|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0)||WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 (0)|
|Date : – 7th February 2021||Kick off : – 12.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – Stuart Attwell (Leamington Spa)||Linesmen : – Mr. Harry Lennard; Mr. Mark Scholes|
|Fourth official : – Lee Mason|
|VAR official : – Darren England||VAR Assistant : – Andy Halliday|
|Weather : – Cold, snowing throughout|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 7 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||WEST BROMWICH ALBION|
|Kane 53m 07s|
|Son 57m 36s|
|Lamela (foul on Gallagher) 64|| Snodgrass (foul on Davies) 77
|Gallagher (foul on Sanchez) 90+5|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||WEST BROMWICH ALBION|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Sam JOHNSTONE|
|24.||Serge AURIER ( 2. Matt DOHERTY 68)||22.||Lee PELTIER|
|4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD||6.||Semi AJAYI|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||5.||Kyle BARTLEY (c)|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||14.||Conor TOWNSEND|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||19.||Romaine SAWYERS ( 35. Okay YUKUSLU 78)|
|23.||Robert SNODGRASS ( 12. Matheus PEREIRA 80)|
|27.||Lucas MOURA||30.||Ashley MAITLAND-NILES|
|11.||Erik LAMELA ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 74)||18.||Conor GALLAGHER|
|7.||Heung-Min SON ( 53. Dane SCARLETT 90+3)||29.||Karlan GRANT ( 10. Matt PHILLIPS 78)|
|10.||Harry KANE||17.||Mbaye DIAGNE|
|12.||Joe HART||25.||David BUTTON|
|15.||Eric DIER||27.||Dara O’SHEA|
|14.||Joe RODON||2.||Darnell FURLONG|
|17.||Moussa SISSOKO||8.||Jake LIVERMORE|
|9.||Gareth BALE||7.||Callum ROBINSON|
|45.||Carlos VINICIUS||4.||Hal ROBSON-KANU|
|Manager : – Jose Mourinho||Manager : – Sam Allardyce|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Puma|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Ideal Boilers
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
The surprise return of Harry Kane was a boost to the Spurs starting line-up and West Bromwich Albion must have drawn a deep breath when they saw the team-sheet, as the Spurs striker’s link-up with Heung-Min Son was the difference between the two sides, as each scored in a 2-0 win for Tottenham that sees them reverse the losing run they were on.
The early signs were that WBA were getting two banks – one of five and one of four – squeezing the space out of the midfield and the way to get at them would be to run at the defence, which Davies did and Ajayi had to make a good tackle on him right on the edge of the box, after Kane returned his pass. Lucas tried the same through the middle of the back line, but numbers caused him to take a strong touch and the ball was cleared. West Brom finally got forward when they took a quick free-kick and Townsend’s cross was just a bit behind Diagne, causing him to stretch for the ball and head it over the bar.
The Kane-Son link-up worked with ten minutes gone, with Lamela’s run left to Heung-Min’s run in from the left made him look like an option, but Son took the shot that Johnstone save. Lamela got a shot of his own shortly after, with Aurier setting him up, but his curled effort from 20 yards went over the far angle of the goal. Tottenham were failing to find the right pass to put players through. They did find the killer pass when Aurier played the ball across from the right to Kane, just outside the area and his shot missed the goal by a foot. Harry had to take a couple of touches to get the ball where he wanted it, but his shot was off target. He had another good opening when a pass from Tanguy Ndombele to Son ran past the Korean and Kane was free in the box on the left, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post, when most times you would put your money on him to convert the chance.
Kane was in a threatening position again when Lamela played him in, but the ball was slightly behind him and his shot was blocked and then cleared for a corner. This brought two more, but they brought no real danger to the West Brom goal. The game settled into a pattern of Tottenham having possession but being unable to break down the resolute Albion defence. The only glimmer of an opening came in the 35th minute, when Kane’s diagonal pass to the left found Davies and he pulled it back for Heung-Min Son, but he was crowded out by red and yellow shirts. Then Tottenham worked the ball around the face of the penalty area ending with Kane’s shot from the right bringing a save from Johnstone at his near post.
Davies won a corner on the Spurs left and when Son played it in, a flick at the near post set up Aurier’s far post header that was saved by Johnstone and then Alderweireld’s follow-up shot was blocked in the 41st minute. A minute before the break, Albion broke on the right and a cross to the far post found Diagne alone at the far post. He got a good header on the ball and Hugo saved the ball right on his goal-line.
Passes were either a little short or a little long, preventing the final ball getting a Spurs man into a dangerous position and the high balls played into the box and from corners were a bit pointless, as the visitors won them every time. The big question at half-time was would WBA be able to hold out or even to hit Spurs on the break ?
Immediately at the start of the second half, Kane won the ball in the centre of the pitch and played it left to Son, whose low shot was saved by Johnstone’s out-stretched leg. It may have been ruled out by VAR, as he looked close to the last man, but it didn’t matter anyway. Lamela made a good run through the heart of the Albion defence but it ended in the box with a shot that went wide … or was it a pass intended for Moura, who had moved into the penalty area to his left ?
