|WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 (0)||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)|
|Date : – 8th November 2020||Kick off : – 12.00|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – The Hawthorns|
|Crowd : – 0,000|
|Referee : – Andy Madley (West Riding)||Linesmen : – Mr. Adrian Holmes; Mr. Scott Ledger|
|Fourth official : – Steve Martin|
|VAR official : – Simon Hooper||VAR Assistant : – Derek Eaton|
|Weather : – Misty, chilly|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Smethwick end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 8 minutes
|WEST BROMWICH ALBION||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|None||Kane 87m 26s|
|Bartley (foul on Kane) 44|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR|
|1.||Sam JOHNSTONE||1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)|
|2.||Darnell FURLONG||2.||Matt DOHERTY|
|6.||Semi ADJAYI||15.||Eric DIER|
|27.||Dara O’SHEA||4.||Toby ALDERWEIRELD|
|5.||Kyle BARTLEY||3.||Sergio REGUILON|
|18.||Conor GALLAGHER||17.||Moussa SISSOKO ( 45. Carlos VINICIUS 79)|
|8.|| Jake LIVERMORE (c) (21. Kyle EDWARDS 89)
|17.||Filip KROVINOVIC||9.||Gareth BALE ( 27. Lucas MOURA 78)|
|28.||Tanguy NDOMBELE ( 18. Giovani LO CELSO 64)|
|29.|| Karlan GRANT (10. Matt PHILLIPS 89)
|7.|| Calum ROBINSON (11. Grady DIANGANA 67)
|25.||David BUTTON||12.||Joe HART|
|3.||Kieran GIBBS||24.||Serge AURIER|
|22.||Lee PELTIER||14.||Joe RODON|
|19.||Romaine SAWYERS||33.||Ben DAVIES|
|Manager : – Slaven Bilic||Manager : – Jose Mourinho|
|Kit Supplier : – Puma||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – Ideal Boilers||Shirt Sponsor : – AIA|
|Colours : –||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
A win’s a win and whether it is beautiful or ugly, you still only get three points. It won’t be that memorable but if it takes us on to the next level, then a 1-0 at WBA will do for me !
The misty Midlands morning welcomed Spurs to the Hawthorns, where they had the chance to momentarily top the Premier League if they came out on top, but faced a West Bromwich Albion side desperately looking for points, as they sat in the relegation zone with four points from eight games … perhaps they need Harry Redknapp !
Jose Mourinho had decided that today was the day to launch the triple attacking threat of Bale, Kane and Son, which looked good on paper, but the first half provided limited glimpses of how they might function as a trio. In fact, West Brom were playing better than their league position reflects and they were the ones who had most of the attacking intent. Spurs were limited to one decent opening, when Bale passed to Kane, who fed Son, but he was slow to manoeuvre the ball into a shooting position and his effort was blocked.
What WBA were doing was pressing hard and high, winning the ball and moving it wide to get balls into the box to Karlan Grant. Winning set-pieces, of which they had quite a few, they were hoping to make the most of them with their players having the height advantage over Tottenham’s men. Eric Dier was using his height and his head, with some blocks, winning headers and then, most importantly, being in the right place when Robinson might have been looking for Grant at the far post, but it might have been dropping in just under the bar until Dier headed it away from goal and Grant.
As half-time approached, Spurs looked more fluent, winning some corners, which didn’t produce a threat to the West Brom defence, but not making any clear goal-scoring chances. Play was constantly broken up by the referee giving free-kicks to West Brom, whose players did seem to go down easily to win the dead-ball situations, while Spurs players got nothing from the match officials. Grant should have made one of them count, but his header was glanced, instead of met with the full forehead and the ball slipped wide.
Into the second half, Spurs looked as though they hadn’t really shaken off their first half malaise. A corner was played in for centre-back Conor O’Shea to rise and head at goal, but he put it wide, when an effort on the goal might have brought more joy, with Lloris rooted to his line. Robinson had time on the edge of the box, with nobody closing him and he chose to fire a shot at goal that went a long way over the bar, when he should have tested Hugo.
Spurs did buck up a bit and Harry Kane played a ball into the box, but Gareth Bale was unable to reach it, being close, but not close enough to the ball. The roles were reversed, with Bale putting a free-kick given for handball into the box, but Kane couldn’t quite get over his header and put it over the top.
So little was happening that on 58 minutes, this is what the Match Report Key Moments line looked like …
It took 58 minutes for Tottenham to force Sam Johnstone into action, when Sergio Reguilon fired in a shot that the keeper chose to punch out, but straight back to the Spaniard, who this time struck it too high. It marked a little spell of possession in the WBA defensive third, with Kane having a shot blocked by a defender. In playing the ball to Harry, Tanguy Ndombele got his foot trodden on, accidentally, leading to him being substituted by Giovani Lo Celso. With the impetus going Tottenham’s way, Son had a shot saved by Johnstone, before a great chance came halfway through the second half, when Kane played the ball back from the left side for Reguilon to strike a shot at goal, but again it was blocked, although only to Lo Celso, who shot wide from eight yards out, with Bale so close to getting a touch on it.
