Tottenham Hotspur drop more Premier League points after West Brom draw
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Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Bromwich Albion 1
Tottenham Hotspur dropped more points in the Premier League with West Bromwich Albion proving stiff opposition at Wembley Stadium this afternoon and coming away with a 1-1 draw.
Gary Megson was handed the dream start in Brent, after taking over as caretaker manager following the sacking of Tony Pulis on Monday, when Salomon Rondon put the Baggies in front after four minutes.
Mauricio Pochettino finally saw his team level, thanks to Harry Kane, 16 minutes from time, but they were unable to find a winner.
It means they’ve dropped more points in the league and after recent success at their temporary home, they have again failed to break down a stubborn mid-table team like in previous games with Burnley and Swansea City.
Pochettino made two changes from the side which defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Serge Aurier dropped to the bench with Kieran Trippier replacing him while Danny Rose, like at Arsenal, wasn’t part of the squad, so Ben Davies came in.
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Other than that, it was the same as in Germany and Spurs were hoping for another win after losing at the Emirates last weekend.
For the visitors, ex-Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore started at Wembley while one-time target Jay Rodriguez was up front for the Baggies.
It didn’t take long for the opening goal to arrive under the arch, but to the surprise of most, it went to West Brom.
Dele Alli, after an impressive performance during the week, lost the ball in midfield and Rodriguez played in Rondon.
Davinson Sanchez appeared to have the situation under control, however, after running with the Baggies forward.
But after trying to outmuscle Rondon, the striker scuffed towards the bottom corner and almost in slow motion, it rolled into the net.
Spurs and the home fans were stunned in what was Tottenham 2000th home league match.
The shaky start continued with Eric Dier knocking the ball out for a throw when he was trying to find Davies.
Pochettino’s men immediately got back on the front foot and Trippier won a corner before Harry Kane had a tame header saved.
Harry Winks had an effort with quarter of an hour played after Alli had teed him up, but the Baggies were doing a good job of blunting the Spurs attack so far.
Midway through the first half and West Brom enjoyed their longest spell of possession which only added to Tottenham’s frustration.
The expected time-wasting from the visitors was getting on the nerves of the home fans, but with 25 minutes gone, the away side deserved their lead.
Kane got involved for the first time a minute later when he was fouled by Gareth Barry before seconds later he drilled wide from outside the area.
Tottenham’s manager had seen enough though, and changed formation from 5-3-2 to a 4-2-3-1 with Dier moving into midfield.
Heung-min Son had his first shot of the match in the 32nd minute when he cut inside from the left, but Foster was able to parry it wide.
From the resulting corner, Davies let fly and saw an effort deflect wide before West Brom’s time-wasting went to an extreme length.
Foster tried to kick the ball away from the ball boy behind the goal, which resulted in referee Michael Jones giving him a talking too.
Christian Eriksen was the next Spurs player to try his luck, yet he volleyed way over following another corner.
Son’s influence was growing and he was getting a lot of joy down the West Brom right with Allan-Romeo Nyom tucking inside and leaving Matt Phillips one-on-one against the South Korean.
The Tottenham number seven was at the heart of the next big moment at Wembley when he skinned Phillips, but his low cross just evaded Kane.
Trippier kept the ball alive and chipped in for Dier, but he could only head over from 12-yards when stretching for it.
Son’s involvement was over there with the attacker seeing a shot deflected over in the first minute of stoppage time, but Spurs couldn’t threaten from the resulting corner and it remained 1-0 at the break.
After finishing the first half so strongly on the left, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Son on the right-hand side at the beginning of the second period.
Spurs started with the same intensity in which they finished the first half and looked to find a way past the Baggies back four.
West Brom had the best first opportunity of the half though when Phillips was picked out on the right and he cut inside Davies, but fired just wide.
Pochettino had seen enough and responded by bringing on Fernando Llorente and Mousa Dembele with Jan Vertonghen and Winks going off.
It saw Spurs switch to a 4-4-2 with Eriksen alongside Dembele in the middle of the pitch.
Frustration was getting the better of the hosts with Dier showing his irritation at a number of decisions by Jones.
The home fans were also making their feelings known with Foster and the rest of the West Brom team taking their time over a number of actions when the ball had gone out of play.
Megson made a double change of his own in the 67th minute with Hal Robson-Kanu and James McClean entering the fray.
Spurs briefly threatened straight after when a Davies corner found Trippier at the back post, but his drilled effort into the ground just evaded Alli at the back post.
With every wasted opportunity, Tottenham edged closer to back-to-back defeats in the Premier League.
Yet, as so often is the case when they need a goal, it was their talisman who got them back on level terms with 74 played.
Alli and Trippier did well to win the ball off McClean and Alli then crossed into the area, via a deflection from Kieran Gibbs, and Kane was on hand to tap through the legs of Foster and into the net.
Spurs had their leveller and now they scented a win with Kane winning a free kick on the edge almost straight from the kick-off.
Eriksen fired the free kick into the wall, but Tottenham kept the pressure alive and Alli saw an effort blocked before West Brom cleared.
Another opportunity went the way of the England midfielder in the 80th minute, but he smashed over after Hegazi had only partially cleared Son’s cross.
Trippier then produced his best cross of the afternoon when he curled into a dangerous area, but Son and Kane, under pressure from Hegazi, could only head over.
Kane tried his luck a couple more times in the dying exchanges with time running out for Spurs to find a winner.
Son fizzed another ball across the West Brom area before five minutes of stoppage time were added on to give Tottenham hope.
But they nearly ended up with nothing when first Robson-Kanu chested and volleyed straight at Lloris before Rondon side-footed wide from close range after an excellent cross by Phillips.
The full time whistle followed moments later and for the second Saturday in succession, Spurs had dropped points in the Premier League.
Tottenham remain fourth in the table, but could drop as low as sixth once the weekend is finished and surely now the title is over for the north Londoners.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier, Dier, Sanchez, Vertonghen (Dembele 60), Davies; Eriksen, Winks (Llorente 60), Alli; Son, Kane.
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Sissoko, Foyth, Aurier, Walker-Peters.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; Field (McClean 67, Livermore, Barry (Yacob 79), Phillips; Rondon, Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 67).
Unused substitutes: Myhill, Burke, Krychowiak, McAuley.