Craig Dawson scores at both ends as West Brom grab a draw to scupper Tottenham’s title bid
West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson scored at both ends as the Baggies grabbed a 1-1 draw away against Tottenham and dealt a hammer blow to their hosts’ Premier League title bid.
Dawson bundled the ball into his own net to give the Lilywhites a deserved first-half lead at White Hart Lane - but he went on to level the scores, heading home from a corner 17 minutes from time.
It looks like the death knell for Tottenham’s title challenge, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side lying seven points behind leaders Leicester City and only three games left – and the north London outfit may also lose Dele Alli to suspension.
The 20-year-old appeared to punch Claudio Yacob during the first half and, although referee Mike Jones did not see the incident, Alli – who was named the PFA Players’ Young Player of the Year on Sunday evening – could be banned retrospectively.
Pochettino named the same side that had thumped Manchester United 3-0 and Stoke City 4-0 in the previous two outings, and the hosts made a strong start.
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Baggies goalkeeper Boaz Myhill got down to save Christian Eriksen’s free kick and then reacted brilliantly to palm Harry Kane’s close-range shot onto the post after the England striker had played a neat one-two with Alli to get through on goal.
Eriksen also hit the woodwork with another free kick, clipping the top of the crossbar with a powerful effort in the 12th minute – and Kane then forced a low stop from Myhill with a 20-yard strike.
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West Brom got a brief glimpse of goal just before the half-hour mark as Craig Gardner hit a first-time shot well over the bar, but Tottenham got their deserved breakthrough in the 33rd minute.
Eriksen’s free kick landed inside the six-yard box and as, Jan Vertonghen and Craig Dawson threw themselves at the ball, it hit the Albion man on the back and rolled past Myhill.
The first 10 minutes of the second half were fairly even and some nerves began to spread around the Lane, but the Lilywhites were very close to doubling their lead shortly before the hour-mark.
Eriksen was released down the left flank after some fine one-touch football and, when he delivered a low cross, Erik Lamela hit the post while Kane was challenged as he attempted to reach the rebound.
But Albion reminded their hosts that they were still firmly in the game, with Salomon Rondon headed narrowly wide of the near post from Gardner’s cross – and, although Eriksen and Mousa Dembele both sent efforts wide of goal, the visitors levelled in the 73rd minute.
Hugo Lloris made a superb reaction save to touch Rondon’s powerful drive over the bar but, when the corner came into the box, the Tottenham goalkeeper rushed off his line and attempted to punch clear, only to get nowhere near the ball and allow Dawson to head home.
Tottenham had overcome many mental challenges during their title run-in but they were unable to respond to the setback. They look panicked in the final stages and
it was Albion who created the better chances in the following 10 minutes as Stephane Sessegnon twice fired wide of the near post.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier (Mason 75), Dembele, Lamela, Alli (Chadli 89), Eriksen, Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs