In what was a tough game to watch at the Hawthorns today, Tottenham Hotspur managed to overcome West Bromwich Albion 0-1. It took until the 88th minute for Tottenham to make their breakthrough, but the scorer's identity was no surprise.
Harry Kane rose to head home a Matt Doherty cross, claiming all three points for Tottenham to send them top of the Premier League table. Prior to the goal, it’d been a frustrating match for Jose Mourinho’s men, who found it hard to break down an overly physical West Brom outfit.
Here are five talking points from Tottenham’s 0-1 win over West Brom.
#1 Harry Kane rises to the occasion for Tottenham again
For a long while, it looked like this game would be a massively frustrating draw for Tottenham. Jose Mourinho’s men struggled to find traction throughout, despite bossing possession, and time after time West Brom’s defenders put their bodies on the line to prevent goals.
They did such a good job, in fact, that Tottenham had just two shots on target in the entire match.
Even Mourinho’s positive substitutions – he sent on Giovani Lo Celso, Lucas Moura, and Carlos Vinicius – didn’t really help matters. Just when it looked like time was running out, though, Harry Kane rose to the occasion once again to bail his side out and claim three points for them.
Kane had barely had a sniff of goal throughout the entire game, seeing his shots blocked for the most part. But when he stole some space between West Brom’s defenders and keeper Sam Johnstone, he was never going to miss. Sure enough, the England captain flicked a header into the net to win the day.
The goal was Kane’s 150th in the Premier League, and incredibly, it was his 13th goal of 2020-21 in just 14 matches. Right now, there’s no player in the Premier League on better form than the Tottenham striker, and he’s leading the title charge for Mourinho’s side.
#2 Can West Brom’s Burnley impression be enough to save them?
If you’d disguised West Brom’s players to make them anonymous today, you’d have been forgiven for thinking Tottenham were actually facing off with Burnley. The game was a hard watch for both Tottenham fans and neutrals, and that was all down to the hosts.
Slaven Bilic’s side were overly physical from the off, being all too willing to simply barge Tottenham’s players off the ball at times. When the final whistle went, they’d conceded a total of 17 fouls. However, they’d also only allowed Spurs a total of two shots on target throughout the entire game.
While this style didn’t pay off today thanks to Harry Kane’s last-gasp goal, on another day, the Baggies could easily have claimed a point, if not more, from this game. And given that they’re yet to win in the Premier League this season, every point has to count.
So can the Baggies blend this physical, defensive style with the attacking talents of Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira, who was absent today? It’s hard to say, but if they can, there may well be hope for them yet.