Harry Kane poked home his ninth goal in his last nine Premier League matches, sparing Spurs from what would have been a disastrous home loss.
A draw, though, isn’t good enough against a team of West Brom’s stature.
The Baggies, having just sacked Tony Pulis, are reeling just above the drop zone. The result, even at this early stage of the season, probably puts the Premier League title beyond Tottenham’s grasp.
Even more concerning is the battle for a top-four spot. Tottenham will probably find themselves out of the top four before the weekend’s fixtures are over. Arsenal, Liverpool and Burnley all trail the Lilywhites by two points with a match in hand.
Devoid of any discernible imagination, Spurs struggled yet again to create chances against a team known for their defensive organization.
The result could have been worse, with the Baggies missing a few chances as Spurs pushed for a winner.
Thirty minutes evaporated before Spurs pushed the tempo in a plot line we’ve become all too accustomed to. Tottenham’s struggles against inferior, but organized, experienced and positionally sound teams perpetuates.
Salomón Rondón gave West Brom an unlikely 4th minute lead when Dele Alli was brushed aside by Jake Livermore in midfield, Spurs playmaker too easily conceding possession in a dangerous area. Rondon showed his impressive strength by out-muscling Davinson Sánchez, who made up ground on the Baggies striker before whiffing on an off-balance attempted clearance.
Rondon’s weak, but perfectly placed, effort left Hugo Lloris with no chance. Tottenham’s inability to penetrate this type of opponent has become commonplace, with the home team enjoying 70 percent of the ball in the opening 15 minutes. But we all now how frustratingly unproductive keeping the lion’s share of possession can be.
Christian Eriksen looked laggard from kickoff, lacking the energy and ingenuity the gaffer expects. Too slow with his decisions, he gave away possession needlessly, and in bunches.
Kane had Tottenham’s first decent attempted shot in the 27th minute, but his long-range effort dragged wide.
Mauricio Pochettino abandoned his starting formation in the 30th minute, sliding Eric Dier into midfield to offer support higher up the pitch. It had the desired effect, as Spurs started to take a stronghold on proceedings, creating more chances in the dying minutes of the half. Son Heung-Min was Tottenham’s best player in the first 45, the South Korean showing energy and purpose in the attacking third.
He looked most likely to score, forcing a strong save from Ben Foster in the 31st minute. Dele Alli, like Eriksen, endured a miserable first 45. Both players lacked spirit, energy and positive intent.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Spurs dominated possession, holding the ball for 73 percent of the match. But Pochettino knows far too well that impressive possession numbers rarely translate to wins.