Tottenham Hotspur had a golden opportunity to claw back some points on Premier League leaders Manchester City but suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor against Burnley which raises more questions about their capability of ending a 58-year title wait.

The result, which ends Spurs’ four-match winning streak in the league, keeps them five points behind City and Liverpool having played a game more. For the hosts, who can thank forwards Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes scoring either side of a returning Harry Kane, it was a welcome victory in their quest to maintain top-flight status.

But there’s no getting away from the big news: Spurs stumbling at the beginning of a run of games that sees them play London rivals Chelsea (away) and Arsenal (home) before entertaining Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. City and Liverpool, their fellow title rivals, will no doubt be smiling. Here are five things we learned.

1. Tottenham feeling the pressure once more

Spurs, for all their progress under Mauricio Pochettino, are still yet to have their glass-breaking moment. It seems whenever the going gets tough, and all eyes are on them, these kinds of results happen.

In the past, Tottenham fans have been mocked for the club pushing title rivals before falling towards the end of the season without putting on a serious challenge of their own, most notably in 2016 and 2017.

A recent example of Tottenham buckling under pressure was their capitulation at home against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Yes, in three of their previous four league outings they left it very late, but that was never going to be sustainable. It’s not over yet, but can you now seriously back them to pip City and Liverpool?

2. Burnley end one streak to keep another going

On the flipside this was a mega win for Burnley who are not yet safe from relegation. A poor start left them in this predicament but fair play to Sean Dyche’s men who are putting up a serious fight: they have now won five of their last eight league matches with the other three ending in draws.

Only five teams in Europe’s top five leagues have a better active unbeaten run than Burnley’s eight, including Serie A leaders Juventus and La Liga table toppers Barcelona.

Also, to put this win in some context, this was their first over a ‘big six’ opponent since their incredible 2-0 win over Liverpool in August 2016, when they famously had less than 20% possession, which ends a 14-match winless run against English football’s best.

3. Harry Kane’s return provides a positive

Once the disappointment of this result evaporates Spurs can start to pick out some positives. Harry Kane hitting the ground running, following a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a serious ankle injury, has to be right up there.

Of course, it would have been sweeter if it was a winning return, but sometimes you gotta take what you got. The 25-year-old English striker has always come back stronger and with some big objectives remaining – notably going as far in the Champions League – Pochettino can be pleased his leading man is back even if this defeat will take a while to wash off.

4. VAR can’t come soon enough

Referees need help. No one denies that. So, the introduction of VAR (video assistant referee) has, in some quarters, been seen as a godsend. Already a number of European league have installed the technology with the Premier League becoming the latest from next season. But for many it might be a campaign too late.

Pochettino would most likely be in that camp after the corner that led to Burnley’s opener, courtesy of New Zealand centre-forward Chris Wood, wasn’t a corner at all. Of course, that doesn’t excuse Spurs’ lack of defending from that set-piece. Burnley themselves also felt aggrieved when it seemed Danny Rose took a few extra-long strides in his throw-in that lead to Kane’s equaliser.

5. Barnes is on a roll

It’s well known having a consistent goalscorer is the difference between survival and not. Burnley have that now in Ashley Barnes, who hasn’t always been prolific this season, but is coming good at the right time.

Watched on by the Austrian national team boss, Franco Foda, the Bath-born marksman – who is eligible to represent the central European nation – bagged his eighth goal of the season and fourth on the bounce. If Dyche’s men are to stay up, which they are seemingly on the road to doing so, then Barnes would no doubt have played an instrumental role.

And it’s not just Barnes. His strike partner Chris Wood has been equally prolific, scoring three goals in his past two games. In fact, the pair have been responsibly for Burnley’s last eight goals in the Premier League keeping Peter Crouch out of the team.

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