SATURDAY 14TH JANUARY, 2017
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4(2) WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0(0)
Kane, 12, 77, 82
McAuley (o.g.), 26
Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- S. Burt & S. Child
Fourth official:- K. Friend
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen (sub Davies, 64); Walker, Wanyama, Dembele (sub Winks, 83), Rose; Eriksen, Alli; Kane (sub Son, 90)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Trippier; Nkoudou, Sissoko
West Brom (3-4-2-1):- Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson; Chadli (sub Robson-Kanu, 62), Fletcher (Capt.), Yacob, Brunt (sub McClean, 54); Morrison, Phillips (sub Field, 90); Rondon
Subs not used:- Myhill; Galloway, Leko, Wilson
Booked:- Olsson (foul on Kane), McAuley (Dissent)
Hat-trick Harry caps a special week!
Harry Kane scored his first hat-trick since October 2015 at Bournemouth and his third Premier League triple to cap a special personal week for him after the birth of his daughter last week-end. With Chelsea's Diego Costa in dispute and absent from today's game at Leicester, Harry has reached thirteen Premier League goals for the season thus stating his credentials for the Golden Boot this season.
Harry's goals plus an own goal by West Brom centre-half Gareth McAuley gave Spurs the 4-0 victory which was the least they deserved after some of the most scintillating football they have played this season, particularly in the first half. The win took Spurs to second place,where they will certainly stay until Liverpool's game at Old Trafford, and I suspect into next week, as I doubt Jurgen Klopp's team will grab all three points tomorrow.
Thus, Harry has re-stated his goal-scoring prowess (if that needed re-stating) and Spurs have certainly asserted their status as Premier League title challengers. Check out this Bet365 code for odds on this and other sporting events.
With the continuing absence of Erik Lamela, (and perhaps in spite of that absence), Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was able to play his first choice eleven. The manager chose to play 3-4-2-1, which was matched in set-up by "Baggies" manager Tony Pulis, but certainly not in style.
Pulis played former Spur Nacer Chadli on the right side of his midfield four, with Chris Brunt on the left. Neither player is a natural full-back, and despite their eighth place in the league, West Brom looked somewhat threadbare with personnel, with rookies Leko, Field and Wilson on the bench.
The game was preceded by a minute's applause for former England manager Graham Taylor who died suddenly this week at the age of 72. Both teams and managers also wore black armbands commemorating Taylor's passing.
West Brom kicked off towards the Paxton Road End, which left Hugo Lloris in what little sunshine there was in his goal. Hugo didn't need to worry as he was very rarely bothered.
The West Brom fans were in good voice throughout proceedings, even when 4-0 down, but their chant "We lost you the league" was wholly inaccurate as our 1-1 draw last season preceded the decisive draw at The battle of Stamford Bridge.
Dembele and Wanyama seemed to switch positions in their midfield slots at times, and Mousa was getting forward more than is often the case. He put a ball out to Danny Rose, who crossed quickly giving Kane his first chance, which was pushed just outside the far post. Two minutes later, after a Spurs throw on the right, Dembele teed the ball up for Vertonghen, who tried a shot from distance, which passed well over the bar.
Chances were coming at two minute intervals for Spurs, and the next one came when Dele Alli passed inside to Rose, who fed Harry Kane, taking a quick chance to shoot, which was not far over Foster's goal. Eriksen had a shot go wide, after another Alli pass.
After such a bright start, it came as no surprise when Spurs took a 12th minute lead. After an attacking throw on the left it was Eriksen who slipped a neat ball to Harry who scored with his shot off the inside of Foster's right post.
Spurs were well on top and after a corner and a partial clearance, Toby Alderweireld was still in attack and passed to Walker, who passed inside to Eriksen. Eriksen was towards the right and passed inside to Danny Rose who tried a shot but that also went over the target.
West Brom actually had a free kick after 20 minutes, and a subsequent ball was headed on to Rondon by Olsson. Lloris had to make a save, but the offside flag had already been raised against Olsson.
Spurs had a corner at the other end, taken short, and Dembele passed to Wanyama. Victor threaded a neat ball to Harry Kane, who had a chance from short range, which Foster saved. Already, Spurs were worthy of more than a one goal lead. The deserved second goal came courtesy of a desperate attempt by Gareth McAuley to divert Eriksen's shot, but he only succeeded in making it impossible for Foster to save to his left.
One of Spurs' best moves involving Dele Alli and Eriksen ended with the ball in the net, but Dele was called offside when he ran forward into space to collect Eriksen's return ball.
Such had been Spurs' domination that after 32 minutes the "Baggies"' fans sang "We've got the ball" when they ventured into the Spurs half.
Spurs demonstrated more slick football with accurate passes being played despite tight marking. Eriksen, Kane (twice) and Walker were involved before Kane's header was saved at the expense of a corner. After the corner, and a pass by Vertonghen, another Kane effort was saved by Foster who pushed the ball onto the outside of his left post. Harry had one more chance before the break, after being fed by Alli. Harry tried a shot from some 28 yards, which passed wide of the far post.
After the break, West Brom showed some attacking intent with Phillips moving forward to support Rondon. Phillips actually received a good diagonal ball in the first minute of the second half from Rondon, and he got a shot across Alderweireld, but also across Hugo's goal.
It took a while for Spurs to assert themselves again, and a considerable period before they truly sealed the points. After Dele Alli was sandwiched, Eriksen hit a free kick which was fodder really to Foster.
Brunt was replaced by McClean who was heartily booed by the White Hart Lane faithful. Alderweireld sent a trademark pass to Alli, who went down in the box under McAuley's challenge but referee Anthony Taylor was not interested.
Harry Kane had a shot from the left side of the area saved, after more good work by Dele. Foster then held a low right footed shot by Eriksen. Now Chadli was replaced (applauded by Spurs fans) by Robson-Kanu who took up an attacking position, which enabled Phillips to drop back again. Pulis was still trying to get back in the game.
Olsson got the first booking of the game after a cynical foul on Harry Kane who had been put clear by Eriksen. It was too far out to be seen as a goal-scoring opportunity, but the yellow card was definitely warranted. Both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen had shots either saved or blocked after another Spurs corner.
Jan Vertonghen had to go off with a worrying ankle injury (yet to be assessed) and he was replaced by Ben Davies. Dembele tried a right footed shot from 22 yards after an Eriksen ball from the left. The shot passed over Foster's bar. Next to receive from the Spurs playmaker was Wanyama, but his effort was saved by the busy Ben Foster.
Eriksen looked fit and had a strong run down the left hitting a cross which Dele headed goalward, but that was fodder for Foster.
At last Spurs reached a much deserved and highly warranted three goal lead after Kyle Walker chased Alli's ball down the line before passing inside to Harry Kane who hooked home beyond Foster's right hand. Walker had persisted, but he had also been aided by McAuley's poor defendng enabling Kyle to get the cross into the area.
Harry's hat-trick goal came five minutes later after a delightful one-two with Dele Alli. Alli actually played a clever chipped pass for Harry to run onto before scoring inside the bottom left corner of goal.
The last rites included Harry Winks' 16th consecutive appearance, and a standing ovation for Harry Kane when he was replaced by Son Heung-min.
Spurs will travel to The Etihad next week for the match against Man City justifiably confident in their ability to get another win and to maintain their title chase.
It has been a great day for Spurs fans everywhere!
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