Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday to make it five games without a win in all competitions for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Spurs headed to Turf Moor after four straight defeats, the most recent being a penalty shoot-out loss to Norwich City in the FA Cup that was followed by Eric Dier confronting a supporter in the stands, and slipped to their worst run since November 2016.
Chris Wood put Burnley ahead in the 13th minute, though Mourinho may wonder why the goal stood when the ball clearly struck Dwight McNeil on the arm in the build-up.
Tottenham lacked ingenuity in the first half and a tactical switch from Mourinho saw them offer a greater threat after the break, but a penalty from Dele Alli – his 50th Premier League goal for club – was all they could muster.
Burnley took the lead when Hugo Lloris diverted Jay Rodriguez’s shot straight to Wood, who tucked home.
Tottenham appeared to be lacking ideas when going forward and Wood should have doubled Burnley’s advantage in the 43rd minute, but he was unable to turn James Tarkowski’s knock-down on target from inside the six-yard box.
Phil Bardsley saw an acrobatic effort sail narrowly over in stoppage time and Mourinho responded by changing to a four-man defence and sending on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for the second half.
Lo Celso made a quick impact by driving forward and releasing Lamela, who was felled by Mee in the box and Alli sent the resulting penalty into the bottom-right corner.
Burnley felt they should have had a penalty when Davinson Sanchez sent Wood to ground in the 55th minute, but referee Jon Moss saw nothing wrong with the challenge and the VAR did not intervene.
The closest Spurs got to snatching a winner came when Lo Celso bent a wonderful effort from 18 yards narrowly wide, while a good save from Lloris in the 84th minute stopped Matej Vydra consigning them to defeat.
What does it mean? Spurs’ season on the ropes
Victory would have sent Spurs up to fifth and closed the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea, who face Everton on Sunday, to just two points, but Mourinho’s men lacked the cutting edge required to get the winner. They cannot avoid too many more slip-ups and could find themselves out of the Champions League if they fail to overturn a 1-0 deficit against RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday.
Spurs were without ideas in the opening period but the introduction of Lo Celso quickly changed that. He provided greater urgency and dynamism in the middle of the park than Oliver Skipp and Tanguy Ndombele did during their 45-minute stints.
Colombia international Sanchez struggled with the physicality of Wood and was fortunate not to concede a penalty in the second half. He was also too careless in possession, with Alli the only outfield starter for Spurs to have a worse passing accuracy.
Key Opta facts
– This was the 100th league meeting between Burnley and Spurs and produced the 25th draw in the rivalry, with Spurs having won 39 matches to Burnley’s 36.
– Only Liverpool (48) and Manchester City (32) have earned more points than Spurs since Mourinho’s first game in charge in November (27 points – tied with Wolves).
– Burnley failed to win a Premier League game at Turf Moor after scoring the opening goal for the first time since December 2018 when they lost 3-1 to Liverpool. They had won 11 games in a row from such a position.
– There were nine yellow cards in this match – the joint-most in a single Premier League game this season, matching Arsenal v Chelsea in December.
– Alli became the seventh player to reach 50 Premier League goals for Spurs – only Harry Kane (23 years 44 days) reached the milestone for the club at a younger age than Alli (23 years 331 days).
– Wood has netted 11 league goals this season, making it his best top-flight campaign. Wood is the third Burnley player to net more than 10 times in a Premier League campaign after Ashley Barnes last season (12) and Danny Ings in 2014-15 (11).
Following their trip to Leizpig, Tottenham will be back in Premier League action against fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester United next Sunday. Burnley, two points behind Spurs, visit Manchester City next Saturday.