Tottenham Hotspur can count their lucky stars that they have someone of Harry Kane’s calibre there to net the crucial winner, though it was one of his teammates that deserves to take all of the plaudits.
Jose Mourinho’s men needed an 88th-minute header from their long-serving talisman to seal all three points at West Brom, a victory which temporarily took them to the top of the Premier League table.
In reality, Spurs struggled to break down a compact Baggies side who were fighting for their lives. The north Londoners failed to record an attempt on target throughout the entire first half with the home side looking the far more encouraging between the two teams.
And Mourinho can thank his defence for holding firm, especially Eric Dier who was an absolute rock in the heart of the defence.
Per SofaScore, the 26-year-old won seven of eight duels (87.5%), which included a 100% rate for aerial duels, cleared the ball seven times, made 47 passes and blocked one shot.
Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard graded the England international an 8/10 and claimed he was Spurs’ “outstanding player in the first-half” and added: “A composed and committed display in his third start in a week was one of the few real plusses for Spurs.”
#thfc Once again against struggling opposition, Spurs are underwhelming & not playing to their strengths. Dier their outstanding performer so far. It would be better if it was one of the front four.
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 8, 2020
Kane will quite rightly take the limelight having scored the only goal of the match, but it is Dier who kept them in it throughout the 90 minutes. On another day, or perhaps with the particularly error-prone Davinson Sanchez at the back, it could have been a different story.
AND in other news, Exclusive: Gary Mabbutt slams Spurs summer decision…