Match: Saturday 31st January 2015.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: The Hawthorns.
Result: West Brom 0-3 Tottenham.
Tottenham goalscorers: Eriksen 6’, Kane 15′, 64’.
A really, really good win. You can’t get much better than 3-0 away from home, scoring great goals and keeping a clean sheet makes it the perfect win. The whole occasion was very comfortable, we passed the ball swiftly and accurately, and constantly looked a threat to the Albion goal, with the interplay between Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele & Erik Lamela. Going ahead early made it much easier to keep West Brom at bay, hold the ball and play at our own pace, able to up the speed of play when we wanted to, and slow it down also. West Brom weren’t able to get their foot into the game and affect it in the way they would have wanted to; we were just too powerful, too intricate and too good for what is a side that don’t have the sheer quality in their ranks that we do. This win is crucial, going into a very tough February, we needed to pick up three points and now we go into these difficult fixtures with conviction and confidence, and we certainly will not fear any fixture, with the form that we have hit. Facing Arsenal, Liverpool and Fiorentina in this form is a good thing, and we will look to win all of those contests. After securing a spot at Wembley, and winning comfortably against West Brom, it hasn’t been a bad week to be a Tottenham fan. Now let’s hope February and March top January!
In the first half, it was Christian Eriksen who commenced the scoring, with his 11th goal of the season from a free kick. He has become an expert from the dead ball, and it was another scrumptious curling effort, which alluded West Brom’s Ben Foster and nestled into the back of the net for what was a picture-perfect start to the game. We controlled the tempo after that, with Mason and Dembele shifting the ball around with relative ease, and then we picked up the pace, and the ball found it’s way into the path of Mousa Dembele who dribbled with the ball before releasing it into the quick feet of Harry Kane, who took two touched before smashing the ball past Ben Foster before he could say ‘goal’, and the scoreboard showed 2-0, with just 15 minutes played and it was looking healthy for Tottenham and rather miserable for the Baggies. After the second goal, it’s natural, although frustrating for Tottenham to just take their foot off the pedal and try and control the possession, but we couldn’t really contain West Brom, who settled into the game and started to have more possession, be more threatening and create good chances. And they forced two magnificent saves out of Hugo Lloris, first from long range from James Morrison and then Claudio Yacob from just outside the six-yard box. Saved by our captain Lloris, once again. After these chances, we wanted to see half time come about quite quickly, as the pressure mounted, but we saw this spell through to half time and at half time, we looked in a fantastic position to win the game, if we could build on our two goal lead in the next period.
The second half was not all guns blazing by any means; West Brom created a few chances here and there but were never overly threatening, and apart from Christian Eriksen going extremely close from outside the box, we didn’t create a hell of a lot either, but we were still a threat on the ball; we were patient, and we probed with the ball in midfield, with Harry Kane always moving in front of the midfield, looking for an opening, and after Hugo Lloris making another brilliant save, this time from Victor Anichebe, it was Tottenham who got the vital third goal to kill the game, the goal which Mauricio Pochettino has been craving for so long, to kill a game and be comfortable, and not have to rely on a late goal, and it was Harry Kane who got it from the spot, Kyle Walker fizzing a ball low into the box and hitting a hand of a West Brom defender, granting us the penalty, and Harry Kane converting with ease on 64 minutes, finishing off the game. And that penalty wasn’t just Kane’s second of the match, it was his 20th of the season for Tottenham, a simply magnificent achievement for a player who has come on leaps and bounds this season, and will no doubt continue to develop, and cement his place as one of the best strikers in the Premier League at the moment, I am not over exaggerating when I say he is on his way to becoming a complete player, he can do everything. We continued, after the third goal, to hold the ball well, but West Brom tried to get the ball a bit more and succeeded, but they simply couldn’t get the ball into the net, and past the unbelievable Hugo Lloris, as well as Jan Vertonghen and Federico Fazio, who were very assuring at the back, and kept Saido Berahino very quiet. We strolled into the final whistle with the three-goal lead and three points secured, being a brilliant performance and result.
There’s no doubt who the man of the match award goes to; Harry Kane scored twice, worked extremely hard and linked up really well with his fellow attackers, he kept Dawson and McCauley ever so busy all through the game until he was replaced by Roberto Soldado to cheers of ‘He’s one of our own!’ from the travelling support. As I have said, he’s now at 20 goals for the season and there is no doubt that he will go on to get around 30 this season, even more, because he is so lively, in every game he plays, even when he isn’t scoring he’s affecting games, making space, assisting team mates and working hard – he is without doubt the most improved player in the Premier League this season, and being 21, there is still so much more he will learn, and he will continue to improve throughout this season, and throughout his long Tottenham career. As well as the phenomenal Harry Kane, you have the magnificent Christian Eriksen, who seems to just continue to produce, game after game, after game, and he did that once again in this match, with a perfect free kick, and he threatened throughout the game as well, with his intricate passing and ability to run with the ball and effect the game; he is a joy to watch and his class from the dead ball is something you can never get bored of, he is such an intelligent player, and I am so glad that he is Spurs. After being in the peripheral of the Spurs team, Mousa Dembele’s performance today, especially in the first half was very good; his ability on the ball is second to none, and recently, he has been able to provide that killer touch too of an assist, key pass or chance created, which is exactly what we have always wanted from Dembele, and you have to credit Pochettino, as he has put him in a more offensive position and it is paying dividends, as he notched the assist for the second goal, and also won the foul that led to Christian Eriksen’s wonder free kick. Consistency in his performances is key, and with two good performances in a row, hopefully he can kick on and become a big and important member of the squad, like he was when he first joined the club. Hugo Lloris, what can I say? He makes crucial, phenomenal saves time and time again and is the indisputable best goalkeeper in the Premier League in my opinion; he is unbelievable and there aren’t enough superlatives in the world to describe him, so I will make one up, he’s ‘fantabuloumazing’! Special mention for Paulinho, who after being the forgotten man earlier in the season, has worked hard to regain fitness, to regain his touch and form, and then regain his place as part of the squad, and he played really well today, and I am hoping there is further improvement to come for the Brazilian, as his graft to get back in the side is commendable. Another mention as well for Jan Vertonghen, who I believe has been Mr Consistent at the back this season, and he has certainly rediscovered his best form alongside Eric Dier and Federico Fazio; he’s been brilliant and was again in this match, containing Saido Berahino and Victor Anichebe with relative comfort.
A magnificent three points! Next up is the North London Derby at White Hart Lane in the Premier League, and let’s hope we start February in a similar way to how we started January, with a comprehensive victory against a top 4 London side. The first month of January has been very kind to Tottenham; let’s hope the rest of the year is just as good, and we can be very successful. Follow me on twitter for it all, here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs!! COYS!
My player ratings for the side that faced West Brom at the Hawthorns:
Lloris – 9
Walker – 8
Fazio – 7.5
Vertonghen – 8.5
Rose – 8
Mason – 7.5 (Stambouli 72’ – 5)
Dembele – 8.5 (Chadli 62’ – 6.5)
Paulinho – 7.5
Lamela – 7
Eriksen – 9
Kane – 9.5 Man of the Match. (Soldado 88’ – N/A)
Mauricio Pochettino’s reaction to our 3-0 win over West Brom:
Harry Kane’s post match reaction: