Saturday, 12 April 2014

West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur match report Saturday April 12th 2014

Tottenham Hotspur came back from three goals down to earn a draw against a West Bromwich Albion side that continues to hover dangerously just above the Premiership relegation zone.

Goals from Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and an own goal from Jonas Olsson grabbed a point for under-fire manager Tim Sherwood’s side which looked highly unlikely when the Baggies went three goals up within 31 minutes.

The Londoners were hit straight from the kick-off with fans still arriving at the ground. Good work on the right hand side by West Brom midfielder Morgan Amalfitano produced a cross which Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris could only parry back into the path of Matej Vydra and the striker fired home from 10 yards with only 28 seconds on the clock.

Confidence soared through the home players and in the fourth minute a cross from the right hand side by Steven Reid was headed straight into the path of Chris Brunt at the far post and the Baggies captain smashed the ball home on the volley.

The Spurs players were shell-shocked and struggled to get over the half-way line but on 14 minutes they were offered a lifeline when a mistimed challenge by Amalfitano on full-back Danny Rose saw referee Meil Swarbrick immediately point to the spot. Emmanuel Adebayor stepped up to take the penalty but rolled his weak side-footed shot straight into the arms of West Brom keeper Ben Foster.

To make matters worse, Spurs were punished on 34 minutes when Baggies defender Olsson pumped the ball route one down the left and Tottenham captain Younes Kaboul’s poor header flicked the ball into the path of West Brom midfielder Stephane Sessegnon who sprinted clear to tuck the ball home one on one against Spurs’ keeper Hugo Lloris.

The Londoners finally got their breakthrough in the 36th minute when striker Harry Kane picked the ball up 25 yards out and threaded a pass through the West Brom defence to the overlapping Aaron Lennon on the right. The winger’s low, hard cross was turned into his own net by the outstretched leg of defender Jonas Olsson.

The visitors started the second half strongly as West Brom fought hard to hold on to their 3 – 1 lead. West Brom boss Pepe Mel responded by taking off midfield dynamo Sessegnon for the more defensive Claudio Yacob on 58 minutes and the decision changed the match and his team’s fortunes.

With 69 minutes gone, the Baggies' defence crumbled under the relentless pressure from their opponents. Aaron Lennon who was a constant threat on the right, fired in a cross and Kane met it with his head to nod the ball into the net.

Spurs continued to batter the West Brom defence and just as it looked as if they were going to hold on for a vital three points, another cross from the right looped up into the path of Christian Eriksen on the left. The Danish midfielder was allowed to cut inside and fire the ball into the corner of the net for West Brom’s second 3 – 3 draw in successive games – both from strong leading positions.

The failure to hold on to a three goal lead and a victory by Fulham leaves West Brom just three points above the drop-zone.

Boss Pepe Mel said his team were angry that they could not hold on to gain all three points while Spurs manager Tim Sherwood said he couldn’t believe how poorly his team started but said he never doubted they would get back into the game. “I felt we should have won,” he added.

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