Spurs travelled away to a West Brom under new management and thanks to the three amigos of Kane, Eriksen and Lloris came away with three goals, a clean sheet and three points.
Well West Brom managed a win at White Hart Lane some months back, well they’ve since upgraded on that old regime with Tony Pulis bringing victories and in his usual style clean sheets. Looked like a tough trip to the Black Country.
So when Christian Eriksen opened the scoring after just six minutes it was a bit of a surprise. I mean it’s usually a lot later that he contributes his goal. Though no surprise it came from a set piece. Dembele being hacked down in the act of shooting. Thankfully the Belgian being played in the 10 role and not as some expected dropping deeper to accommodate Paulinho.
So a customary piece of class from a free-kick by Eriksen. Not quite top corner, Foster did get a hand to it but still good enough for that hand not to matter.
Well that brought the fun prospect of Spurs hanging on for another 83 minutes plus added time. Or indeed not hanging on but waiting for Eriksen to provide the winner in the dying seconds.
So when Kane doubled the lead just 9 minutes later it was quite the shock. Paulinho a simple pass to Lamela who quickly moved it onto Dembele in his stride it was onto Kane, on the left of the box, he cut in, first touch wasn’t the greatest, and powered a shot past Foster. Hit so hard that even though it was close to the ‘keeper he hadn’t a chance.
Then with two of Spurs’ trio contributing the other had to get in on the act. first after the hosts had cut through Spurs’ middle a flying fingertip by Lloris denied Morrison. A little later Lloris was down saving a close range shot off the line. It was an outstanding save that would have been played on an endless loop if certain other ‘keepers had made it.
either of those two go in and it would have been a different game. West Brom weren’t exactly on the up at those moments, it was really the first time they’d had any of the ball, but you know it would have caused a bit of panic. Kane and Eriksen scored the goals but Lloris saved the victory.
They hit the bar shortly after but Spurs were on a level of cruise control throughout most of the game. A period in that first half went by where West Brom didn’t touch the ball for seemed like months.
Funnily some were still picking holes in certain players. Paulinho coming in for some stick because of him losing a number of tackles. Yet when you look at his tackle chart it somewhat resembled that of Bentaleb, a player some can’t wait to get back from the African Cup of Nations, where apparently he was 100% successful with all his attempted passes in one game. Did more than 3 of them go forward?
It’s still Spurs, so you still need that third to make it at least safe for the draw. Well a bit safer, not nailed on.
It came 20 minutes into the second half, nice closing down by Eriksen – who could have sealed it earlier with a cracking shot from the edge of the box after a lovely dummy’ Lamela stretched the defence with his run as Walker flew down the wing. Eriksen laid it off to him and his first time cross was blocked by Lescott’s arm. Penalty.
Now I’d just been slagging off Walker before this contribution but this highlighted the difference between when Walker is worthwhile and when he isn’t. Here it was immediate, instant, as he hit the cross with his first touch, no thinking involved. Because when he thinks, he’s lost. Earlier he’d been up to his usual antics of leaving the ball until the last second before playing it. Letting the ball run past him and waiting and waiting, reluctant to actually play it with his feet. In doing so he plays himself into trouble, normally ending up with someone else being played into trouble with his panicked ball.
But wait no Townsend on the park, who will take the penalty? Step forward Mr. 19 goals this season man to make it Mr. 20 goals this season. Harry Kane, variously described as fat tongued and Peter Beardsleyesque. Who just can’t stop scoring, not even when I don’t just put him in my fantasy team, I make him captain.
After that it really was a cruise. This was not expected, not expected one bit. Last half an hour of a game in a comfort zone, it’s an unusual feeling but one you could get accustomed to, even though you know it’ll probably not happen again for a while.