West Brom – Tottenham: Harry Kane’s 88th-minute goal gave weary Tottenham Hotspur a win that will encourage their title hopes, as Spurs beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Hawthorns to go top of the Premier League table.
On a day that looked like Spurs’ trip to Bulgaria at midweek might’ve sapped its cutting edge, Tottenham turned to its superstar striker for all three points.
[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to going top ]
Spurs’ 17 points was the best total in the league for all of two hours, as Leicester City passed it by a point with a win over Wolves.
West Brom stays 18th with three points, deprived of a second draw versus a London power after 90 minutes of West Brom – Tottenham.
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Three things we learned from West Brom – Tottenham
1. Crucial Kane: The word “talismanic” is thrown around too often at Premier League clubs but there’s almost no way to exaggerate Harry Kane’s meaning to Tottenham. The English striker’s latest marvelous act was Sunday’s late headed winner, a 150th Premier League goal for the 27-year-old.
If someone was going to do it, it was him, yeah? Kane had a goal or an assist in every game this season excepting the season-opening loss to Everton. It’s no coincidence that Spurs have not lost since that day, and Kane has seven goals and eight assists through eight PL outings.
2. Weary Spurs bailed out: Sometimes the most simple answer is the correct one, and Tottenham returned from Bulgaria and just didn’t have it today. There was still good vision and decent chances, but the cutting edge was missing against a West Brom team fighting for its life until Matt Doherty’s hopeful serve into the box was nodded home by Kane.
The big teams in the Premier League are very bitter with the European schedule this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if we hear Jose Mourinho echo Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Jurgen Klopp, and others after this one. Tottenham found winning performances against Burnley and Brighton. Perhaps a let-down draw was inevitable, yet a Kane goal even more so.
3. Baggies deserved better: Just a shout for Slaven Bilic’s men, whose talent isn’t near Tottenham’s level but nearly produced a point at home without the Hawthorns crowd raging around it.
Man of the Match
West Brom – Tottenham recap
Tanguy Ndombele set up a great chance for Spurs on the right side of the box, but Semi Ajayi was able to block Heung-min Son’s bid as the South Korean had plenty of time but couldn’t find an opening.
West Brom found some footing and produced a couple of half-chances before the half-hour mark.
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Spurs were back in control in the second half but missing the final touch, an off-balance Giovani Lo Celso typifying this with a 67th-minute miss of a rebound.
Kane smashed a promising free kick into the wall late, but found his goal minutes later when he flicked Doherty’s cross backwards and over Sam Johnstone.