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Football Reporting


Tottenham’s Kane earns 8/10 after late winner at West Brom

Harry Kane was Tottenham’s hero as his last-gasp header sealed a 1-0 win against a spirited West Bromwich Albion side and sent Spurs top of the Premier League with three games of the weekend’s fixtures yet to be played.

The England captain’s 88th-minute goal proved to be the only one of the game as Jose Mourinho’s side secured their first win at The Hawthorns since January 2015.

In fairness to the Baggies, things could have been different as the hosts produced an inspired performance in which they took control for large spells — particularly in the first half — but they couldn’t find a way past Hugo Lloris and Spurs held their nerve late on to claim a big three points.

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When the visitors were able to increase the tempo they really started to look dangerous. Kane was again the creator of Spurs’ best openings in a bright performance that saw him reach 150 Premier League goals. His side recorded a rare clean sheet, too.

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This has proven a tricky fixture for Spurs down the years and they were second-best for large spells in a lively contest which, on another day, might well have gone the other way.

Manager rating out of 10

Jose Mourinho, 7 — Mourinho made just one change to the side that beat Brighton, with Gareth Bale replacing Erik Lamela for his first league start since returning to Spurs. The visitors weren’t at their best, but ultimately Mourinho ended his 50th game as Spurs boss sitting pretty in top spot.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 6 — He could have been much busier had West Brom shown more assertiveness in front of goal and, although well-beaten by Conor Gallagher‘s effort from range, he produced a superb one-handed save to scoop away Darnell Furlong’s effort.

DF Matt Doherty, 7 — The Irishman’s form has finally seen him pin down a regular starting place and he produced another good display here which included a collection of important headers and a calculated assist which could turn out to be of huge importance.

DF Toby Alderweireld, 6 — Produced a colossal block when the ball dropped kindly for Gallagher and he showed superb awareness again moments later, expertly jockeying Karlan Grant before repelling his cross behind.

DF Eric Dier, 7 — Perhaps guilty of some miscommunication with Alderweireld as Grant got between the central defenders to glance his header wide, but Dier showed much more conviction with his own head to brilliantly nod Robinson’s cross off the line

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DF Sergio Reguilon, 8 — He was fortunate to see Grant mistime his header after allowing Furlong too much room to whip in a fantastic cross, but the unrelenting Spaniard pressed higher and harder after the break as he tried to kick-start his side into life and produced some vital interventions at the other end.

MF Moussa Sissoko, 6 — A quieter display from the midfielder, who fed Doherty on the right on a couple of occasions, but was replaced after the break as Tottenham searched for a winner.

MF Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, 7 — Talk about a great Dane. He offers the Spurs defenders so much protection and he was frequently in battles yet again, including a commanding headed clearance after his initial connection had gone skyward.

MF Tanguy Ndombele, 6 — He twice came desperately close to a sublime assist when his excellent chest control was followed by a smart lay-off to Son, before a fizzed low cross late in the first half almost found Harry Kane.

MF Gareth Bale, 6 — This was the Welshman’s first Premier League start since returning to Tottenham, but chances were few and far between as the hosts forced Spurs onto the back foot. Despite that, he was inches away from bundling home Kane’s lifted cross on the slide.

MF Son Heung-Min, 6 — Struggled to replicate his usual sharpness. He tried his best to craft openings within a resilient Baggies back four, but he showed uncharacteristic hesitancy when clean through on goal which allowed Ajayi valuable extra seconds to rescue the situation.

FW Harry Kane, 8 — Despite starting alongside Bale, Kane grabbed the headlines. He was at the heart of Spurs brightest moments once again and was eventually rewarded for his efforts when he lifted his late header over Sam Johnstone with the keeper caught in two minds.

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MF Giovani Lo Celso, 6 — Squandered a huge chance just seconds after his introduction when he lashed wide, but in fairness it was a difficult one to hit first time.

FW Lucas Moura, NR — Didn’t have too much time to make an impact, but he produced a couple of important half-clearances which, if nothing else, soaked up precious seconds.

FW Carlos Vinicius, NR — Brought on in a double-change as Mourinho threw everything at the game and he came so close to opening the scoring, but he low effort on the spin was met by a fantastic save from Johnstone.

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