fantasy equivalent of a brush merchant being given some of the credit for the Mona Lisa. Not that the Belgian’s 1.4% ownership will be complaining as it helped their man to 11 points, nearly half his total of 25 this season.
Sandwiching all of that came Burnley’s chances to make a game of it.
A Robbie Brady (£5.5m) header hit the bar and post before Davinson Sanchez (£5.3m) did well to deny Chris Wood‘s (£6.2m) header from the rebound. Jay Rodriguez (£5.7m) then had one header comfortably saved by Paulo Gazzaniga (£4.6m) and missed with another when he really should have scored.
And that was pretty much it for the visitors, who went four down nine minutes into the second half when Kane smashed in his second from inside the area. The assist came from Alli, who is another midfielder thriving under Mourinho.
More than 380,000 managers bought into him for Gameweek 16 and, despite a relatively muted display, he still produced nine points and now has three goals and as many assists from Mourinho’s four-match tenure.
Even Sissoko is proving to be an attacking threat these days and he channelled his inner Son when going on a surging run of his own, exchanging passes with his skipper and poking in his second goal in three Gameweeks.
For context, it had taken him four seasons to match that output previously, but such is life for Spurs at present under Mourinho.
In the four Gameweeks he’s been in charge, only Liverpool can match Spurs for goals (12) and the side has found a real ruthlessness, with a 24% goal conversion rate well beyond the Reds’ 20.3% total.
And, for once, Spurs kept a clean sheet as well – only their second all season. That fact didn’t escape Mourinho in his post-match analysis.
“Yes, I’m very happy with that. I told the boys at half-time that the clean sheet should be a collective ambition, not something that belongs to the goalkeeper or the centre-backs, everybody. I could give an example of Lucas (Moura), he was one of the players further from our goal but his commitment in the defensive process was very strong.”
Serge Aurier (£5.0m) is the most popular asset in the backline, with 6.1% ownership, although rotation is highly likely to bite the full-backs over Christmas, even if the Ivory Coast international has little competition at right-back currently.
Sanchez and Toby Alderweireld (£5.4m) are Mourinho’s preferred picks at centre-half and might, just might, stay that way for the rest of this year.
What is not in doubt is the vibrancy and dynamism of Spurs’ attack, with the midweek loss at Manchester United the exception, not the rule.
That suggests even those tricky fixtures against Wolves and Chelsea won’t stop the rush to bring in their offensive assets, with Son, Alli and Kane all in the top five for Gameweek 17 transfers-in at present.
But before we all get drunk on the fumes of Tottenham’s attacking spirit, remembering the quality of the opposition they demolished should sober us up a tad.
Burnley have had a wretched week, losing three straight games by an aggregate score of 11-1 and prompting Dyche to play the injury card post-match.
“We’ve had a really tough week though and we are depleted at the minute. We have as many injuries to key players as I can remember, which doesn’t help. But onwards and upwards; that’s the way it is. We’ve done it before, and we have to continue doing it.”
On first glance, Burnley’s squad is not so badly off, although stalwarts such as Ashley Barnes (£6.3m) and Ashley Westwood (£5.4m) are currently absent.
And their schedule is pleasant enough, with trips to Bournemouth and Everton and visits from Newcastle, Manchester United and Aston Villa before the FA Cup third round makes its unwelcome Fantasy appearance in early January.
But the present malaise is more than just a week old.
No side has currently conceded more goals than the 20 they’ve shipped over the last eight Gameweeks, and their decidedly underwhelming 9.2 minutes per chance average over that period means the strikers have been over-performing to score the ten goals they’ve managed – a tally that supposedly goal-shy Newcastle have reached from one game fewer.
That should keep most of their players off our Christmas lists unless Dyche – a past master at turning things around – can re-invigorate his troops pretty much immediately.
Instead, it’s Son, Alli and now Kane who are likely to provide us with some festive fun, with maybe a defender or two worth monitoring if the side can continue to embrace Mourinho’s more traditional tastes in the busy weeks ahead.
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