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Premier League

  • 25 August 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • White Hart Lane, London
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 36166
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Tottenham 1-1 West Brom: Last-gasp Morrison equaliser denies Villas-Boas a first victory

Tottenham 1-1 West Brom: Last-gasp Morrison equaliser denies Villas-Boas a first victory

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto gave Spurs the lead at White Hart Lane but they were denied victory by a late strike as Steve Clarke's men picked up another impressive result

A last gasp equaliser 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 were unable to find an opener. Steve Clarke's side produced a much improved display in the second period, but they fell victim to a superb strike from Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

However, they found an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time thanks to Morrison's close-range strike.

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

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HOW ASSOU-EKOTTO RATED AGAINST WEST BROM

Still seems somewhat rusty defensively, but his deflected effort handed the hosts the lead and cleared off the line from a McAuley header late on.
Baggies' boss 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 problems down the left-hand side. However, despite the home side's superiority, clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Villas-Boas' men should have taken the lead in the 16th minute, 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 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.

In spite of all their industry, Tottenham failed to create many real goal-scoring 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 were able to hold their own and hang on until 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 an Assou-Ekotto free-kick.

West Brom had spent little time in Tottenham's 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. Romelu Lukaku came on for Shane Long for the visitors and those two changes seemed to ignite the contest.

Defoe had an effort disallowed for offside after he had volleyed home at the near post, latching on to a lofted ball into the box, while at the other end Lukaku forced a fine save from Friedel, the Belgian striker firing a low strike towards goal which the American tipped away for a corner.
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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 Sigurdsson, who had 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 levelled 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. Gareth 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 on a poor William Gallas clearance to slot past Friedel and earn Clarke's men a richly deserved share of the spoils.

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