Albion came back into it, with Gallagher shooting from 25 yards, grazing the outside of the post before going wide. West Brom went close twice in a minute, with Doherty doing very well to head the ball over the bar when facing his own goal and then from the corner, Furlong flicked it on at the near post, forcing Lloris to push the ball out, but it went to Grant, who couldn’t get the ball back on target.
A free-kick to Spurs on the left, just outside the box, saw Kane hit the wall and then he also shot when the rebound fell to him, but it went wide. A double sub by Mourinho saw Bale and Sissoko hooked with Vinicius and Moura coming on. Spurs were starting to build a head of pressure on the home goal, with Harry’s shot blocked, Moura’s cross blocked and then Son’s shot blocked. When they did work the ball well, they won a corner that brought a header, but it was straight at the West Brom keeper. Then Reguilon’s ball into Vinicius saw the Brazilian take a touch and then fire a low shot that Johnstone got down to well to keep out.
With the game coming towards a goal-less conclusion, the Baggies started pushing on the Spurs goal. Doherty deflected a low ball heading for a number of players coming in behind him, but his touch took it behind them.
As it was, with two minutes left, Tottenham moved the ball from the left wing infield and Alderweireld played it to Doherty on the right. The full back played it in form 35 yards out and Harry Kane got goal-side of Bartley and Johnstone had come halfway for the ball allowing the Spurs striker to glance the ball over him and into the net for a goal that didn’t leave West Brom much time to salvage something from the game. It was an old-fashioned kind of goal and one that you would expect a Bilic side to defend routinely, but the former Arsenal defender lost Kane and you can’t afford to do that.
When the fourth official raised his board with a big 5 on it, it looked as though Albion might have time to put Spurs under pressure at the death. Reguilon re-enacted an action replay of Doherty’s earlier intervention by taking a cross away from the Baggies players looking to get onto it.
With Eric Dier’s hoof into the stands, the final whistle brought down the curtains on one of Tottenham’s most forgettable performances of recent times. But it will be remembered, as the day we got to the top of the table. It doesn’t happen very often and maybe it won’t be for amore than a couple of hours, but I hope it will be a significant milestone and one that we re-visit often, mostly a residence there at the end of the season would be nice !
South Stand Simon
|Brian Marshall||It was odd to see Spurs adopt the 4-4-2 formation towards the end of the match, with Vinicius and Kane leading the line, but it does give Tottenham another option. The West Brom defence had been dealing with everything that had been thrown at them and with Kane dropping deep, it allowed the five in their back line to snuff out the Spurs attacks. Using the width of the pitch stretched them a bit more and forced their wing-backs to defend. It created a bit more space and forced the home side to sit deeper, inviting Tottenham on to them in the last quarter of an hour.
Eric Dier put in a fine performance in the back four, as did Doherty and Reguilon, with Toby putting in his normal good display. Hojbjerg was everywhere and Sissoko was breaking things up, while Ndombele was moving the ball well until his injury, which produced the slowest departure to the dugout in Premier League history, as he dragged himself around the surround form the other side of the pitch.
Son, Bale and Kane didn’t click as many Spurs fans hoped, but they did start having more effect the longer the game went on and then Vinicius and Moura gave the Baggies other problems to consider.
Not the most thrilling game, but the concerns about Mourinho’s arrival coinciding with the arrival of the bus that he used to park have not been realised and while it wasn’t a great attacking performance, we still managed 19 shots (all but one in the second half) and we had to defend, but that was because WBA were forcing us back.
Being top fleetingly is a nice feeling and it becomes one that you want more of. Let’s hope that is where we are come the end of the season.
Harry Kane scores his 150th Premier League goal.
|Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Burnley||0|
|South Coast Big Club||2||Newcastle United||0|
|Crystal Palace||4||Leeds United||1|
|Frank Lampard’s Chelsea||4||Sheffield United||1|
|West Ham United London||1||Fulham||0|
|Leicester City||1||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0|
|Woolwich Wanderers||–||Aston Villa||–|
Premier League Table 2020-21
|3||South Coast Big Club||8||5||1
|5||Frank Lampard’s Chelsea||8||4||3||1||20||10||15||+10|
|11||West Ham United London||8||3||2||3||9||8||12||+4|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion||8||1||3||4||11||14||6||-3|
|18||West Bromwich Albion||8||0||3||5||6||17||3||-11|