thumbnail Hello,

A late equaliser from James Morrison denied Andre Villas-Boas a first win as Tottenham manager after Benoit Assou Ekotto had given Spurs the lead

A last gasp equalizer from James Morrison earned West Brom a dramatic point at Tottenham in an enthralling contest at White Hart Lane.

The home side controlled much of the first half but was unable to find an opener. Steve Clarke's West Brom produced a much improved display in the second period, but they fell victim to a superb strike from Benoit Assou-Ekotto, which proved to be enough to hand the Lilywhites all three points.

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas made two changes to the side that was defeated by Newcastle last week. Jan Vertonghen made his debut at center back, coming in for the injured Younes Kaboul, while Rafael van der Vaart replaced new signing Gylfi Sigurdsson in the midfield. Emmanuel Adebayor, who finally completed a permanent to the club earlier in the week, started from the bench.

Baggies' boss Steve Clarke also opted to tinker with his side, as he made a pair of changes to the team that beat Liverpool so comprehensively in the opening weekend. Marc Antoine-Fortune and Graham Dorrans replacing Peter Odemwingie and Zoltan Gera respectively.

Spurs dominated much of the opening period, with Gareth Bale causing the visitors a myriad of problems down the left hand side. However, despite the home side's superiority, clear cut chances were at a premium. Still, Villas-Boas' men should have taken the lead just after the quarter of an hour mark, as van der Vaart hit wide from close range after latching on to a Aaron Lennon pull back.

The best chance of the game came minutes later, as former Ajax man Vertonghen marauded into the Baggies' half, combining well with Gareth Bale, whose low ball into the area was deflected into the path of the Belgian defender by Claudio Yacob, however the 25-year-old could only lash his volleyed effort high and wide of the goal.

Tottenham continued to press with vigor and artistry but West Brom - who offered little as an attacking force - was able to repel their advances with increasing ease as Spurs laboured to try and find the opening goal that their play deserved.

In spite of all their industry, Tottenham failed to create many real goalscoring opportunities, van der Vaart curled a free-kick over the bar and Jermain Defoe hit an effort straight at Ben Foster, but in truth West Brom was able to hold their own and hang on till half time with relative comfort.

Spurs continued in the ascendancy early in the second half, and they were denied the lead once more as Foster produced a fine save from a Assou-Ekotto free-kick.

West Brom had spent little time in Tottenham box throughout the contest, but they almost fashioned a goal from nothing as Dorrans broke into the area before forcing a near post save from Brad Friedel.

With the home fans growing in frustration, Adebayor was thrown into the fray by Villas-Boas as he replaced insert name. Romelu Lukaku came on for Shane Long for the visitors and those two changes seemed to ignite the contest.

First Jermain Defoe had an effort disallowed for offside after he had volleyed home at the near post after latching on to a lofted ball from insert name, while at the other end Lukaku forced a fine save from Friedel, the Belgian striker firing a low strike towards goal after shrugging off compatriot Vertonghen which the American keeper could only tip away for a corner.

The introduction of Lukaku seemed to spark West Brom into life as an attacking force, and they should have grasped the initiative when Dorrans played in Fortune, however Friedel again performed heroics to deny the Frenchman from close range.

Indeed the visitors had begun to look like the more likely winners, however, they fell behind on 74 minutes when Gylfi Sigurdsson - who had just replaced Sandro - lifted a corner into the box, Jonas Olsson cleared, but only as far as Assou-Ekotto, whose long range effort deflected past Foster and into the top corner.

West Brom responded well and almost leveled minutes later when Fortune turned past Assou-Ekotto before firing a shot towards goal from a difficult angle, however Friedel stood firm and palmed the ball away from danger.

The Baggies continued to cause Spurs problems, with Lukaku tormenting Vertonghen at every opportunity. Garteth McAuley thought he had won a point for his side as he saw an effort cleared off the line. However, in the first minute of injury time they did get their reward, as Morrison pounced a poor William Gallas clearance to slot past Friedel and earn Clarke's men a richly deserved share of the spoils.


Follow Goal.com on to get the latest soccer news directly. Check out Goal.com's page; be part of the best soccer fan community in the world!


From the web