West Brom @ Tottenham

1st Half

2′ Danny Rose takes a shot to the face from former Spurs player Nacer Chadli.  Accidental.

4′ WBA content to let Spurs hold the ball and sit behind the ball.  Spurs nibbling around the final 1/3 pressed well up the pitch.  Vertonghen too.  Dembele finds Rose on the left who whips in a cross.  Kane stabs at it but it bounces beyond the far post.  that was close to an early breakthrough for Tottenham.  Vertonghen is high and wide with a drive but whatever. How often does he get that chance.

8′ with how deep WBA is even when they cut out a cross or win the ball they have no outlet as Spurs comfortably has numbers to steer it right back into the final 1/3.  Kane smokes a shot towards the WBA goal but it was always rising.

11′ WBA with a free kick and chance to serve it in but Eriksen as the closest man to the ball deflects it away.  Spurs quickly resume possession and Wanyama unchallenged coming fwd.  He feeds Eriksen with a little slip to Kane who stayed onside and finishes cleanly into the top corner off the near post.  Tottenahm 1  WBA 0

14′ Dembele with a beautiful find picking out Eriksen streaking down the center but the Dane’s first touch is too heavy and WBA clear their lines.  Lots of Tottenham energy finding the holes in the WBA defense.  Fairly simple so far.  Gives Spurs free license to explore. Alderweild lasers a long pass to Walker on the right and out for CK.   Kane with a dipping cross that dosn’t find a white shirt but looked dangerous.  Repeat performance from Alderweild to Walker for another CK.

20′ if you are WBA and you want to press, then press and take your chances if Spurs break.  If you want to sit and absorb that’s fine too.  But have an outlet for a counter.  And markup. Right now this looks like training ground stuff from Tottenham uninhibited by any offensive threat from WBA.  No pressure on the ball or tight marking off it.

24′ After Vertonghen carries from the back to the final 1/3 without much trouble Wanyama is clattered over and Eriksen delivers a FK from the left wing.   He cuts it short to Rose and Kane backing up as he volleys the cross and its out for a CK.  Short corner looks clumsy but Dembele and Wanyama out working WBA.  Wanyama ball in shot/cross and Kane scuff the header.

25′ GOAL Tottenham.  Eriksen’s shot takes a couple deflection and has eyes for the net.  Crisp passing.  Walker-Rose-Eriksen and GK unlucky as he was moving right and deflection takes it back left and into the goal.  As commentators note, Rose was effectively the right fwd on that one.

29′ Tottenham content with meandering stretches of possession now.  No urgency to any movement fwd with a 2-goal cushion.

30′ Eriksen chips it into Dele who flicks it into the net with the outside of his right but he was a yard or so offside and its currently waived off.  Damn.  That was pretty.

34′ Walker with great poise on the ball on the right.  He slips in Kane who flicks towards goal but nice save for a CK.  Scrambled away by WBA.  I’m not sure if WBA is playing with any central midfielders.  Kane again tries his luck and unleashes a shot with his left and GK at full stretch keeps it out.

38′ still  no signs of WBA looking or able to get a foothold in this match.  Distribution from backline to frontline for Spurs is seamless.  Lloris most activity is on safe back passes.  On screen stat notes that Spurs 42 points through 20 games is 6 points ahead of where Tottenham was last season. Of course, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and the Manchesters aren’t taking this season off.

HALFTIME:  mercifully for WBA they get a break.  Perhaps time for them to settle on their life purpose and worth.  Spurs just need to avoid being careless and allowing WBA to find a way into this one.    If Tottenham can keep grinding possession I would think WBA would get some heavy legs.

2nd Half

46′ right out the gate a turnover in midfield and one pass fwd and WBA striker fires justwide of the far post, great compsure with a quick strike.  Easily WBA’s best chance thus far.  That would be the carelessness that would give WBA a lifeline.

51′ Tottenham letting WBA have some of the ball but really nothing too dangerous coming for it.  WBA ready to make their first change.  Tottenham content to keep this organized and tidy and avoid disaster.  Eriksen off a set piece sends a cross right to the GK.  Alderweild with yet another briliant pass from deep and Dele knocked over in the area.  That very easily could and probably should have been a PK.

56′ ball falls to Alderweild and GK with a kick save to deny the Tottenham CB.  Vertonghen follows up and demands a fine save from the GK to deny the other CB.  Not exactly how you would draw it up for Spurs to have the 2 CB striking the ball but it works.  Dele with some slick footwork on the touchline and Kane with a lovely turn but GK gets low and parries away.  Eriksen drive from distance comes to nothing.

63′ Vertonghen lands awkwardly stretching for the ball and looks like a bad ankle sprain maybe?  That could be a problem moving fwd and just a few weeks after the Belgian duo had reunited.   Eriksen gets Kane through and WBA takes a good yellow to bust up the attack.  Vertoonghen weepily off to the locker room with considerable help.

69′ superlative individual effort from Eriksen as he skates down the left side but Kane immediately gives the ball back to WBA off the delivery.  Tottenham slowing the pace now and building possession again.  Walker-Wanyama-Dembele-Eriksen-Wanyama but a strong right hand keeps it out.

75′ Spurs still dominating controlling the flow.  Knocking it around the park.  1-2 with Dele-Walker and Walker steals back from WBA and sends in a cross as the GK was off his line and scrambling.  Kane with a stupendous volley to make it 3 for Tottenham and secure all 3 points.  GK out of position and of course Kane is free in the area.  Tottenham 3-0

82′ Dele with a scoop and Kane takes it first time and gets just enough on it to knock it into the far post.  Shades of Fabian Johnson’s first goal as a USMNT.  Dembele off for Winks and Tottenham can just coast to the finish. Tottenham with easy passing back and forth across its backline and the blissful crowd at WHL trying to do some “OLE!” chants amid the string of Spurs passes.  Son on for Kane .

FULL TIME

Tottenham 3  WBA 0

 

 

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