West Brom won deservedly at the Lane, the bottom of the table team had an excellent game plan which thwarted the home side. Tottenham simply didn’t get many shots on target to worry keeper Ben Foster.
West Brom started the game well, taking the fight to Spurs early on. After a few missed chances and corners, one chance nearly paid off. If not for Lloris, the lily whites would be 1-0 down. A dive at full stretch kept the clean sheet. There was some retaliation from Tottenham, but the West Brom defenders did just enough to snuff out the danger. A little later, Adebayor appeared to handle the ball, but it was unintentional, the referee did not give it. Dawson blocked his fellow centre half’s shot from probably flying into the top left corner. This was fortunate for Spurs.
Sluggish passing and poor retention of possession in the opponents half saw very little chances being created. This wasn’t helped by Chiriches letting the strikers get the better of him at the back. Kaboul’s resolute defending kept the scoreline level. Berahino thought he had scored in the 36th minute, but luckily for Tottenham it was ruled offside.
Things just weren’t ticking in the final third. Final balls were a yard away from perfection. This was changed when Eriksen perfectly set up Adebayor, but for some reason he could not connect and send Spurs a goal up before half time. It was a half that saw West Brom create the most chances, but had less possession, 35% compared to Tottenham’s 65%.
Lamela got his team off to an excellent start, using his skilful feet to win a corner. A few more chances followed, but nothing to trouble the keeper. West Brom replied, Berahino skinning Chiriches once again and Lloris had to bail his defence out with a solid save.
Soldado and Paulinho were brought on for Dembélé and Chadli. Foster fumbled a shot and only just kept Soldado out on the second attempt. After many crosses to no avail, it looked like Tottenham were running out of ideas. Too many passes were going astray. Lloris pulled off yet another save to prevent Morrison from scoring. Soldado very nearly beat Foster. Well saved.
A corner in the 73rd minute sent Spurs 1-0 down. Morrison was unmarked and finished easily. It was awful defending from Lamela who didn’t stick to his man, and cost his team dearly.
Surely there would a fight back to overcome this freak goal. In truth there wasn’t enough commitment or desire shown to win the game. Eriksen took two poor corners in a row in a game where no player did anything special. It cried out for a moment of magic to break West Brom’s banks of four. Their defending was simply too resolute. Soldado could have changed the game if he was brought on earlier, would have buried the sitter Adebayor missed.
It was a struggle to the end but Tottenham never looked like scoring a goal. There simply were not enough shots on target to have a chance.
Lloris: He kept us in the game with many good saves. Could not do anything about the goal conceded…seems to be a recurring theme. (Good)
Dier: Did okay. Nothing spectacular. (Average)
Kaboul: Some good tackles and headers. (Good)
Chiriches: Skinned far too often, poor tackling. (Poor)
Rose: Worked hard on the left wing. (Good/average)
Capoue: Solid, but average. (Average)
Dembele: Hot and cold, from the sublime to poor. (Average)
Eriksen: Not his best game. (Average)
Chadli: Didn’t create or do much. (Poor)
(MOTM) Lamela: Despite giving the ball away, he was our best player. Reception at White Hart Lane fantastic for him. Work-rate was impressive.
Adebayor: Should have scored. Wasn’t in good form. (Poor)
Lennon: Got some crosses in, didn’t have that much effect. (Average)
Soldado: Hit one of the only shots on target. Didn’t have much time. (Average)
Paulinho: Didn’t contribute in the final third. Majority of Tottenham fans left after his overhead effort. (Poor)
Written by Declan Wiseman.