Passes were getting loose from both sets of players and they were losing their footing too on the surface that wasn’t snow covered, but was becoming skiddy. It was a slick pass that finally led to the opening goal. Spurs worked the ball from the back and Davies ran infield from the left wing before laying it off to Hojbjerg 25 yards out. A precise pass for once found Kane inside the left side of the box and he controlled it with his left and then passed a right-foot shot beyond Johnstone’s reach to nestle the ball low into the far corner of the net. Obviously, the chances in the first half were just sighters and this was a classic Kane finish to put Tottenham 1-0 ahead.
It was amazing what a difference the goal made. Tottenham started playing first time passes and Davies’ ball into the box was put out for a corner by Bartley with no pressure on him, but again, Spurs could not make anything of it.
West Brom looked like they might give Spurs a problem when Gallagher took the ball off Hojbjerg and when Ndombele knocked him over, he took a quick free-kick. The ball came over to their right wing to be crossed into the box, but Hojbjerg won the ball and Kane’s chest touch gave Lucas the chance to run 60m forward with the ball. He left the red and yellow shirts in his wake and Son made good ground to his right to receive his pass and lift it over Townsend’s sliding block to score off Johnstone’s hand to double the lead, with the goalkeeper committing to go the wrong way and unable to recover. Lamela’s run to the left created the space for Son to score by taking two defenders with him.
It looked like WBA were back in it on the hour when Diagne put a header under Lloris from three yards out to score from Snodgrass’ right-wing cross, but he had strayed goal-side of Sanchez and it was ruled out without the need for VAR. West Brom had to throw players forward leaving them open to the counter-attack, but when Spurs looked like going up-field, Son was bowled over by Peltier off the ball. Serge, who had played well, picked up a calf muscle problem at the same time and Matt Doherty replaced him.
The match slowed down agai,n but Davies did well leaving Snodgrass in pain after he had slid in to take the ball from the Spurs man. For a team who were on the end of a 0-2 score-line with 15 minutes left, Albion were sitting very deep and looked as though they were protecting their goal difference rather than get anything out of the game. Snodgrass showed he had lost none of the nastiness that he exhibited at the Taxpayer’s Stadium and looked to get his revenge on Ben, who beat him to the ball and then the ex-Iron stuck his foot into Davies’ groin, which was worse than what Son did against Chelsea last season. You would have expected the result would be the same, but no … just a yellow card. Consistency is a joke among referees and with VAR, you would expect that to have been seen and been judged with the same red card … unless it is one rule for Spurs and another for everyone else.
Neither side seemed capable of holding onto the ball in the final ten minutes, with West Brom’s attacking substitutions finally seeking something from the game and Diagne had the ball in the net when he took Periera’s pass into the box down on his chest and slotted it past Lloris, but from an off-side position, which he seemed to have occupied whenever the ball went to him with a chance to score.
A bad tackle on Moura by substitute Okay Yukuslu was looked at by VAR, but nothing was waved at him in terms of a card, when it was surely excessive force at the very least. It didn’t take excessive force for Attwell to hand West Brom a few free-kicks towards the end, while Lucas being dragged to the ground by Townsend was allowed to go unpunished. Four additional minutes were held up by Lee Mason, the fourth official and so keen was Allardyce to get the ball back into play, he wanted to take a throw-in himself. With seconds left, Son was made to exit the pitch at the nearest point (something that wasn’t enforced on any other player being subbed), with 16 year old Dane Scarlett coming on for his league debut. It was a nice touch by Mourinho and one that the side’s much improved performance made possible.
While Spurs looked more positive and even more so after the opening goal, it was against a side sitting one place off the bottom of the table and with a figure of 52 goals conceded before this match kicked off. Without being disrespectful to WBA, Spurs have beaten promoted clubs quite regularly and a win would have been expected, although the Baggies did make it hard for Spurs to find a way through with some well-drilled defending. However, it was the stand-out performance of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg that drove the team on and broke down any West Brom forward moves that paved the way for Kane and Son to take limelight with clinical finishes.
It’s not a given that the corner is turned with tough games coming up over the next couple of weeks, but it is a start and will hopefully give the side confidence going into the next few fixtures.
Dane Scarlett makes his Premier League debut.
Maitland-Niles and Yokuslu – WBA debut.
Harry Kane goes level with Bobby Smith as Tottenham’s second highest goal-scorer of all time with 208 goals.
|Aston Villa||1||Woolwich Wanderers||–|
|Newcastle United||3||South Coast Big Club||2|
|Fulham||0||West Ham United London||0|
|Burnley||0||Brighton & Hove Albion||0|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||Leicester City||0|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|6||West Ham United London||23||11||6||6||34||28||39||+6|
|12||South Coast Big Club||22||8||5||9||29||37||29||-8|
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||23||5||10||8||25||30||25||-5|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||23||2||6||15||18||54||12||-36|