Kane leaves it late again as 'lucky' Spurs make point
Tottenham Hotspur 2 West Ham United 2
Tottenham fans who left early with their team losing against fierce rivals West Ham must have forgotten what has become the story of their season.
Most teams would be dead and buried if they were trailing by two goals with 10 minutes remaining but Tottenham, under Mauricio Pochettino, have made a habit of scoring vital late goals.
In Harry Kane, Spurs also have a hero who continues to deliver the perfect script. Two weeks after scoring the later winner against Arsenal, the striker equalised in the 96th minute to deny West Ham.
Tottenham have now secured 11 Premier League points with goals scored in the 88th minute or later and Kane has scored 24 times in all competitions. Kane’s latest last-gasp goal owed much to former Arsenal man Alex Song, who needlessly pushed him over in the box. The striker’s spot-kick was saved by goalkeeper Adrian, but he reacted quickest to fire the loose ball home.
Danny Rose had given Spurs hope by scoring in the 81st minute with a shot into the ground that bounced into the net after Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho had put West Ham two goals up.
Sam Allardyce branded Tottenham and Kane ‘lucky’, and the West Ham boss claimed referee Jonathan Moss was not brave enough to blow the final whistle as soon as Kane’s penalty was saved.
Kane was awarded his penalty in the final minute of the five that were added on for stoppages and Adrian saved 54 seconds later.
Asked whether the final whistle should have been blown before the 21-year-old had chance to score the rebound, Allardyce said: “The answer to that is yes, but he wouldn’t be brave enough to do that would he?
“He’ll say there was still two seconds to go. He will say when the penalty was taken, there were five seconds left, when the rebound came back there were three seconds left.
“So we’re doing NFL now aren’t we? I’d like a time-keeper. At the end, the referee’s not the reason why we drew. It was down to ourselves and a huge slice of luck for Spurs. The first Spurs goal was a complete mis-hit.
“When it bounces over the goalkeeper after it’s hit the floor, it’s so unusual that it sneaks into the corner and it lifts the opposition.”
On the penalty decision, the West Ham manager said: “Alex has to keep his hands off him because he’s going to feel that contact and take to the floor. He’s got to.
“The referee gives him the opportunity to take the penalty and he wasn’t good enough to score that, but lucky enough to get the rebound, so all ends up, we’ve been very, very unlucky.
“Alex has touched him on the arm and this is a penalty, whereas Diego Costa goes down after a blatant push from the full-back and it’s not a penalty. So that is the inconsistency that we unfortunately have to deal with.”
Pochettino believed that there was also an element of good fortune in West Ham’s two-goal lead. There was no debate over the first, when Kouyate got in between Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen to head an Aaron Cresswell cross past Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
However, Pochettino claimed that Enner Valencia could have been offside when he attempted to head Mark Noble’s cross, but the ball evaded the Ecuador international and Sakho ghosted in at the far post to score West Ham’s second.
“The second goal, now I have seen it on TV, was offside,” Pochettino said. “You can see he (Valencia) is offside. But I don’t blame the referee.
“It’s difficult always for the referee to take a decision. Only I give my opinion about that after I saw the replay. I’m not blaming the referee, the job is very difficult.”
Noble could have been sent off after the midfielder escaped a second yellow card for a late challenge on Nabil Bentaleb before being substituted and Pochettino said: “In football, you need to accept that sometimes it’s for you, sometimes it’s against you.
“Today, I think the decisions were more against us than for us, but this is football. I don’t blame the referee.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)