Harry Kane's 88th-minute header snatched a 1-0 win for a lacklustre Tottenham at West Brom, temporarily taking them to the top of the table.
Tottenham were short on creativity for much of the encounter at The Hawthorns, with West Brom the better side in the first half and having six shots to Spurs' one.
Tottenham improved after the break but still struggled to break down a well-drilled West Brom defence. However, a moment of hesitation from goalkeeper Sam Johnstone allowed Kane to nod home his 150th Premier League goal.
West Brom will feel aggrieved to have not taken something from the game, having matched Spurs throughout, but remain in 18th with three points and are without a victory this season.
Spurs hit the summit for the first time since August 2014 with the victory, before Leicester leapfrogged them later in the day.
Kane the hero again as Tottenham snatch three points
Searching for their first win of the Premier League season, West Brom began well at The Hawthorns but it was Tottenham who had the first sight of goal - a rarity in the first half.
After Conor Gallagher had an effort well blocked at one end, Tottenham broke to the other. Kane slotted the ball in for Tanguy Ndombele, whose neat control and touch sent it into the path of Heung-Min Son. However, the South Korean dallied over the shot and once he struck, Semi Ajayi was across to send the ball behind for a corner.
Kane's remarkable numbers
- Kane scored his 150th Premier League goal against West Brom after scoring his 200th Tottenham goal on Thursday.
- The striker has scored eight goals in his eight Premier League appearances against West Brom, one of nine sides he averages a goal-per-game or better against in the competition.
- Kane has 13 goals and 10 assists in 14 matches in all competitions for Spurs this season.
- The England captain has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last six away Premier League games (7 goals, 6 assists).
- Kane has scored 33 goals in his last 31 Premier League starts against newly promoted teams.
- Only Alan Shearer (212) and Sergio Aguero (217) scored their 150th Premier League goal in fewer appearances than Kane, who has done so in his 218th match in the competition.
West Brom should have scored first in the 18th minute. Darnell Furlong sent a superb cross into the area, but Karlan Grant's weak header could only direct it just past the post.
Not long after, Grant was in a position to score again, but world-class defending from Eric Dier saw him head Callum Robinson's cross off the line before the West Brom striker could convert.
West Brom continued to see the better of the attacking play in the first half, but Tottenham were improved in the final moments and had their best chance of the game not long after the break.
West Brom: Johnstone (6), Furlong (7), Bartley (7), Ajayi (7), O’Shea (8), Townsend (7), Krovinovic (6), Livermore (7), Gallagher (7), Robinson (6), Grant (7).
Subs used: Diangana (6), Phillips (n/a), Edwards (n/a).
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Doherty (7), Alderweireld (7), Dier (7), Reguilon (7), Sissoko (7), Hojbjerg (7), Bale (6), Ndombele (7), Son (6), Kane (8).
Subs used: Lo Celso (6), Moura (6), Vinicius (6).
Man of the match: Harry Kane.
Kane did wonderfully well as he collected a long ball from Toby Alderweireld. He darted down the right, dinking past Kyle Bartley before fizzing a cross through the area for the incoming Gareth Bale. However, it just ran a touch too long for the Welshman, who could not turn it home with an outstretched foot.
Tottenham started to rack up the half chances as they looked to click into a higher gear. Kane saw a shot blocked by the leg of Dara O'Shea before Son sent a fierce drive into the hands of Johnstone. Reguilon also tested the goalkeeper before sending a second effort flying into the empty stands.
- West Brom made three changes with. Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira were missing after testing positive for Covid-19 while Grady Diangana dropped to the bench. They were replaced by Kyle Bartley, Dara O’Shea and Connor Robinson.
- Tottenham made one change from last weekend, with the injured Erik Lamela replaced by Gareth Bale, who made his first Premier League start since returning to the club. There were also five changes from the 3-1 win against Ludogorets in midweek.
