Spurs fight back from three goals down to grab a draw at West Brom
17:08 12 April 2014
Premier League: West Bromwich Albion 3 Tottenham 3
Tottenham recovered from another nightmare start, fighting back from three goals down after half an hour to grab a draw at West Bromwich Albion.
Spurs have recently conceded goals inside the opening minute or two against Arsenal and Liverpool, and they were 2-0 down inside four minutes at The Hawthorns today.
Emmanuel Adebayor then missed a penalty and the Lilywhites conceded a third goal on the half-hour mark.
But an own goal from West Brom’s Jonas Olsson narrowed the gap to 3-1 at the break, and Harry Kane made it 3-2 in the 70th minute before Christian Eriksen hit a dramatic equaliser in injury-time.
The draw leaves Spurs sixth, three points ahead of Manchester United and four points behind fifth-placed Arsenal, with both of their rivals having a game in hand and a far superior goal difference.
Tim Sherwood named an unchanged line-up from the side that had thumped Sunderland 5-1 on Monday. The game kicked off seven minutes later than usual, at 3.07pm, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster – and there was a minute’s silence before kick-off.
The crowd had barely sat back down and collected their thoughts when the Baggies took the lead after 32 seconds. Danny Rose appeared to have Morgan Amalfitano trapped in the corner, but the Frenchman wriggled free and, when Hugo Lloris dived to intercept his low cross, he could only palm it to Matej Vydra, who fired home.
Moments later, West Brom had a penalty appeal turned down as Stephane Sessegnon went down just inside the box under a challenge from Paulinho - and, with less than four minutes on the clock, the hosts doubled their lead.
Steven Reid crossed from the right and, as the cluster of bodies in the centre tried to get their head on it, the ball was flicked to the back post, where the unmarked Chris Brunt pounced with a crisp volley across Lloris.
Tottenham rallied and Danny Rose got around the back, crossing the ball in for Kane, who arrived at the near post but missed the target from three yards.
Rose was soon in an advanced position again, and this time he was tripped just inside the penalty area by Amalfitano. Referee Neil Swarbrick pointed to the spot, giving Adebayor the chance to halve the deficit, but the Togo international’s effort was pathetically weak and Ben Foster saved.
It was a breathless, end-to-end game and Albion threatened again as Vlad Chiriches’ poor clearance fell to Brunt, who whipped in a cross – and Vydra got to the ball ahead of Younes Kaboul but couldn’t get enough power on his effort to trouble Lloris.
Youssouf Mulumb then came forward, twisted and turned on the edge of the box and freed Amalfitano, who fired at goal from the right side of the box, forcing Lloris to palm the ball over the bar.
Paulinho shot at Foster at the other end, but Albion went 3-0 up after 31 minutes as Kaboul’s back-header near the halfway line left Sessegnon in a sprint with Chiriches. The Baggies man won the race and, as Lloris advanced, he slotted home.
Tottenham hit back less than three minutes later though, with Kane playing a through ball to Kyle Naughton, whose low cross deflected off Olsson and looped over the unfortunate Foster into the net.
Despite their woeful defending, Spurs probably deserved the goal – and they nearly got another one. Paulinho forced Foster into a low save and, when Rose followed up, Foster was there to block the attempt again.
Sherwood took steps to improve the rearguard at half-time, swapping the nervy Chiriches for 21-year-old Zeki Fryers at centre-back, and Spurs started the second period brightly.
Rose sent a low volley narrowly wide of the far post and Aaron Lennon then forced Foster into a low save from the edge of the box before CEriksen tested the Baggies keeper at his near post with a free-kick.
Rose then tried to win his second penalty of the game, throwing himself to the ground as he tried to beat Reid, but he was rightly booked for diving.
Spurs were dominating the second half and they went close again as Naughton crossed for Eriksen, whose close-range backheel was brilliantly blocked by Gareth McAuley – and Kane then narrowly failed to connect with a low, inswinging cross.
Spurs’ second goal arrived shortly afterwards as Lennon dropped his shoulder and jinked to the by-line before hanging up a cross, and Kane leapt to head powerfully home from six yards, netting his second Premier League goal in his second top-flight start.
Rose had a chance to equalise as the ball ran loose to him in the box, but he blazed it over the bar shortly before being replaced by Andros Townsend as Sherwood went for broke.
There was incredulity around The Hawthorns as six minutes of injury-time were added on – and when Lennon made his way into the box, the ball fell to Eriksen, who created some space and fired home to send the travelling supporters into delerium and break the Baggies’ hearts.
Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Chiriches (Fryers 45), Kaboul, Rose (Townsend 85), Lennon, Paulinho, Chadli (Chadli 78), Eriksen, Kane, Adebayor
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