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West Bromwich Albion
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February 3, 2013
• The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Referee: M. Clattenburg
• Attendance: 24978
West Bromwich Albion
G. Bale 67'
Thank you for following all the action from today's clash between WBA and Spurs with us here at Goal. Join us next time as Goal bring you LIVE! commentary from all the biggest games across Europe. Until then, I've been Theo Squires, thank you and goodbye.
WBA meanwhile are still searching for their first win of 2013. They had Popov sent off just after the break after the Macedonian spat at Kyle Walker. After that incident there was only going to be one winner. Spurs, who lost Jermain Defoe early on, were much the better side and deserved their victory.
Full time and Gareth Bale's marvellous effort midway through the second half secures three points for Tottenham today. Spurs move to within one point of third placed as their unbeaten run extends to nine games.
90' + 4'
Ben Foster goes up as WBA win a late free kick. Brunt takes but it's deep and Lloris gathers at the second attempt.
90' + 2'
Gareth Bale is currently down injured after being scythed down by Brunt before being stopped in his tracks by Reid.
Four minutes added on...
Sigurdsson comes on to replace Lennon.
Lennon receives the ball on the left hand side before running at the West Brom defence. He cuts into the Baggies penalty area before lining up a shot, but his effort is blocked. It's his last contribution of the day.
Fortune comes on for Yacob. Will the changes turn this game on its head for West Brom?
Rosenberg comes on for Dorrans.
Double substitution for WBA...
Spurs doing a good job of keeping hold of possession as they look to see out the game. It's going to take something special for West Brom to get back into this match now.
William Gallas makes his return from injury as he comes on as a late replacement for Kyle Walker.
Jermain Defoe is on crutches on the sidelines. The Spurs medical team fear ankle ligament damage. With Adebayor still on international duty for Togo, Defoe's injury comes at an awful time for Tottenham.
AVB beckons his side to push forward and attack as they chase a second. His side have dropped points on a number of occasions this season thanks to their failure to kill off games. He doesn't want that to be the case today. As it stands Spurs move to within a point of third placed Chelsea.
Clint Dempsey is the latest player for Spurs to go down injured after the American is caught while trying to turn and shoot in the WBA penalty area.
Yellow Card Graham Dorrans
Assist Kyle Walker
Goal Gareth Bale
GOAL! Gareth Bale! West Brom will have to attack now. Spurs' patient build-up finally pays off. Lennon exchances passes with Holtby on the right hand side, before playing it back to Walker. Walkers plays it inside to Bale, who cuts in before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Ben Foster into the top left-hand corner. That's exactly what Bale is capable of. Hard to see WBA fighting back now.
Spurs continue to hold onto possession as they look to tire out 10-man West Brom. The Baggies remain happy to let them do this however as they try to hold out for a draw.
Assou-Ekotto crosses the ball into the box searching for Demsepy, but Olsson rises higher and heads the ball away.
A throw-in to Spurs finds Gareth Bale in the WBA penalty area. He advances on goal but Fosters is quick off his line and gets the ball away. He catches the Welshman however and play is stopped as Bale receives treatment.
West Brom unsurprisingly have all men behind the ball as Spurs continue to press. In recent weeks Spurs have strugged to break down teams that sit back against them. Will that be the case today?
It's all Tottenham at the moment. They have the man advantage and are making the most of it in possession. However they are still struggling to create any shots at goal, with Ben Foster remaining a spectator for the majority of this game. West Brom continue to sit back and look for Shane Long on the counter attack. They'd happily take a point.
Liam Ridgewell is brought on for Romelu Lukaku in a tactical reshuffle by Steve Clarke.
Lennon feeds the ball to Bale, who cuts in before firing a shot at goal. It is deflected wide for a corner. Holtby takes the set piece, but Lukaku gets it away.
Red Card Goran Popov
Red Card! Goran Popov has been sent off for West Brom after spitting at Kyle Walker. After scuffling over the ball in the corner, Walker and Popov exchange words after it goes out for a goal kick. Walker walks away, leading the Macedonian to spit in his direction. Right decision after some disgusting behaviour. Advantage Spurs.
West Brom kick-off for the second half and we are back underway at the Hawthorns.
A game of few chances so far. Hugo Lloris has done well to deny Shane Long on two occasions, while Clint Dempsey headed wide when well placed early on, before Gareth Bale had a curing effort from distance tipped over the bar by Ben Foster. This game badly needs a goal to kick it into life. Will we get one? Stay tuned to find out.
The teams go in at the interval with the scores at 0-0. It has been a drab encounter so far after a lively start to the half. Spurs have been the better side, but are strugging to create much in attack. With Jermain Defoe limping off injured just before the break, they will have to improve if they are to open the scoring, while WBA continue to look a threat on the counter attack.
45' + 3'
Bale goes on a solo-run before cutting back onto his favoured foot on the edge of the WBA area. He curls a shot at goal which Foster does well to push over the bar. The resulting corner is poor however and comes to nothing. The half-time whistle soon follows.
