Gareth Bale was the star of the show as Tottenham Hotspur blew Burnley away with a ruthless and comprehensive 4-0 win in North London.
Tottenham got off to a rapid start against the often hard-to-break-down Clarets, Heung Min Son sliding a ball between the Burnley defenders with Bale tapping home from close range after just 68 seconds.
After 14 minutes and Spurs were two up, this time, Bale turning provider as the Welshman picked out Harry Kane with a superb raking pass from inside his own half. The England captain scampered down the left, took a touch to set himself, before lashing it into the back of the net, the ball taking a big deflection to leave Nick Pope helpless.
Spurs remained a constant threat, with Bale, Son and Kane all looking dangerous, and just after the half-hour mark, they further extended their lead through Lucas Moura. Sergio Reguilon put in a cross in from the left, James Tarkowski’s tame header landing at the feet of the Brazilian who smashed the ball past Pope.
Jose Mourinho’s side extended their lead 10 minutes after the interval, some woeful defending from Burnley leaving Gareth Bale with the freedom of North London down the right. Son switched the play to the on-loan winger who advanced into the box before curling the ball into the side netting beyond Pope to round off his best display since returning to the Premier League.
5 – Spurs registered their biggest Premier League win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium since December 2019, which was also a game against Burnley, a 5-0 victory. Rewind. pic.twitter.com/70eT2vWoym
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 28, 2021
The result leaves Spurs in eighth in the table, though they are now just six points behind fourth-placed West Ham following their defeat on Saturday, and Jose Mourinho was pleased with his side’s ‘clinical’ performance.
“We needed three points for the table, for the players to have a smile,” he told Sky Sports. “That is the most important thing. We needed a good victory in the Premier League.
“We were quite clinical, it is very good to start the game and first chance to score, third chance score second goal and a half-time to be winning 3-0. That is important for a team thats not playing especially well, losing matches.
“Normally we start and first mistake we concede a goal, today things went in a different direction. Burnley fight until the end and that kept us on our toes, I don’t remember Hugo Lloris making a great save and we were in control from the beginning.
“We need points, I believe lately in the Premier League we have had periods playing well and of course we need points. Today we got them in quite a solid way, we need that. Lots of matches to play in March, lots of difficult ones, plus Europa League. It is good to have players back.”
Gareth Bale’s return to Spurs has not been as successful as many would have hoped, but while he ended the game with two goals and an assist, Mourinho said he was more impressed with the forward’s all-round play and influence on the side.
Gareth Bale’s game by numbers vs. Burnley:
70 minutes played
100% aerial duels won
4 touches in opp. box
2 shots on target
Bale is back. pic.twitter.com/1kUGgu0DIo
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 28, 2021
“I am very happy for him, very happy for the team because the team needs his talent. I am very happy for him because he is quiet, doesn’t speak to you, watches, reads, listens or probably not, because he is from Real Madrid, probably ignores it a little bit.
“I am happy because when his condition is good he can do things like today – his game was very good, not just scoring, changing speeds, going inside. I am very happy for him.”
Next up for Spurs is a short trip to West London to take on a Fulham side who are unbeaten in their last five games as they bid to beat the drop.