Kane 7/10 on return as Spurs slip up at Burnley
Mauricio Pochettino's fears were realised as his Tottenham side suffered a 2-1 defeat at Burnley, missing the chance to move within two points of the Premier League leaders.
Pochettino had warned his side of the potential for a costly slip-up against a Burnley team who were unbeaten in their previous seven league matches, urging his players to treat Saturday's match as a "decisive" day in the title race.
But, despite his cautions, Chris Wood headed the hosts into a second-half lead from a corner. And, although Harry Kane equalised soon after on his return from injury, Ashley Barnes struck an 83rd-minute winner.
Kane looked fairly bright after his lay-off. On a day when chances were difficult to come by, he worried Tom Heaton a couple of times before finding the net in typically clinical style. With Spurs now preparing to face Chelsea and Arsenal in the next week, it was encouraging to see the 25-year-old picking up right where he left off in January with another goal.
Pochettino knew this was going to be an acid test of his team's title credentials and they blew it. They may not get another opportunity to get so close to the top two. There were too many below-par performances and Spurs continue to have a problem at right-back. Neither Kieran Trippier nor Serge Aurier is reliable defensively, while young Kyle Walker-Peters has made costly errors this season too, against Barcelona and Crystal Palace.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- While Pochettino could hardly have done more to motivate his side and ensure they did not take the game lightly, his decision to pick Juan Foyth over Davinson Sanchez against such a physical front line looked questionable, especially when Wood beat the young Argentine in the air to score the opener. Pochettino's substitutions also had little impact.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 6 -- Couldn't do much about the close-range goals, while he denied Dwight McNeil with his legs in the second half. But his passing was unconvincing.
DF Juan Foyth, 5 -- Preferred to Sanchez, the 21-year-old was beaten a couple of times on the right side in the first half and then lost out to Wood in the air for the opening goal. He carried the ball out and passed forward confidently but was substituted 14 minutes from time.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 -- Did well to block an Ashley Barnes shot in the second half but the ball dropped over him for Wood's goal and he was unable to stop the cross that set up Barnes's winner.
DF Jan Vertonghen, 6 -- Looked unlucky to have the corner awarded against him just before Burnley's opener, but Barnes stole in behind him to score the winner.
WB Serge Aurier, 4 -- Offered little offensively in his role as a wing-back and made a real mess of his attempted clearance when Burnley scored their winner, sending the ball looping into a central area just outside his own box.
WB Danny Rose, 8 -- Didn't deserve this defeat at all. He got into good attacking areas throughout, having a couple of shots blocked, and his quick thinking produced the equaliser as he freed Kane with a throw-in behind Burnley's defence.
MF Harry Winks, 6 -- Passed the ball quickly but safely to limit Burnley's opportunities to counter-attack. The 23-year-old was sacrificed when Fernando Llorente was introduced around the hour-mark.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 5 -- Offered physicality against an aggressive Burnley side and found Kane with a first-half cross, but his lack of technical quality slowed down passing moves.
MF Christian Eriksen, 5 -- Freed Kane with a ball over the top and had a couple of shots blocked or saved but couldn't conjure up a goal, and he was beaten far too easily on the edge of his own box when Burnley got their winner.
FW Son Heung-Min, 5 -- Briefly got behind Burnley with a run to the byline in the first half but was otherwise anonymous.
FW Harry Kane, 7 -- Went close with an early shot and tested Tom Heaton with a vicious 30-yard strike before coolly scoring the equaliser.
FW Fernando Llorente, 6 -- Replaced Winks half an hour from the end but made little impact.
MF Erik Lamela, NS -- Had a good chance to level in added-time but his header from Rose's cross lacked power.
MF Lucas Moura, NS -- Entered the fray in the 88th minute but couldn't find a leveller.