Match Report: West Brom vs Spurs
Spurs lost out in the depths of extra-time as Baggies kept their slender hopes of Premier League survival alive. Spurs seemed frustrated all game as they failed to break down the defensive Albion play. With Chelsea’s victory over Liverpool on Sunday, the gap between Chelsea and Spurs stands at just two points.
As expected, Spurs took the majority of possession in this clash (73.8%) and would be playing a Baggies team that only really look to attack on the counter. It was this apprehension that may have compelled Pochettino to have switched from his usual 4-2-3-1 formation to bring in Alderweireld and play three at the back.
Victor Wanyama had the first real Spurs chance in the 23rd minute after an opening period when the Lilywhites dominated possession. He curled a shot to the top right-hand corner which was athletically batted away by Ben Foster. Six minutes later, England and Spurs frontman Harry Kane was set up nicely by Kieran Trippier on the right side. After a calm through ball from the wing-back, Kane’s effort bounced off the head of Ben Foster and looped behind to safety.
The Baggies had their first chance in the 41st minute. Their chance came much like the majority of their opportunities have this season: through a set piece. Chris Brunt drifted a ball from 50 yards out into the penalty area, and as Spurs failed to clear their lines, Rodriguez picked it up on the back post. Rodriguez flicked it back across goal but Albion were too slow to react. Three minutes later Hegazi almost landed a header from a corner.
Spurs seemed more successful after the halftime period and started to pick gaps in the Albion defence. In the 54th minute, Kane, Lamela and Dele Alli linked up which resulted with Lamela faced with a one-on-one against Foster, which he lost.
Frustrations got the better of Danny Rose and Nyom in the 64th minute after both players were booked for an unpleasant exchange: Rose pushed Nyom in the face, and Nyom dived to the ground seconds after contact was made.
In the 74th minute, the Albion threatened Spurs from another set piece. Hegazi headed a long free kick into the box from the left flank, and as Daniel Sturridge chased the follow-up, Kane tried to lift the ball behind the net. He didn’t quite catch it right and forced a blank range save from Hugo Lloris.
A draw simply would not do for relegation-bound WBA and five additional minutes gave them the time they needed to grab the winner. In the 92nd minute, former Spur Jake Livermore was the one to poke the ball over the line after a scrappy exchange following an Albion corner. The home team had got the goal they needed to give them a brief reprieve from relegation. Spurs dominated possession but lacked precision in the final third.
West Brom vs Spurs Attendance
The Hawthorns: 26,385
Starting Line-ups: West Brom vs Spurs
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Gibbs, Hegazy, Dawson, Nyom, McClean, Brunt, Livermore, Phillips, Rodriguez, Rondon
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Rose, Wanyama, Eriksen, Trippier, Lamela, Alli, Kane
“In football, you can dominate, have the option to score but then you have to be clinical and today was not good. Our finishing wasn’t good and we are very disappointed… Still we have in our hands the possibility to be in the top four.”
Man of the Match
The one thing Tottenham Hotspur have been able to do this season is score. Their bout against Watford meant that they had scored in their last 23 consecutive Premier League games. Craig Dawson won Man of the Match for being an influential reason as to why the Lilywhites were unable to increase that streak to 24. Dawson made 17 clearances and won 5 ariel battles.
What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?
Spurs will be in action against on Wednesday the 9th May against Newcastle for their penultimate match at Wembley Stadium.