Returning Kane sparks win over Baggies - match report and debrief
Spurs 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Sun 07 February 2021, 14:04|Tottenham Hotspur
Second-half goals from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son and a commanding team performance saw us end our recent run of defeats with victory against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost our last three in the Premier League – including two at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - we came out in determined fashion to put things right and were dominant throughout the contest, getting the goals our display deserved after the break.
We enjoyed 70 per cent of the possession in the first half and the only thing missing was the goals to show for it. Kane - back in the side after shaking off ankle problems that had caused him to miss our last two-and-a-half matches - had four good chances but couldn’t convert any of them and Serge Aurier’s header was well saved by Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone although the visitors probably had the best chance of the half just before the break, Hugo Lloris making a smart save on his goal-line to keep out Mbaye Diagne’s header on a rare Albion attack.
It might have turned into ‘one of those games’, but we finally broke the deadlock nine minutes into the second half when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg dissected the Albion defence with a superb ball for Kane, who slid right-footed beyond Johnstone. And we doubled our lead four minutes later when Lucas Moura led a swift counter-attack before laying the ball into the path of Son, who smashed home from 10 yards.
The Baggies responded with a more positive outlook to their football and Diagne twice had the ball in our net but the assistant’s flag was correctly raised on each occasion for off-side and we restricted the visitors to just one shot on target in the match. As well as the three points, it was a special afternoon for Kane, whose goal was the 208th of his Spurs career, moving him to joint-second in our all-time goalscorers list, level with Bobby Smith.
Kane return a real boost
There was a surprise in our team news with Kane announced in the starting line-up having missed our last two defeats, and his appearance on the pitch was a real shot in the arm all round. The England striker – who came off injured at half-time against Liverpool three matches ago – could have had a first half hat-trick as we played with verve and confidence and created plenty of chances in the opening period.
Son’s 10th-minute curler from 20 yards was easy for Sam Johnstone and a minute later, Erik Lamela tried a similar effort with his left foot which flew just over the crossbar. Kane’s first glimpse of goal came in the 15th minute when Aurier played a cross-field pass from the right which the forward controlled just inside the area but his rising right-foot shot hit the side netting and he was in again three minutes later, latching onto Tanguy Ndombele’s pass but sliding wide of the far post. And eight minutes before the break, Johnstone parried away Kane’s fierce drive after another good build-up.
We almost went ahead on 42 minutes when Son’s corner flicked off the head of Diagne and was met by Aurier at the back post, but his header was well saved by the goalkeeper, although we were given a warning right on the stroke of half-time as an unmarked Diagne met Robert Snodgrass’ cross but Lloris made a smart stop.
It was important we continued in the same attacking vein after the interval and we did exactly that, just 17 seconds on the clock after the restart when Son tested Johnstone who denied us again. The goals eventually came and both were well-worked. In the 54th minute, Ben Davies moved infield off the left flank and laid off to Hojbjerg, whose excellent ball found Kane and he took a touch to set with his left before sliding right-footed beyond Johnstone.
That settled the nerves and allowed us to play with even more freedom, adding a second four minutes later. The visitors were on the attack but we broke up the move and were swiftly on the counter. Kane produced a magnificent chest pass inside his own half to set Lucas free and he advanced 60 yards to the edge of the Albion area before laying the ball into the path of Son who smashed home.
Apart from the two disallowed goals from Diagne, there weren’t any real clear-cut chances in the final half-hour as we kept the visitors at arm’s length and ensured no slip-up as we secured a morale-boosting victory.
Harry closing in
Back in the side and back among the goals, it was a significant strike for Kane on Sunday, who continues to close in on Jimmy Greaves’ record tally of 266 Spurs goals. He moved level with our legendary 1950s and 60s centre-forward Bobby Smith on 208 goals – while Kane’s goal was also his 20th of the season and marked the seventh successive campaign he has reached that figure.
Meanwhile, Son’s strike was his 13th Premier League goal of the season and he has now been directly involved in 17 goals in his last 16 top-flight appearances against promoted sides, scoring 10 and assisting seven.
There was a late substitute appearance by 16-year-old Dane Scarlett, who replaced Son in stoppage time to make his Premier League debut and become our youngest-ever player to feature in a league match.
Other team news saw Jose Mourinho make four changes from the defeat to Chelsea four days ago – Davinson Sanchez, Lamela, Lucas and Kane coming in for Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Steven Bergwijn and Carlos Vinicius.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'I loved the attitude, the commitment...'
Jose told Spurs TV: "We cannot lose three matches in a row, we cannot lose four matches in a row, so it was a big match for us. I loved the attitude, the commitment, the togetherness, the desire to win. I loved that, part of football expectations, but that emotional area, I think the boys were very, very good.
"At half-time we should be winning but we weren’t, they coped well with that frustration, that pressure, they came to the second half to try to score and did. Then, in the last part of the game when they were more direct and tried to cause us problems, the boys coped well with that. I would say a good, solid performance, but especially a big heart from the players."
Spurs 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier (Doherty 68), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Hojbjerg, Ndombele, Lamela (Bergwijn 74), Lucas, Son (Scarlett 90+3), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Dier, Rodon, Sissoko, Bale, Vinicius.
West Brom (4-3-3): Johnstone, Peltier, Ajayi, Bartley (c), Townsend, Snodgrass (Pereira 80), Maitland-Niles, Sawyers (Yokuslu 78), Gallagher, Grant (Phillips 69), Diagne. Substitutes (not used): Button, Furlong, O’Shea, Livermore, Robinson, Robson-Kanu.
Goals: Spurs – Kane 54, Son 58.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lamela; West Brom – Snodgrass, Gallagher.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Light snow, moderate breeze, one degree.