Thursday 12 December 2019

Bullish Sherwood hails Spurs fightback

West Brom 3 Tottenham 3

Christain Eriksen of Tottenham and Harry Kane of Tottenham celebrate
Christain Eriksen of Tottenham and Harry Kane of Tottenham celebrate
Ben Foster of West Brom is booked
Tottenham Hotspur's Belgium midfielder Nacer Chadli (C) vies with West Bromwich Albion's Congolese defender Youssuf Mulumbu (R)
Christian Eriksen #23 of Spurs celebrates after scoring his team's third goal deep in injury time

Peter Lansley

Tim Sherwood may be drowning rather than waving, but at least if he is going down it is with a splash.

The Tottenham manager – his days at White Hart Lane supposedly numbered – witnessed the best and worst of his erratic team as they went three goals behind before staging a storming comeback that merited at least the point salvaged when Christian Eriksen slammed the ball into the corner of Ben Foster's net, in the fourth minute of injury-time.

Spurs seem to go behind even when they win, so for all the credit they deserve in fighting back for a draw, they bring ridicule for the slipshod manner in which they get themselves into a hole.

Spurs have won 11 and lost nine of Sherwood's 24 games in charge. For a club that invested more than £100m in fresh talent last summer, that will not suffice, even if they were not Sherwood's selections.

What Sherwood is responsible for is the slapdash defending that allowed Morgan Amalfitano to beat Danny Rose with such ease that Hugo Lloris could only palm the ball out for Matej Vydra to volley home the opening goal after 27 seconds.

Chris Brunt was left entirely free at the back post to volley home in textbook fashion in the fourth minute. And, after Foster had saved Emmanuel Adebayor's penalty, Younes Kaboul was culpable when he misjudged his leap to head backwards for Stephane Sessegnon to run clear of Vlad Chiriches and make it 3-0.

"I always believed we would get back into the game," Sherwood said. "You have to give the fans a lot of credit – they stuck with us and believed we would get back into it. On the balance of play, 20-odd shots to five, we deserved something."

West Brom were guilty of misplacing this kind of lead the last time they were at home, and – just as they allowed Cardiff City to battle back for a 3-3 draw – so they let this game slip away.

Liam Ridgewell barely bothered to turn when Harry Kane sent in Kyle Naughton behind him, and the right-back's driven cross looped up off Jonas Olsson and over Foster into the net. The second half was like an entirely different match. Spurs made it 3-2 when Lennon wriggled past Ridgewell and from his cross Kane followed up his maiden Premier League goal on Monday by heading the ball home.

Just when West Brom thought they had hung on to stay five points clear of the relegation zone, Lennon crossed from the right, Craig Dawson could only head on and Eriksen, Tottenham's go-to man, composed himself by coming inside and slamming home the equaliser.

"The players are very cross in the dressing room, we're very cross," Pepe Mel, the West Bromwich Albion manager, said. "No one had been given any orders to play further back. We needed the points."


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