West Brom 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur: James McClean replies to Dele Alli opener
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 05/12/15 8:55pm
Tottenham missed the chance to move into the top four in the Premier League as James McClean's equaliser earned West Brom a 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns.
Dele Alli finished from Toby Alderweireld's long ball to put Spurs ahead after 15 minutes but McClean's header levelled it up before the break.
The goal was McClean's first since February and only a superb reflex save from Hugo Lloris in the second half prevented Jonas Olsson from making it 2-1.
The draw extends Spurs' unbeaten league run to 14 matches and keeps them fifth in the table.
While it was a missed opportunity for Mauricio Pochettino's side on a day that Manchester United and Manchester City both failed to win, a draw was probably a fair result after an even contest.
Pochettino made two changes from the team that drew against Chelsea as Alli returned from suspension to replace Ryan Mason and Erik Lamela came in for Heung-Min Son.
Saido Berahino, who was the subject of transfer interest from Spurs in the summer, started on the bench for West Brom for the fourth match in a row, with Chris Brunt coming in to replace the suspended Claudio Yacob.
Spurs had scored three times on both of their last two visits to The Hawthorns but it was the Baggies who spurned a great early chance to take the lead.
Salomon Rondon showed good strength to outmuscle Jan Vertonghen and fashion a clear opportunity, only to fire wide from just inside the box.
Spurs took the lead 10 minutes later as Gareth McAuley and Craig Dawson allowed Alderweireld's long ball to drop between them and Alli took advantage to volley in from eight yards out.
The Baggies did not threaten an immediate reaction but they did improve as the half wore on.
They got a deserved equaliser shortly before the break as Stephane Sessegnon found Fletcher with an overlapping run down the right and he crossed for McClean to head home from close range.
The goal was McClean's first since joining the Baggies in the summer but the wind was taken out of their sails slightly as Sessegnon was forced off before the break with an injury.
Spurs almost regained the lead early in the second half when Alli scooped a ball over the top for Harry Kane, but his goalbound shot was cleared by Craig Dawson.
Erik Lamela then headed straight at Boaz Myhill from a corner before both sides threatened on the counter as the momentum changed hands in an entertaining contest.
The best chance of the half fell to Olsson as a free-kick fell for him in the six-yard box and only a fantastic reflex save from Lloris prevented him making it 2-1.
Rondon then forced the Spurs keeper into a far more comfortable save as the Baggies were unable to grab a winner despite finishing the game on top.
West Brom: Myhill (6), Dawson (6), Olsson (6), Evans (6), McAuley (6), Brunt (6), Sessegnon (6), Morrison (5), Fletcher (6), McClean (7), Rondon (7).
Subs: Gardner (6).
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Walker (6), Alderweireld (6), Vertonghen (5), Rose (7), Dier (6), Dembele (6), Lamela (5), Alli (6), Eriksen (6), Kane (5).
Subs: Son (5), N'Jie (5).
Man of the match: James McClean.