Premier League
West BromWest Bromwich Albion1TottenhamTottenham Hotspur1

West Brom 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

By Richard WintonBBC Sport
James McClean
James McClean's header was his first goal for West Brom since signing from Wigan

Tottenham lost ground on the Premier League's top four after letting a lead slip at West Brom.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were ahead after 15 minutes when a long Toby Alderweireld pass picked out Dele Alli, who flashed a volley past Boaz Myhill.

But Spurs' intensity dropped after that strong start and West Brom levelled before the break when James McClean's header concluded a patient move.

The draw means Tony Pulis' side stay 13th, nine clear of the bottom three.

Spurs stalling

Spurs' goal
Alli's goal for Spurs came after a patient move

Having advanced stealthily on the top four in recent weeks, consecutive draws have dented Tottenham's momentum somewhat.

A goalless draw against Chelsea last weekend would probably have been considered a decent result, but the failure to take all three points at The Hawthorns will be a disappointment - particularly after the way Pochettino's side started this game.

Composed in possession, resolute defensively and menacing in attack, they were well worth the lead given to them by Dele Alli's fine goal.

However, the north London side allowed West Brom to wrest back the initiative and were unable to seize control again after conceding, despite having plenty of the ball. Indeed, it was the hosts who looked more likely to win the game in the closing stages.

Jonny of all trades

Jonny Evans
Albion's Jonny Evans did most of his work around the centre circle, but also ventured further forward

Underpinning West Brom's revival was their strength in midfield.

Centre-back Jonny Evans impressed in an unfamiliar left-back role in the draw with West Ham last Sunday and was given an equally unusual central midfield deployment against Tottenham in the absence of the suspended Claudio Yacob.

And, while some way shy of a playmaking quarterback, the Northern Irishman was a reassuring and redoubtable performer in tandem with former Manchester United team-mate Darren Fletcher.

His presence permitted both Fletcher and James Morrison licence to attack and both were involved in West Brom's goal - a cutely crafted effort down the right that culminated in Fletcher clipping a teasing cross to the back post for McClean to thump past Hugo Lloris.

Evans also nullified the threat of Spurs feted attacking trident of Alli, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela, with the England midfielder's initial influence dwindling until his second-half substitution.

High, late and lucky?

One scar upon West Brom's combative display was an awful challenge by goalscorer McClean on Mousa Dembele in the closing stages.

Spurs dropped two points - Pochettino

The Irish winger was high and late, and was very fortunate to escape with only a yellow card after referee Jon Moss consulted one of his assistants.

"It is reckless," said manager Tony Pulis, who also confirmed that winger Stephane Sessegnon suffered a hamstring injury. "I have spoken to him afterwards, and he should not go in for challenges like that. He has that in him, but he is not a nasty or dirty player."

Man of the match - Darren Fletcher

Darren Fletcher
Aside from creating West Brom's goal, the Scotland international was a dominant force in midfield

What they said:

West Brom manager Tony Pulis: "Little breaks, we need them to go for us against the bigger clubs to win those games. But I was very pleased with the effort and the commitment.

Pulis 'really pleased' with effort

"This is the toughest job I have had. You need time, and there are a lot of things I want to change but to effect change you have to stay in the job for a time."

Tottenham manager Maurico Pochettino: "The feeling is not great. Maybe we dropped two points but if we analyse it, it was very solid performance and the conditions were very difficult, against a team that want to fight for every action.

"Maybe we deserved a bit more but it was a very difficult game. But Arsenal and some very good teams have dropped points here too in recent weeks."

The stats you need to know

  • Tottenham Hotspur are unbeaten in 14 league games (W6 D8) - their best run in the top flight since March 1985 (also 14 games)
  • Dele Alli has scored or assisted in three of his past four Premier League games (two goals and an assist)
  • James McClean netted his first top-flight goal since scoring against West Ham for Sunderland in January 2013
  • Darren Fletcher provided the assist for McClean, his first in the Premier League since setting up Nani for Man Utd against Stoke City in September 2011
  • West Brom have won just twice in their eight home matches this campaign (D2 L4)

What's next?

Tottenham host Monaco in the Europa League on Thursday before welcoming Newcastle next Sunday. West Brom travel to Anfield on the same day.

Line-ups

West Brom

Formation 4-5-1

  • 13Myhill
  • 25Dawson
  • 23McAuley
  • 3Olsson
  • 11Brunt
  • 29SessegnonSubstituted forGardnerat 44'minutesBooked at 73mins
  • 7MorrisonBooked at 57mins
  • 6Evans
  • 24Fletcher
  • 14McCleanBooked at 83mins
  • 33Rondón

Substitutes

  • 4Chester
  • 8Gardner
  • 10Anichebe
  • 17Lambert
  • 18Berahino
  • 19McManaman
  • 21Lindegaard

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Walker
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 3Rose
  • 15Dier
  • 19DembéléBooked at 81mins
  • 11LamelaSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 65'minutes
  • 20AlliSubstituted forN'Jieat 80'minutes
  • 23Eriksen
  • 10KaneBooked at 75mins

Substitutes

  • 7Son Heung-Min
  • 13Vorm
  • 14N'Jie
  • 16Trippier
  • 25Onomah
  • 27Wimmer
  • 29Winks
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
23,602

Match Stats

Home TeamWest BromAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home35%
Away65%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, West Bromwich Albion 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  3. Post update

    Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right. Assisted by Jonny Evans.

  6. Post update

    Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion).

  8. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  9. Post update

    Delay in match James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) because of an injury.

  10. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Mousa Dembélé tries a through ball, but Clinton N'Jie is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  12. Booking

    James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Delay in match Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

  14. Post update

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by James McClean (West Bromwich Albion).

  16. Booking

    Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Mousa Dembélé (Tottenham Hotspur).

  18. Post update

    James McClean (West Bromwich Albion) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Clinton N'Jie replaces Dele Alli.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Salomón Rondón (West Bromwich Albion) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by James McClean.