A one all tie against West Brom cost Spurs first place

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Spurs had a chance to jump to the head of the class. Not on this day Saturday for Tottenham needed a late goal to earn a one all draw against West Brom to avoid their first defeat of the season.

The tie dropped Spurs to third place with 18 points.

Man Shitty and my Gunners are one and two in the table with 19 points apiece. Shitty has a plus eleven to remain atop the leader board while Arsenal is a plus ten for second place.

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The Daily Mail “The last time Dele Alli clenched his fist in a game against West Brom it was to fire a jab borne from frustration that would mean the end to his season.

But at the Hawthorns Alli’s punch was into the air in celebration, having scored a late equaliser that brought a slither of satisfaction for Tottenham against opponents who are fast becoming a bogey team.

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It was West Brom’s 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in April that derailed Spurs’ title bid and, while the same scoreline here stopped Mauricio Pochettino’s side going top, they had been staring a damaging defeat in the face to compound the loss of Toby Alderweireld to injury. 

With just eight minutes left, Nacer Chadli scored his fourth goal in five games since being convinced by Tony Pulis to leave Tottenham for West Brom and, having been wounded by a familiar face, there appeared little way back against obdurate opponents.

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But Alli seized on a loose ball in the 89th minute to prod home his third Premier League goal of the season. And the 20-year-old will reflect more fondly on this display than his previous against West Brom, when a punch to the midriff of Claudio Yacob earned a retrospective three-game ban.

The result brings to an end a four-match winning sequence for Tottenham and leaves them one point behind leaders Manchester City.  

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‘We missed an opportunity for three points,’ said Pochettino. ‘But I am happy with the performance. It is true we need to be more clinical but the team played very well in the first half and we created a lot of chances. The way we conceded is disappointing but in the end we showed character. We were a little bit unlucky. Their keeper was man of the match.’

Pochettino again employed his so-called Plan B system that delivered so well against City, meaning no place for Eric Dier in a 4-1-4-1 system. Heung-Min Son, in such fine form for Spurs, was dropped to the bench after travelling to the Far East during the international break. Vincent Janssen started instead.

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The visitors, beginning a sequence of seven games in 23 days, dominated possession to the tune of 80 per cent but were restricted to shots from range once the West Brom wall stood firm. Towards the end of the first half the dam cracked and Pulis had Ben Foster to thank for maintaining parity.  

In the 31st minute Erik Lamela’s shot from Kyle Walker’s cross was blocked to the feet of Alli. But the West Brom keeper rushed quickly to smother.

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Foster then got down well to push a sharp drive from Ben Davies round the post and made an even better save when Alli was sent clear by a neat pass from Janssen. As Alli ran through, Foster came out and a very good stop followed.

His finest contribution arrived three minutes before the break. Tottenham worked play smartly with Janssen and Alli linking to present the ball to Christian Eriksen on the edge of the D. And he struck a shot that looked destined for the bottom corner until Foster clawed it wide.

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West Brom’s only chance of the half came in added time, when James McClean cut inside and let fly from just inside the box. Hugo Lloris failed to hold on to it but Salomon Rondon was unable to turn in the rebound from close range. 

Then, as the hour mark approached, came a moment that Pochettino will hope is not as serious as it appeared. Alderweireld fell awkwardly trying to clear McClean’s cross. Tottenham’s medics quickly signalled for a substitution. Nursing his right knee, Alderweireld tried to walk off but dropped to the ground and left on a stretcher.

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Pulis sensed an opportunity and sent on Chris Brunt for his first appearance since February — and he did not look rusty. Having forced a corner with a cross, he then took the dead ball that travelled all the way to McClean, who hit a fierce shot with his left. Lloris reacted superbly to tip on to the post but Chadli fired in the rebound.

Amid delirious scenes in the Smethwick End, the Belgian refused to celebrate and received applause from a good number of the travelling fans when he was replaced later.

By now Pochettino had introduced Son and the forward played a role in Spurs snatching an equaliser. He furrowed his way to the byline and crossed, Eriksen’s attempt was blocked but Alli stabbed the ball home.

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Eriksen nearly won it for Spurs in injury time with a deep free-kick that was heading for the top corner until Foster once again sprung into action.

‘If you look at it as a whole, we’ve got Ben to thank,’ said Pulis. ‘First half I thought we looked as though half a dozen of the players were still away on international duty.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3839762/West-Brom-1-1-Tottenham-Nacer-Chadli-strikes-against-former-club-Spurs-retain-unbeaten-record-late-Dele-Alli-effort.html#ixzz4NGFotcx5

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