Spurs suffer second successive home defeat after shock loss against West Brom
15:22 21 September 2014
Tottenham suffered their second successive home defeat of the season as West Brom earned a shock 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane thanks to James Morrison’s 75th-minute winner.
The Baggies have been something of a bogey team for Spurs, who have only managed one win against the Midlands club in their last five meetings.
Albion had picked up 1-1 draws in their previous two trips to the Lane – and this time they left with all three points, getting their first league triumph under Alan Irvine.
Meanwhile Mauricio Pochettino’s Lilywhites, who lost 3-0 to Liverpool in their previous home game, are now winless in their last four games in all competitions.
Tottenham had failed to muster a single shot on target away against Partizan Belgrade in Serbia in midweek, and they only managed one at home today, despite facing a West Brom side who had only gathered two points from their first four league games.
The decisive goal came 15 minutes from time, with Chris Brunt delivering a corner from the right and James Morrison losing his marker Erik Lamela to head from six yards.
Having made 10 changes for Thursday’s European trip to Serbia, Pochettino reverted to the side that had lined up at Sunderland in their previous league game, with Younes Kaboul leading the team out for the first time since being named club captain.
Hopes were high around White Hart Lane before kick-off, with the Lilywhites hosting a struggling Baggies side who had gone behind in the opening two minutes in their two previous games.
However, Albion made the brighter start and looked more likely to get an early opener. Morrison crossed for Craig Dawson, who headed over - and Saido Berahino then got in behind, but his first touch was poor and he shot wide of the near post.
Lamela threatened at the other end, showing quick feet to get a cross-shot off, but it was well blocked, and Albion continued to give Tottenham cause for concern.
The over-elaborate Vlad Chiriches – who had been substituted at half-time when Spurs drew 3-3 with the Baggies at The Hawthorns in April – conceded a needless corner, and Baggies debutant Joleon Lescott hit a thunderbolt which struck his own man Dawson.
Craig Gardner tested Hugo Lloris with a shot from another corner and, when Albion won another set piece, Tottenham were fortunate to avoid a penalty as Dawson’s flicked header hit Emmanuel Adebayor’s hand in the box.
Spurs were struggling and the home crowd was becoming agitated, but the hosts finally unlocked the visitors’ defence with a quick move involving Lamela and Christian Eriksen, who freed Adebayor – but the forward was denied by a fine goal-saving tackle from the impressive Lescott.
Tottenham had another scare as Berahino gathered a cross from the right and prodded the ball past Lloris into the net, but the goal was rightly disallowed for offside.
With the tension rising at the Lane, Spurs exerted some pressure at the end of the half. Eriksen’s first-time shot was blocked and he then delivered an inviting inswinging cross for Adebayor, who was just unable to get his head to the ball six yards out.
Tottenham tried to pick up where they had left off after the interval and Lamela tricked his way into the box before seeing his low cross blocked by Lescott.
However, a lack of quality in the final third was undermining the home side’s efforts, and Eriksen overhit a through ball to Lamela while the Argentine underhit his attempt to free Rose.
Instead it was Albion who came closest to scoring, with Rose giving the ball away carelessly and Berahino unleashed a rasping effort which Lloris palmed away, while the loose ball was hacked clear.
Pochettino responded to the general malaise with a double change at the hour-mark, swapping Dembele and Nacer Chadli with Paulinho and Roberto Soldado and switching to a 4-4-2 formation.
Adebayor was just unable to connect with Eriksen’s chipped ball over the top, and Baggies keeper Ben Foster then got a cut on his head as he dived bravely at Soldado’s feet to palm away the rebound.
The game was right in the balance as Spurs opened themselves up, and Gardner forced a low save from Lloris while Soldado tested Foster immediately at the other end.
In the end it was Albion who got the crucial breakthrough as Morrison headed home from Brunt’s corner in the 75th minute.
Pochettino made his final change, bringing on Aaron Lennon, but Tottenham were unable to respond – or even test Foster – before the final whistle as they succumbed to a hugely disappointing defeat.
Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Kaboul, Chiriches, Rose, Capoue (Lennon 75), Dembele (Paulinho 60), Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli (Soldado 60), Adebayor
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