Harry Kane and Son Heung-min were again Tottenham’s talismen in a 3-0 win over Leeds to kickstart their title challenge on Saturday but a third Premier League game this week was postponed due to coronavirus outbreaks.
Burnley’s clash with Fulham, scheduled for Sunday, was called off due to a number of positive cases among the Fulham squad.
Fulham’s trip to Tottenham was also postponed just hours before kick-off on Wednesday, to the frustration of Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.
But even as his side ended a four-game winless run with a return to form against Leeds, Mourinho also lambasted three of his players for breaking coronavirus restrictions.
Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Sergio Reguilon were pictured attending a large party with family and friends over Christmas along with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.
“We are extremely disappointed and strongly condemn this image showing some of our players with family and friends together at Christmas, particularly as we know the sacrifices everybody around the country made to stay safe over the festive period,” a Tottenham statement said. “The matter will be dealt with internally.”
The latest breach by players will do little to ease the pressure on the Premier League to halt the season as a “circuit-breaking” measure to cope with the soaring infection rates across England.
Despite the latest postponement, the Premier League again insisted there were no plans for a pause.
“With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the Government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled,” the league said in a statement.
– ‘Telepathic’ Tottenham duo –
On the field, Kane and Son ended two games without a goal to move Tottenham up to third and within four points of leaders Liverpool and Manchester United.
Kane opened the scoring from the penalty spot before turning provider for Son to slot home his 100th goal for the club.
It was the 13th time Kane and Son had combined for a goal this term, equalling the Premier League record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn in 1994-95.
“He knew I was there. Sometimes it is telepathic,” said Son
“To score 100 goals with one team is a big thing. I’m very proud. It’s a good way to start the new year.”
The South Korean then also got an assist early in the second-half when his corner was headed home by Toby Alderweireld.
At the other end of the table, Sheffield United remain without a win all season as they crept ever closer to a return to the Championship with a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
Jeffrey Schlupp opened the scoring after just four minutes before he was forced off with an injury and made way for Eberechi Eze.
The England under-21 international then ran from deep inside his own half past a couple of weak challenges before slotting into the far corner in first-half stoppage time.
A first win in six games eased the Eagles’ woes and moved them up to 12th.
The Blades, meanwhile, remain on just two points from 17 games, 11 adrift of safety.