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Three talking points as West Brom held Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley

Three talking points as West Brom held Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley

Managerless West Bromwich Albion produced a fine rearguard display to claim a point against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. The visitors, under the watchful eye of interim manager Gary Megson, made the perfect start when Salomon Rondon poked the ball past Hugo Lloris on four minutes. Spurs dominated the proceedings from that moment but it took them until late in the second half to equalise through Harry Kane. Try as they might, the home side could not bag a winner – and would have left the national stadium empty-handed had the Baggies been more clinical in stoppage-time. Here are three talking points.

Title dream already over for lacklustre Tottenham

Manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted in his post-match appraisal that Tottenham’s hopes of winning the Premier League are effectively dead. With table-topping Manchester City not playing until Sunday, Spurs had an opportunity to close the deficit to eight points, but they were up against it from the moment Rondon had given the visitors a shock lead.

This was another game at Wembley that Tottenham will feel they have dropped points, following draws with Burnley and Swansea earlier in the season. In fact, Spurs have dropped as many points at their temporary home this season than in their previous 23 fixtures at White Hart Lane. Pochettino’s side pushed eventual champions Chelsea hard last term, but they may have to make do with fighting it out for a top-four position this time.

Baggies bouncing back after difficult period

If speculation is to be believed, Alan Pardew will be unveiled as the new West Brom manager in the next couple of days. After sacking Tony Pulis, who had overseen a run of 10 Premier League matches without a win, this was just the reaction the club’s power-brokers would have wanted. The draw lifted the Baggies out of the relegation zone and restored confidence in their fragile players.

They had to ride their luck at times, and were fortunate to face a Tottenham team that had expended so much energy at Borussia Dortmund in midweek, but this was a merited point. Supporters can now look to the future with optimism and hope that, if Pardew is indeed appointed as Pulis’s successor, the turgid football to which they have been subjected will improve.

Spurs suffering from a Champions League hangover

Tottenham performed superbly to top their Champions League group ahead of Real Madrid and Dortmund, securing praiseworthy victories over both clubs and remaining unbeaten. Unfortunately, their European exploits appear to have detrimentally affected their domestic form, which has struggled to get going. With games coming thick and fast, this season is a real test of Spurs’ strength in depth.

Although he scored against West Brom, Kane has suffered with niggling injuries and looked a little jaded, much like many of his team-mates. After conceding defeat in their title quest, Pochettino will hope his side can go deep into the latter stages of the Champions League. But with competition so fierce to finish in the top four, Spurs cannot afford to keep dropping points against the lesser teams, particularly at home.

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