Tottenham Hotspur earn a draw at The Hawthorns with a dramatic late equaliser from Dele Alli. Despite extending their unbeaten streak, they drop down to 3rd in the table, a point behind both Manchester City and Arsenal.
It was a bright start from the north London side, keeping the vast majority of possession within the opening 10 minutes. Tottenham’s first chance came from the left-hand side of the penalty box, with Erik Lamela fizzing a cross past the far post. Vincent Janssen made his presence known early on, too. He held up the ball magnificently in the final third, laying the ball off to midfield runners on multiple occasions within the opening 20 minutes.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men continued to pressurise the West Brom back-line, with chances from both Eriksen and Alderweireld failing to find the target. It became evident that despite the mass amount of possession, Tottenham would have to come up with something special to break the deadlock. If anyone was to do so it looked to be young Englishman, Dele Alli. He’d been Tottenham’s brightest spark following the opening 30 minutes, and came excruciatingly close with two opportunities shortly before half time. One of which saved by West Brom keeper, Ben Foster, and the other drifting narrowly past the far post.
Foster had the last laugh on the 1st half, denying Tottenham the opening goal of the match on multiple occasions. Despite chances from Matt Phillips and James McClean late on in the 1st half, Tottenham dominated throughout, amassing over 70% possession. It was evident that Tony Pulis’ side were both organised and very well-structured; for Spurs to take anything from The Hawthorns they had to be more clinical.
It was a turbulent opening 10 minutes of the 2nd half for Spurs. Arguably Tottenham’s best performer this season, Toby Alderweireld, went down injured following a West Brom free-kick. He was able to get back onto his feet, before subsequently being taken off on a stretcher. It was downhill from there for Spurs, it seemed. The 65th minute saw the introduction of Mousa Dembele, who Pochettino hoped may inspire his side to push for the goal that would put them ahead.
In the following 15 minutes, Tottenham’s pressure continued to build. Star man Heung-Min Son was introduced late on but failed to break through the West Brom back-line. With only 10 minutes to go, West Brom went on search for the goal that could steal all three points. They pressed Spurs back into their own half, and were awarded two corners in quick succession. Following a venomous strike from McClean, Hugo Lloris performed a moment of magic to keep it out. However, it wasn’t enough. Former Spur, Nacer Chadli latched onto the rebound and fired home for his new club.
Determined to get something out of the game, Tottenham once more piled pressure onto the home side. Chances from Ben Davies and Vincent Janssen came close, but a superb piece of individual skill from Son allowed for some space inside of the box. Eriksen laid the ball across the box for Dele Alli to strike, and he did in brilliant Dele Alli fashion. A deft touch from the outside of his boot saw the ball drift into the corner of the net, bringing Spurs level.
Tottenham pressed for the winner, but it was all but too late. One last chance fell to Christian Eriksen with a free-kick, but Ben Foster proved too hard to beat in what amounted to the last kick of the game. It finished 1-1, with Spurs dropping down to third place. However, they extend their unbeaten streak to eight consecutive Premier League games.
Between the sticks –
Hugo Lloris: 7/10.
It was a somewhat quiet performance from Lloris, but he was there when called upon. Couldn’t have done that much more to stop Chadli’s goal.
Kyle Walker: 7/10.
Probably the best of the Tottenham back-four today. Read the game well and used his pace effectively.
Toby Alderweireld: 7/10.
Once again an assured defensive showing from Toby, awfully unfortunate to pick up an injury.
Jan Vertonghen: 6/10.
Mostly solid throughout, however, seemed to lose focus during the final minutes.
Ben Davies: 7/10.
Played relatively well and offered options going forward, too. Unlucky not to score.
Victor Wanyama: 7/10.
Reliable from Victor, as seems to be the case most weeks now. Didn’t do all that much wrong today.
Moussa Sissoko: 5/10.
Thought Moussa was a little off pace today. Offered options off the ball but lacked creativity in the final third.
Christian Eriksen: 6/10
Certainly not as impressive as he has been in previous weeks, in this deeper role. Struggled to find the pockets of space needed to thrive.
Dele Alli: 7/10
Delighted for Dele having picked up the equaliser, but should’ve been more clinical early on. Unlucky not to score more.
Erik Lamela: 5/10
Similar to Sissoko, Lamela failed to offer much on the ball. Tottenham’s wide players weren’t able to offer as much as Pochettino may had hoped.
Vincent Janssen. 6/10
Showed real authority within the 1st half with his hold-up play, however, he failed to make an impact late on. Showing signs of promise, but needs a goal.
Eric Dier: N/A.
Mousa Dembele: 6/10.
Looked assured in possession as always and looked to play the ball forward, hopefully fully fit for the game vs Leverkusen.
Heung-Min Son: 6/10.
Offered energy after coming on and had a big part to play in the equaliser, should be ready to face his former club on Tuesday.
Man of the Match:
It was a lacklustre performance from the boys today. Dominated possession throughout and created plenty of chances, but simply weren’t clinical enough. I’d have to say that the Man of the Match was Dele Alli, however. He was Tottenham’s biggest threat going forward, and scored the equaliser to earn a crucial point.
Bayern Leverkusen away in the Champions League. Tuesday 18th October. Kick off at 19:45.