TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2-0 WEST BROMWICH ALBION
- Goals: Harry Kane (£11.0m), Heung-min Son (£9.7m)
- Assists: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£4.9m), Lucas Moura (£6.6m)
- Bonus: Hojbjerg x3, Kane x2, Son x2
Kane and able
Harry Kane (£11.0m) made a swift return to Jose Mourinho’s starting XI in Gameweek 23.
Having injured both ankles in the Gameweek 20 defeat to Liverpool, Mourinho first reckoned Kane could return for the FA Cup fifth round or in Gameweek 24.
The Spurs boss then hinted at a comeback for West Brom’s visit, which duly occurred. Kane lasted the full game against the Baggies, despite an early challenge which saw him down and holding an ankle for a brief moment.
Kane also brought his shooting boots to the Gameweek 23 clash, managing more efforts (five) than any other player on show.
It was his fifth shot that beat Sam Johnstone (£4.5m), putting Spurs a goal ahead after 54 minutes. Kane also created the joint-most chances at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in Gameweek 23, while starting the move that saw Heung-min Son (£9.7m) double Spurs’ lead in the 59th minute.
Late rise for Son
Kane released Lucas Moura (£6.6m) on the counter-attack as West Brom sought a quick equaliser.
The Brazilian slalomed between panicked Baggies defenders before teeing up Son, whose shot had too much power for Johnstone to keep out – despite the keeper getting a slight touch before the ball sailed into the net.
Son was taken off well into injury time but not before he completed a late 30th pass. That, added to a pass completion percentage of 85%, saw him make a late rise up the Bonus Points System standings to earn two bonus points.
The FPL midfielder had failed to get on the scoresheet since Gameweek 17 and was delighted that his partner-in-crime Kane had returned to the fold. On his team-mate, Son regaled:
He’s so, so important for us. We know that Harry’s one of the best strikers in the world. It was only a couple of games but we missed him a lot. He came back and scored straight away, so I think this is what we need. When I play with him it’s really enjoyable – I miss him [when he’s not available].
Mou sleepless nights for Sam
Mourinho was effusive in praise of his players’ “compromise” after Spurs ended a run of three straight league defeats. He stated:
I loved the compromise of the players. I loved the effort, the determination. The clear show to everyone how together they are and how much they were suffering with the bad results. That, for me, was the fundamental thing.
In the first half we could kill the game, we had big dominancy and we had a couple of good chances. But the compromise of the players, for me, is the most important thing.
On failing to score in the opening 45 minutes, the Portuguese manager added:
Frustration, yes, but (also) a feeling of confidence. I spoke with the players at half time, maybe one minute. I didn’t need much more than one minute, there was not much to say apart from, ‘we are in the right direction and if we play the same way, for sure in the second half we have to win the game’.
Sam Allardyce, unsurprisingly, was less pleased with the outcome. The Baggies boss spoke before the game about his side’s defensive issues, which he felt came to the fore again over the 90 minutes.
I’m still facing the same problems ten games in and those lapses in concentration keep hurting us. Harry Kane being alone in our box amazes me but there you go. Son and Harry Kane have scored because of our weaknesses there.
Seeing Harry Kane in our box unmarked – that lapse at this level just can’t happen. We should be stopping that at source. Then we let them go from their box to our box without putting a mark on any one.
We scored, it got disallowed, we scored again and that was disallowed but at least we scored two ‘goals’ here. If we get the right service in the box we’ve got a man [Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m)] who can score.
Until we shut the back door better life is going to be difficult for us. This is it now, the window is shut, we’ve got what we’ve got. We’ve got to start winning games and we won’t do that by keeping on losing. We need an undefeated run with more wins than draws in it.
Every time I speak to you I’m sick about talking about conceding those kind of goals. It’s another night where I’m not going to sleep too well.
West Brom’s problems in defence bode well for Manchester United assets in FPL, with the Red Devils arriving at the Hawthorns in Gameweek 24.
Spurs’ next two games are tough-looking away trips to Manchester City and West Ham. Mourinho’s men will have Double Gameweeks in some fashion from Gameweek 26 onwards, though that schedule depends on FA Cup results among other things.
Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Davies, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Aurier (Doherty 67′); Ndombele, Hojbjerg; Son (Scarlett 90+3′), Lucas Moura, Lamela (Bergwijn 73′); Kane.
West Bromwich Albion XI (4-5-1): Johnstone; Townsend, Bartley, Ajayi, Peltier; Grant (Phillips 68′), Maitland-Niles, Sawyers (Yokuslu 77′), Gallagher, Snodgrass (M Pereira 79′); Diagne.
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