Three minutes to be added on...
Spurs continue to control possession but are struggling to create much in attack. They have been vulnerable to the counter attack, which WBA prove immediately as Lukuaku finds himself with the ball on the edge of the Tottenham. He lines up a shot, but is leaning back and the ball flies over the bar.
Lewis Holtby comes on for the injured Defoe. Defoe is unable to continue and after limping heavily while trying to hobble down the tunnel, he is eventually carried away.
Play resumes with Defoe being treated on the sidelines. His ankle is being heavily bandaged at the moment, so it looks like the England international might try to play on.
Defoe is currently down injured. It doesn't look like he's been caught after avoiding the challenge by Long. He's had a pelvic problem in recent weeks. Whatever the problem is, Villas-Boas will be feeling rather anxious right now with no strikers on the bench for Spurs.
Bale takes it but it's poor. High, wide and not at all handsome as it flies miles over the bar and is still rising.
Defoe has his legs taken away on the edge of the WBA area. Free kick to Spurs.
Lennon has the ball on the right wing, but choosing not to cross, he plays the ball back to Walker. The full back, attempts a first time cross, but it is deflected behind for a corner. Walker takes the set-piece, but it goes out of play before coming back in. Goal kick to WBA.
Dempsey drives forward through the centre, shrugging off a West Brom challenge, before firing a shot at goal from the edge of the area, however the American doesn't catch it right and it drifts wide.
Brunt floats the ball in, but Lloris is quick off his line and once again manages to punch clear.
Corner to WBA. Morrison chips a through ball forward to Long, but it's deflected and goes behind for the set-piece.
West Brom beginning to look more dangerous in attack now after a period of sitting back. They're keeping hold of the ball well and Lukaku and Long have looked lively in attack so far.
Dorrans picks the ball up on the edge of the area and plays a delightful through ball forward to Long. The Irishman fires in a shot at the near post but Lloris manages to block it.
Assou-Ekotto launches a long ball forward to Defoe. It finds its way back to Dempsey. The American heads it forward first time to Defoe, who speeds away at goal, but Foster gets to it first and clears for West Brom.
Bale manages to force his way through countless WBA challenges, fighting his way into the penalty area. He attempts to cross the ball to Defoe with his weaker foot, but it's a poor cross and comes to nothing.
Kyle Walker cuts in from the right-hand side and feeds Dembele on the edge of the WBA penalty area. The Belgian spots Bale to his left, and threads a through ball forward to the winger, but it's too heavy and goes out for a goal kick.
End-to-end stuff at the moment. Lennon jinks down the right wing before whipping in a cross to the far post. Dempsey is there but his header is poor and goes out harmlessly for a goal kick.
West Brom win the ball back. Brunt feeds Lukaku and the Belgian fires in a shot from the left-hand side of the penalty area. It's a powerful effort but straight at Lloris.
Brunt takes but it's too close to Lloris and the Frenchman punches it away.
Corner to West Brom now.
It's a poor set piece. It flies over everyone's heads and goes out for a goal kick.
Corner to Spurs...
Shane Long finds himself one-on-one as Lloris rushes out but a poor touch lets the Irishman down and the chance comes to nothing.
An even start so far. Spurs have had the better share of possession and are being patient in their build-up. That approach hasn't worked in their last few games, will it work today?
We are underway...
Kick-off is just moments away. Stay tuned for all the latest from the Hawthorns.
West Brom are still searching for their first win of 2013, having not won any of their previous five league games. In contrast Spurs are unbeaten in their last eight league matches, but have not won any of their last three.
The Baggies have not emerged victorious from this tie since December 2008. A James Morrison last minute equaliser secured West Brom a share of the points when these two sides met earlier this season, while Jermain Defoe was amongst the scorers for Spurs as they won 3-1 at the Hawthorns last season.
A win for WBA today could see them move up to 7th, temporarily at least with Liverpool set to play Manchester City later this afternoon. Three points for Spurs however would see them move to within one point of third placed Chelsea.
So the main talking point for the Baggies is no Peter Odemwingie after he failed in his attempts to force through a transfer to QPR on deadline day. Spurs meanwhile are unchanged, meaning new signing Lewis Holtby once again will start on the bench.
Tottenham subs: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Huddlestone, Livermore, Sigurdsson, Holtby.
West Brom subs: Myhill, Ridgewell, Thomas, Jones, Rosenberg, Fortune, Tamas.
Tottenham starting XI: Lloris, Vertonghen, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Walker, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Parker, Dembele, Defoe.
West Brom starting XI: Foster, Popov, McAuley, Reid, Olsson, Dorrans, Brunt, Morrison, Yacob, Long, Lukaku.
Teams news is in and as follows...
Good Afternoon and welcome to Goal.Com's LIVE! text commentary from today's Premier League clash between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur. My name is Theo Squires and I will be guiding you through all the action from the Hawthorns.
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