West Bromwich Albion’s battle to avoid the drop took a further blow with Sam Allardyce’s men losing 2-0 to Tottenham Hotspur, with goals from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son respectively.
Allardyce shocked Albion fans by removing Premier League Player of the Month contender Matheus Pereira from the starting eleven and handing only a second Premier League start of the season to Lee Peltier.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles made his debut in the centre of midfield, alongside Romaine Sawyers and Connor Gallagher who both returned to the lineup. Karlan Grant also replaced Callum Robinson from the 2-1 defeat at Bramall Lane.
The return of Harry Kane to the Spurs’ starting eleven provided José Mourinho’s men with a major boost whilst Davinson Sánchez, Érik Lamela and Lucas Moura were handed starts by Mourinho as his side looked to return to winning ways.
Albion’s rearguard were forced into action immediately with Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley making vital challenges inside the opening ten minutes.
Kane almost marked his return from injury with a goal in the fifteenth minute with a strike which cannoned off the crossbar. The difference in quality was already clear.Embed from Getty Images
Albion ‘keeper Sam Johnstone was forced into saves from Kane and Serge Aurier as the half-time approached, although on the stroke of half-time came the moment that Allardyce and the Baggies had been waiting for.
Robert Snodgrass produced an impressive delivery from the right-hand side to find Mbaye Diagne — on his second Premier League start — whose near post header was impressively kept out by France captain Hugo Lloris. The Senegal international should’ve scored.
After going into half-time with a clean sheet, the Baggies soon found themselves in a far too familiar position just under ten minutes into the second-half.
Midfield linchpin Pierre-Emile Højbjerg threaded a well worked ball into the path of Kane, who was not picked up by a red and yellow shirt and Tottenham skipper slotted the ball past Johnstone with ease.
With the impetus now on the visitors to find an equalising goal Albion began to commit more bodies forwards, and this proved costly. Just four minutes after going one down Son gave his side a two goal cushion.Embed from Getty Images
After Gallagher opted to take a free-kick quickly, Albion failed to put a dangerous delivery into the box which resulted in the loss of possession.
Kane smartly laid off to Lucas Moura who led a Spurs counter, with a decoy run from Lamela leaving space for the South Korean to score his thirteenth goal of the season and put the game beyond doubt.
Diagne then managed to beat Lloris with a header on the hour mark following another Snodgrass cross, though the offside flag was correctly raised.
Okay Yokuşlu made his Baggies debut after replacing Sawyers before Diagne again put the ball in the net after a well controlled first touch from Pereira’s impressive ball but once more he was offside.Embed from Getty Images
Spurs saw out the remainder of the fixture comfortably as Albion’s struggles continue.
Player Ratings: Johnstone (6); Peltier (5), Ajayi (5), Bartley (6), Townsend (6); Snodgrass (6), Sawyers (5), Gallagher (5) Maitland-Niles (6) Grant (5); Diagne (6). Subs: Yokuşlu (6), Pereira (6), Phillips (5)
West Brom: Johnstone; Peltier, Ajayi, Bartley (C), Townsend; Snodgrass (Pereira 80′), Maitland-Niles, Sawyers (Yokuşlu 78′), Gallagher, Grant (Phillips 69′); Diagne.
Unused Subs: Button, O’Shea, Furlong, Livermore, Robinson, Robson-Kanu.
Booked: Snodgrass (77′), Gallagher (90+3′)
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Aurier (Doherty 68′), Alderweireld, Sánchez, Davies; Højbjerg, Ndombele, Lamela (Bergwijn 52′); Lucas, Kane, Son (Scarlett 90+3′).
Unused Subs: Hart, Rodon, Dier, Sissoko, Bale, Vinicius.
Booked: Lamela (64′)
Referee: Stuart Attwell