If there was one word to describe West Brom’s latest result, it would be cruel.
Slaven Bilic and his side gave one hell of an account of themselves at the Hawthorns against Spurs this afternoon, but ultimately, they fell to another defeat.
Harry Kane popped up with a header in the 88th minute to condemn the Baggies to an eighth game without a victory. You could argue that the home side were by far the better of the two teams, winning more duels and being quicker to the second balls.
But it wasn’t enough.
The Croatian boss was without two key stars too with Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira missing out, though they didn’t really miss the latter as another member of the squad stepped up to the plate.
Instead of it being the Heung-min Son and Kane show, it was rather Filip Krovinovic’s game as he pulled the strings for Albion.
The 25-year-old Benfica loanee made 39 passes, three of which were key attempts, won 12 of 13 duels (92%), and even contributed defensively, managing three tackles and two interceptions, via SofaScore.
At half-time, The Athletic’s Steve Madeley lauded him as “influential,” which is no surprise at all. He had more touches than any other West Brom player (78), pulling the strings from the no.8 role with two dribbles and even won four free-kicks as the Spurs engine room couldn’t cope with his tricky feet.
Only Kane managed a higher rating (8.0) than the Croatian playmaker (7.9), and that’s only because he scored the crucial match-winner, though that only goes to show just how key he was to Albion on the day.
Bilic may be under pressure, according to reports, but performances like that from his team and especially Krovinovic should provide some encouragement going forward.
To play so well without the influence of their nine-goal 22-assist maestro, Pereira, also proves that they aren’t merely a one-man band. Bilic should look to his fellow countryman more often after he stole the show this afternoon.
AND in other news, West Brom may have found their own Jadon Sancho in “explosive” teen…