Baggies Trousered A Point At The Hawthorns

It’s so utterly typical that Spurs are unbeaten and still behind Arsenal in the league. The gloating, even at this stage of the season, is a crushing pain in my head.

Dele Alli’s late equaliser kept the run going and displayed more of the resilience which was for so long missing. It was a typical post-international break performance. The players were, at times in the second half, a group of strangers in the same coloured shirts. In the first, it was cohesive, slick passing and in danger of over-running Tony Pulis’ workmanlike side.

But what was typically Spurs was conceding a late goal in a match which didn’t seem to have any goals coming. It was odds on that Nacer Chadli would score for the Albion; the immutable law of the footballing ex.

Perhaps it’s just me but it seems that the lack of celebration – out of ‘respect’ – is more irritating than a full-blown fist-pumping, team-mate hugging explosion of joy. Scoring a goal is supposed to be the climactic moment in a match so to hell with the courtesy, get back to some unsanitised pantomime villainy.

The chief concern of the match before Chadli struck was Toby Alderweireld’s departure on a stretcher early in the second half. The immediate impact is that the Belgian will miss the trip to Leverkusen; the lasting damage will become clearer this week.

Poch said afterwards that Alderweireld was in agony after the game, with the centre back suffering with his knee and leg. Tomorrow seems to be the earliest that any update will be issued by the club or perhaps later today if the pre-match press conference is held this evening. Eric Dier is a capable short-term replacement whilst solving a problem in midfield.

After dominating the first half, to leave the west Midlands with a point is disappointing. Shooting boots were firmly left in the dressing room which might be considered a harsh judgment considering that Foster was in outstanding form. His save from Eriksen was astonishing and underlines the competition Joe Hart faces belatedly in the England squad.

Sissoko had a disappointing afternoon. With his price tag, he is going to have to get used to the expectations placed on his shoulders. He is capable of a better overall performance than he gave. Rightly we expect more and I’m confident that he will deliver.

Pulis admitted that his side were lucky to take a point after the first half performance. I’d argue that Poch should feel the same after the second, particularly conceding a late goal. Hugo Lloris used the woodwork to help keep McClean out as Albion raised the pressure.

Just when it seemed the unbeaten run was over, Alli popped up in the right place at the right time. Albion’s luck ran out when Eriksen was denied once more but relief was at hand as the England international beat Foster from close range.

Fortunately, City screwed up against Everton. Dropping two points hasn’t damaged the title hopes at this moment in time; the end of the season will be the time we engage in ‘what ifs’ or forget about the result and performance completely.

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