Just as Tottenahm looked to be getting a foot-hold, West Brom tested them at the other end. Gallagher glanced an effort just off the post in the 69th minute before a series of set-pieces just after. Filip Krovinovic delivered a corner, with Furlong forcing a leaping save from Hugo Lloris with his header at the near post. The loose ball then fell to Grant, but he could only send his effort wide of the post.
Tottenham went close again when Carlos Vinicius' shot was pushed away well by Johnstone, but it was a moment of hesitation from the West Brom goalkeeper that allowed Kane to score a late winner. Matt Doherty lifted a wonderful cross into the area and Johnstone could not decide whether to come for the catch or stay back, and his indecisiveness allowed Kane to glance a header into the far corner and condemn West Brom to undeserved defeat.
Man of the match - Harry Kane
Once again, Tottenham's star man comes up with the winning goal and despite a general lack of creative spark, he was the one trying to create something. He had a total of seven shots - the most of the Spurs team - and although only one was on target, it was the winner.
He also made four key passes as he showed what he can do further back and was involved in 19 duels, eight of which were aerial. After racking up 200 goals for Tottenham in midweek, he hit the milestone of 150 Premier League goals on Sunday and takes his tally to 13 goals and 10 assists in 14 matches in all competitions for Spurs this season.
A truly remarkable feat and the 2020/21 campaign isn't even halfway through.
What the managers said
West Brom manager Slaven Bilic said: "Of course I'm disappointed with the result. We were almost there, but I told the guys that every game is an opportunity and we showed that today, but this is a bonus game. With the top performers, you have to be a little bit lucky to score a goal or for them to miss that chance.
"But if we play like this, if we are so brave, if we are so determined and so committed, today we were crazy in a good way. If we play like this in every game, then we will have a chance. It doesn't mean we will win all the games, but definitely it's the logic. If you have chances against Spurs, you'll have chances against less quality teams.
"We're disappointed but at the same time, very positive about the performance.
"We should learn a lesson that this should be the minimum in terms of effort and everything. Then I want to repeat my words because it's so simple - if we go like this in every minute of every game then we have a chance.
"The win will come through the performances, with a little bit of luck, more quality, more confidence in the final third but I'm extremely positive."
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said: "We are top of the table but other clubs have a match in hand so let's see what happens. But honestly, if Liverpool win and Leicester win, it's not a problem for me at all.
"The important thing was for us to win the three points, three victories in a row in the Premier League for the first time this season and by winning 12 points away, we compensate for the points we dropped at home.
"This match was very difficult. I believe the West Brom boys showed how much they are with Slaven because the way they fought, the way they gave everything to try and get a positive result says everything. I wish them the best and I'm pretty sure playing this way with this commitment and spirit, Slaven will take them from the place [in the table] where they are now.
"These two victories away 1-0 at Burnley and West Brom, they can tell us it's not always possible to play beautifully or score two, three, four goals and to play fluently. You need to keep clean sheets in matches where it's difficult to score and fundamentally, you need this attitude because we tried to score, we were forcing all the way and against a very well-organised opponent. When we scored with six or seven minutes to go, it was time to fight and give everything.
"Now we go onto the bus and we leave the stadium here top of the league and maybe when we arrived in London, we are third so I don't think there is any point in getting carried away. I'm very happy with the number of points we have now, I'm very happy that we're managing away from home to compensate for the points we lost at home in conditions that we shouldn't so in the end, I'm happy with that."
- Tottenham have won each of their opening four away games of a league season for just the fourth time in their history (also 1949-50, 1960-61 and 2017-18).
- West Brom have failed to win any of their first eight games of a league season for only the second time, having last done so in 1985-86, when they would go on to be relegated from the top-flight.
- Tottenham have kept a clean sheet in back-to-back away league games for the first time since October 2018.
Live Premier League
Both teams will now have a weekend off for the international break, with West Brom back in action on Saturday 21 November when they travel to Man Utd; kick-off 3pm. Tottenham also have a big game on the same day, hosting Man City, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.