Goal.com - Home

thumbnail Hello,
 
Played
February 3, 2013 7:00 PM IST
The Hawthorns — West Bromwich
Referee:‬ M. Clattenburg‎
Attendance:‬ 24978‎
 
 
Gareth Bale 67′
Top of the Match
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
Tottenham
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
Tottenham
Flop of the Match
Goran Popov
Goran Popov
West Bromwich
Goran Popov
Goran Popov
West Bromwich

West Brom 0-1 Tottenham: Bale maintains Spurs' grip on fourth place

Andre Villas-Boas' hopes of securing Champions League football next season were given a boost with a much-deserved three points against the Baggies

By Alex Hess

Gareth Bale, Tottenham vs WBA
Getty Images
A stunning second half strike from Gareth Bale was enough to help Tottenham Hotspur overcome West Brom in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Hawthorns.

The winger's long-range effort marked an end of the game's goalless first two thirds, with the visitors having been handed the momentum after Mark Clattenberg sent off Goran Popov in the opening stages of the second half.

The red card was shown to the Macedonian in the 47th minute for spitting in the direction of Kyle Walker following an altercation between the two. The hosts' reduction to ten men did plenty to change the landscape of the match and Spurs eventually went on to exploit their numerical advantage.

The result allows Andre Villas-Boas’ men to continue on their course for fourth place, and indeed takes them to within a point of London rivals Chelsea in third. The hosts, meanwhile, remain in ninth spot level on points with Michael Laudrup’s Swansea.

With Peter Odemwingie frozen out of first-team affairs following Thursday’s transfer drama, Steve Clarke made the unexpected decision to pair his two main strikers, Shane Long and Romelu Lukaku for only the second time in the league. Claudio Yacob and Steven Reid were also recalled to the Baggies’ starting line-up.

The visitors, meanwhile, opted for the same side which salvaged a point at Carrow Road in their previous fixture, with Michael Dawson captaining the side, and the free role granted to Bale indicative of the Welshman’s on-going transition from straightforward winger to a more varied attacker. January signing Lewis Holtby was again required to begin the game on the bench.

The opening stages of the match were a rather cagey affair, with the Baggie's forward pairing linking well, if sporadically, and midfield schemers Mousa Dembele and Chris Brunt both showing teasing flashes of creativity without being able to fully dictate proceedings.

As half-time approached, Villas-Boas was left ruing his failure to bolster his side’s striking options during the transfer window as Jermain Defoe succumbed to a twisted ankle and limped off the field to be replaced by Holtby, with Clint Dempsey filling the void left by the England man.

On a number of occasions in the opening half the unshackled Bale showed that he was adapting well to his free role, showcasing his explosive pace and trademark direct running with rousing surges from central areas. Twice his delivery from the right flank was cleared by the home defence, though the talismanic attacker came the closest of anyone to breaking the deadlock before the break, forcing Ben Foster to acrobatically tip his whipped effort over the bar moments before Mark Clattenberg blew an end to the half.

No sooner had the second period got underway, though, than Popov found himself dismissed after an exchange with Walker, granting the visitors the onus to go on and secure a result.

A second half of sustained Tottenham pressure duly followed, and after a long period of much away possession but little penetration, the visitors eventually broke the deadlock in the 67th minute. It was no surprise to see Bale do so, as the Welshman received a short pass from the onrushing Walker, shifted the ball past James Morrison and lashed a wonderful left-footed strike into the far corner of Foster's net.

With the deadlock broken there was little doubt as to the final result, the only real surprise being that Spurs' continued pressure failed to increase their lead, with much foraging and a succession of set pieces from the visitors not enough to further trouble the scoresheet.


West Bromwich

1
Ben Foster
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
Steven Reid
Defender
2.50
3
Jonas Olsson
Defender
2.50
4
Goran Popov
Defender
48′
1.00
23
Gareth McAuley
Defender
2.50
5
Claudio Yacob
Midfielder
82′
2.00
7
James Morrison
Midfielder
2.00
11
Chris Brunt
Midfielder
2.50
17
Graham Dorrans
Midfielder
69′ 81′
2.00
21
Shane Long
Striker
2.50
17
Romelu Lukaku
Striker
52′
2.50

Tottenham

2.50
25
Hugo Lloris
Goalkeeper
2.50
5
2.50
20
2.00
2
Kyle Walker
Defender
67′ 78′
2.00
32
2.50
7
Aaron Lennon
Midfielder
86′
2.50
28
Scott Parker
Midfielder
4.00
11
Gareth Bale
Midfielder
67′
3.00
19
2.50
2
Clint Dempsey
Midfielder
2.50
18

Substitutes

13
B. Myhill
Goalkeeper
 - 
6
2.50
28
Billy Jones
Midfielder
 - 
14
Jerome Thomas
Midfielder
 - 
9
2.00
28
2.00

Substitutes

 - 
24
Brad Friedel
Goalkeeper
2.50
13
 - 
16
 - 
8
2.00
22
3.00
10
Lewis Holtby
Midfielder
39′
 - 
14
Jake Livermore
Midfielder

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0