West Brom 1-0 Spurs: Jake Livermore seals dramatic win to keep survival hopes alive
By Oliver Young-Myles
Last Updated: 06/05/18 12:12am
Jake Livermore struck the winning goal in second-half stoppage time as West Brom kept their slim survival hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham at The Hawthorns.
Harry Kane missed a gilt-edged chance to give Spurs the lead in the first half and almost scored at the wrong end as his attempted clearance forced Hugo Lloris into a smart reaction save with 15 minutes remaining.
But the winner came in injury time as ex-Spurs midfielder Livermore turned the ball into the net from a yard out after a goalmouth scramble to hand West Brom a Premier League lifeline.
Darren Moore's side needed three points to have any chance of staying in the division - but a Southampton win a few hours later against Everton would still have sent them down to the Championship.
Instead, Tom Davies struck a last-gasp Everton equaliser at Goodison Park to grant Albion another reprieve - until Tuesday's Sky Live meeting between Saints and Swansea at least.
West Brom: Foster (7), Nyom (6), Dawson (8), Hegazi (7), Gibbs (6), Phillips (7), Livermore (7), Brunt (7), McClean (5), Rodriguez (6), Rondon (7)
Subs: Sturridge (5), Chadli (5), Krychowiak (5)
Spurs: Lloris (7), Alderweireld (8), Sanchez (6), Vertonghen (7), Trippier (7), Wanyama (6), Eriksen (6), Rose (6), Lamela (5), Alli (5), Kane (4)
Subs: Son (5), Lucas (6), Llorente (N/A)
Man of the match: Craig Dawson
Kane has not been at his prolific best since returning from an ankle injury last month and he snatched at a good opportunity midway through the first half after being picked out by Kieran Trippier.
West Brom rallied towards the end of the half and had two great chances to score, Jay Rodriguez latching onto a hopeful long ball into the box to lob over Hugo Lloris, only to see Toby Alderweireld head his effort over the bar on the goal line.
Moments later, Ahmed Hegazi rose highest inside the box to meet Matt Phillips' in-swinging corner but his header drifted just wide of the far post.
Spurs continued to find it difficult to break West Brom down in the second half and went closest through Christian Eriksen's free-kick from distance that stung the palms of Foster down to his right.
Darren Moore named an unchanged team following West Brom's 1-0 win over Newcastle last weekend. Former Spurs player Nacer Chadli was back on the bench after a lengthy lay-off.Mauricio Pochettino made four changes with Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela replacing Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Mousa Dembele and Son Heung-min.
Shortly afterwards there was a flashpoint between Danny Rose and Allan Nyom on the left touchline which resulted in the latter going to ground clutching his face following a push. Both players were booked after the incident and Nyom had to be restrained by his team-mates after remonstrating furiously with the referee.
As the game wore on, West Brom grew increasingly confident and they almost snatched the lead through an unlikely source as Kane - off the pace again - shinned the ball towards the goal inside his six-yard box. Fortunately for him, Lloris was equal to it, flinging himself acrobatically at the ball to divert it over.
Jan Vertonghen went off injured with five minutes to go and Spurs missed the Belgian badly as West Brom took advantage of his absence to score from a corner, Craig Dawson's initial header eventually falling to Livermore, whose finish sparked jubilant scenes.
At what point will Gareth Southgate start to fret over Harry Kane's form? The man most likely to captain England this summer endured another frustrating day, missing a great chance in the first half and almost scoring an own goal. Dele Alli was also subdued on the day but it was a surprise when he and not Erik Lamela was withdrawn. Danny Rose was handed a rare start but was fortunate to last the 90 minutes after stupidly pushing Allan Nyom in the face. Kieran Trippier was the best player of Spurs' English contingent. For West Brom, Jake Livermore did his chances of earning a World Cup call-up no harm with the winning goal.
Man of the match - Craig Dawson
Not many teams keep Spurs' attack quiet - their 2-0 win against Watford on Monday night meant that they had scored in 23 Premier League games in a row.
However, West Brom did just that and the performance of Craig Dawson, alongside his central defensive partner Ahmed Hegazi, was a huge reason why.
Dawson was phenomenal throughout, making a mammoth 17 clearances and winning five aerial duels. He also played a key role at the other end to, winning the header that eventually resulted in Livermore's goal.
Darren Moore: "It was a wonderful game, not one for the faint-hearted, a pulsating game and one that will live long in the memory.
"We came up against a very good Spurs team but we just felt we needed to keep the game tight, which we did, I thought the players were very disciplined.
"I thought everyone to a man and everyone connected with West Bromwich Albion played a part today."
Mauricio Pochettino: "In football, you can dominate, have the option to score but then you have to be clinical and today was not good. Our finishing wasn't good and we are very disappointed.
"Against a team like West Bromwich [Albion] it is always possible that can happen because they are very physical and work very hard and are good at set-pieces.
"Still we have in our hands the possibility to be in the top four."
- West Brom are unbeaten in their last five Premier League games (W3 D2) - only Liverpool (6) are on a longer current run in the competition.
- The Baggies are the only non 'big six' side to avoid defeat against two 'big six' sides in the Premier League this season (W1 D1 vs Spurs, D2 vs Liverpool).
- Indeed, West Brom have won 10 points against big six sides in the Premier League this season - only Man City (24), Man Utd (19) and Spurs (13) have won more.
- Spurs failed to score for the first time in 24 Premier League games, since a 0-2 loss at Arsenal in November.
- Jake Livermore has scored two goals in his last three Premier League games for West Brom, after failing to score in his first 46 for the club.
- Indeed, Livermore's strike on 91:46 was West Brom's only shot on target in this match.
- This was Tottenham's first defeat against the side starting the day bottom of the table since also losing against West Brom in September 2014.
West Brom's final game of the season is away to Crystal Palace next Sunday and depending on results between now and then, they will know whether or not a win would be able to save them.
Tottenham are now in danger of surrendering their top-four place and will be looking for a better result against Newcastle on Wednesday before ending their campaign against Leicester at Wembley next Sunday.