Saturday, 31 January 2015

West Bromwich Albion 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur match report Saturday 31st January 2015

Harry Kane netted twice to end Tony Pulis' unbeaten start as West Bromwich Albion manager and see his team to a comfortable 3-0 win. 

The 21 year old smashed home from 20 yards in the first half then converted a penalty in the second after Christian Eriksen had opened the scoring with a free kick in the sixth minute. 

The gulf in class and financial clout was obvious from the first whistle as the Spurs' midfield dominated with Moussa Dembele and the excellent Christian Eriksen running the show. After six minutes Mauricio Pocchetino's men took the lead. A needless challenge by Claudio Yacob on Dembele on the left of the box presented the in-form Eriksen with a free kick 25 yards out which the Danish international beautifully dipped over the West Brom wall and into the corner of the net, despite a flailing hand from ‘keeper Ben Foster. 

The game was all but over on 15 minutes when Dembele strode through the centre of the pitch and laid the ball to Kane who, under no pressure from the Baggies defence cut inside Andre Wisdom from the left hand side of the penalty area and powered home from the edge of the box.

The West  Brom players finally woke up on 27 minutes when James Morrison forced a fantastic fingertip save from Spurs 'keeper Hugo Lloris with a curling left foot shot that looked bound for the top corner but the Frenchman tipped it over. Two minutes later a training ground free kick from the Baggies found Saido Berahino at the far post and the England striker pulled the ball back into the penalty area where it was met by Yacob whose effort looked bound for the corner of the net until Lloris reacted quickly and saved.

The West Brom rally almost produced a goal with 37 minutes gone when a free kick from the right hand side by Morrison was met by Craig Dawson but his header hit the crossbar.

In the second half Spurs killed off any chances off a comeback on 64 minutes when full back Kyle Walker flew down the right hand side to fire in a cross which hit the arm of stand-in left back Joleon Lescott and referee Kevin Friend pointed to the spot. Up stepped Harry Kane to confidently fire the ball to the goalkeeper's right sending Ben Foster the wrong way. 

After the match, all the talk was about Kane and his almost certain call-up to Roy Hodgson's next England squad. Spurs boss Mauricio Pocchetino preferred to talk about his team's overall performance. "Harry Kane played well but I am very happy with my whole team today. We knew it was important to start well and we did that. It was a great performance," he said. 

Despite the 3-0 defeat, Baggies' boss Tony Pulis preferred to focus on the positive and his team's 10 minute spell in the first half. "We had good opportunities and if we could have got a goal it would have lifted us but their goalkeeper (Lloris) was fantastic. His save from Morrison was top drawer," he said. "The breaks went for them and not for us. It was their day and good luck to them." 

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