Spurs 1-1 West Brom
Report from Wembley
25 November 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
We needed a second half equaliser from Harry Kane to salvage a point against a dogged West Bromwich Albion side at Wembley Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
On what was the 2,000th home league game in our history, our England striker converted from close range in the 74th minute to cancel out Salomon Rondon’s early goal for the Baggies and, despite plenty of possession, it was another of those games in which we just couldn’t create enough opportunities.
Just four minutes were on the clock when the visitors opened the scoring and it was a poor goal to concede. Former Spur Jake Livermore robbed Dele Alli of possession just inside our half and released Rondon, who managed to fend off Davinson Sanchez and rolled a shot which crept into the far corner.
We huffed and puffed throughout the rest of the first half without really causing the visitors too many problems, Ben Foster saving well from Heung-Min Son before the South Korean striker tried a shot which looped over Foster and landed on the roof of the net.
The second period saw more tempo to our football and, after Matt Phillips had curled a shot just wide for Albion, our dominance was finally rewarded when Dele’s cross was diverted home by Kane, his 15th of the season and 114th of his Spurs career.
He almost put us in front moments later, but could only head over the top from Kieran Trippier’s cross and we kept piling on the pressure looking for that late winner. It didn’t come and instead, it was Albion with two glorious chances to snatch the points deep in stoppage time.
First, substitute Hal Robson-Kanu’s low drive was straight at Hugo Lloris before the Welsh international broke away down the right and sent in a low cross which Rondon prodded inches past the upright.
Mauricio Pochettino made two changes to the team that started against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday - in the full-back areas with Trippier and Ben Davies back in for Serge Aurier and Danny Rose. Our former Academy graduate Livermore started in midfield for the visitors.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 West Brom – Salomon Rondon – 4mins
It was the visitors who struck first and it was a strange goal in every way. Dele let the ball go past him in midfield, allowing Livermore to dispossess him and thread a pass forwards to Rondon. Sanchez looked to have closed the Albion striker down down but appeared to then miss his kick, Rondon’s soft shot somehow creeping past Lloris and into the far corner.
Above: Harry Kane goes up for a header.
Chances: Son creating late opportunities – 44mins
The goal was the last thing we wanted, as it allowed the visitors to sit back and invite us to break them down, something we were unable to do with any real incision. Kane rode a couple of tackles before drilling wide on 27 minutes, Son cut in off the left and forced Foster into a good save, while the South Korean caused two moments of panic late in the half. First, he beat Phillips to the byline and drilled a low ball right across the six yard box that missed everyone, before hitting a right-foot shot which deflected off Livermore and looped over Foster but landed on the roof of the net.
Chance: Dele close on the stretch – 69mins
We started the second half with more intensity and dominated possession as the pattern of the game continued, Albion being pushed back as we upped the tempo. However, we were still struggling to create chances, with defenders throwing themselves in front of crosses and shots to prevent Foster having to work too hard. In fact, the Baggies almost went 2-0 up when Gareth Barry’s fine pass found Phillips, who curled just wide. And when Trippier cracked a half-volley goalwards from 25 yards, Dele was just inches away from getting a touch at the back post.
Goal: Spurs 1-1 West Brom – Harry Kane – 74mins
With the amount of possession we were enjoying, it did feel like chances would come and we made changes to rejuvenate the side, with Mousa Dembele and Fernando Llorente replacing Harry Winks and Jan Vertonghen. We finally carved open the Baggies' defence 16 minutes from time when Trippier laid the ball back to Dele wide on the right, he delivered a cross to the near post and Kane timed his run to perfection, side-footing past Foster to level the scores. And it was so nearly 2-1 six minutes later when Trippier’s cross was met by Kane but he headed over.
Chance: Rondon misses in stoppage time – 90+3
For all our possession, it was Albion who so nearly grabbed a late winner. Substitute Robson-Kanu hit a low drive which Lloris was in the way of before the same player broke free down the right and sent over a great cross for Rondon but, with only Lloris to beat, he prodded wide.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"I'm disappointed we dropped two points. The effort was great but the way we conceded the first goal increased their motivation and belief. It was difficult to break them down and score. In the second half we played much better but it's true, it was a difficult game."
“I'm disappointed - we dropped two points,” said Mauricio. “The effort was great but the way we conceded the first goal increased their motivation and belief. It was difficult to break them down.
“The first half-hour and the way we conceded the goal...it’s a goal that put us in a difficult moment to come back into the game. In the second half we played much better but it's true, it was a difficult game.”
Add over 70 per cent possession to the 24 efforts at goal and it was another frustrating afternoon following the draws against Burnley and Swansea - all games we should really have won.
“If you look at all the stats, they are for a game that you win, easily, but in the end it’s 1-1 because in football it’s not because you have more corners or possession or create more chances that means you are going to win the game.
“For us it’s like this, we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal and that’s why we dropped two points.
Kieran Trippier said
"The immediate reaction is frustration and disappointment that we didn't get the three points. We could have come out of the blocks quicker and could have moved the ball better but it's one of those games where we dug in at 1-0 down, the spirit was good, Harry Kane scored the equaliser and we felt we could have gone on to win, but it wasn't to be."
Spurs (3-5-2): Lloris (c), Dier, Sanchez, Vertonghen (Llorente 60), Trippier, Eriksen, Winks (Dembele 60), Dele, Davies, Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Sissoko.
West Brom (3-5-2): Foster, Nyom, Hegazi, Evans (c), Phillips, Livermore, Barry (Yacob 79), Field (McClean 67), Gibbs, Rodriguez (Robson-Kanu 67), Rondon. Substitutes (not used): Myhill, McAuley, Krychowiak, Burke.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 74; West Brom – Rondon 4.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Dier; West Brom – Barry, Gibbs, Nyom, Foster.
Referee: Mike Jones.
We’re in midweek Premier League action on Tuesday night as we visit Leicester City for what will be the 4,000th league game in the club’s history.
The Foxes sat in 11th place in the table ahead of Saturday’s matches, having drawn 1-1 at West Ham United on Friday night.
We won 6-1 in this fixture in May, while Leicester have only won twice at the KP Stadium in the league this season, against Brighton and Everton.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm.