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A VAR check showed the ball struck McNeil on the arm in the build-up but Stockley Park deemed it a previous phase of play.
Eric Dier, at the centre of a national storm after confronting a fan in midweek, epitomised the two Tottenhams. He looked uncomfortable as a centre back in the first half but excelled in a more familiar midfield role after the tactical switch, even getting back to make a match-saving tackle on Matej Vydra.
Although Spurs was the story, it would be churlish not to mention Burnley’s contribution, particularly in a first half they dominated.
It’s not Mourinho’s way to accept blame for starting with the wrong line-up so he had a go at Ndombele’s performance for forcing a change.
Chris Wood, Jay Rodriguez and Jack Cork had all gone close by the time McNeil skinned Davinson Sanchez after 13 minutes. His cross was headed out by Dier to Rodriguez whose shot was spilled by the returning Lloris, for Wood to tap in.
After a truly awful opening 45 minutes in which Spurs trailed 1-0, Mourinho abandoned his failed experiment of 3-4-3 and made two substitutions. One of those hooked, midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, was severely criticised by his manager afterwards.
But at least they’re not going to Germany with another defeat on their record, and they remain only five points behind Chelsea in the top four.
Of course, nobody is pretending a draw at Turf Moor represents a turnaround in Mourinho’s fortunes. Spurs are five games without a win and their last chance of a trophy will disappear on Tuesday night unless they can overturn a 1-0 deficit against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.
Even if his greatest days are in the rear-view mirror, Jose Mourinho can still make the big decisions.
Erik Lamela became the first of nine players booked for a lunge on McNeil and Spurs were fortunate to reach the interval only a goal behind.
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