Tottenham Hotspurs handed Leicester City a huge advantage in the race for the title after a 1-1 draw with West Brom on Monday night. Mauricio Pochettino’s men created many chances but were unable to find the goals to keep them within touching distance of leaders Leicester after a resolute performance from a West Brom side determined to not be beaten twice in North London in the space of four days. Here are the five things we learned:
- Spurs lack cutting edge
Perhaps it was just one of those nights where you create 100 chances and take hardly any of them. Spurs had 19 shots but only two of them found the target. Harry Kane and Erik Lamela amongst others had great chances to breach Boaz Myhill’s goal and although Tony Pulis’ men rode their luck at times spurs were unable to find their usual ruthless rhythm.
- Dele Alli is a marked man
whether it is the consequences of being named PFA Young Player of the Year just one night earlier or West Brom tried to unsettled the young English star Dele Alli had a rough night. In the opening 15 minutes Alli was twice brought down in rather rough circumstances and led by captain Darren Fletcher, The Baggies were not afraid to get very hands on with the Tottenham midfielder. The former MK Dons man may have to get used to this kind of treatment if it most effective way of frustrating him. Although he was still afforded time and space in and around the West Brom penalty area he was not at his creative best – although could have had multiple assists had Spurs taken their chances.
- Salomon Rondon needs more support
The striker got into the game more as it went on and his hold up play was effective. However to get the best out of their record signing West Brom must give him more support and attack around his strengths. Rondon is powerful and quick – if used correctly he could be a building block of West Brom’s attack heading into next season. In the second half Rondon was much more effective with his holdup play and had midfield runners running off him and caused Tottenham problems of their own.
- Spurs need more forward options
While we all love watching Harry Kane terrorise defences Spurs need a different option when they are enduring an evening of frustration like they did tonight. Kane is such a well rounded striker that it would be hard to see how another option who is more one dimensional would help but even the best have bad days at the office to steal a phrase from a Football Manager press conference and in those times it helps to have another forward. During the Jermaine Defoe, Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov days Spurs had three forwards who each possessed different qualities and could affect the game in different ways. Right now Spurs do not have that – they don’t need a player to replace Kane after 75 minutes they need one to support him. Clinton N’Jie and Heung-Min Son have been solid contributors but have been deployed out in the wider positions when they have been deployed. It could be Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest priority heading into the summer transfer window.
- The title can now be won at Old Trafford
Plot twist: It’s not Manchester United gunning for the title on Sunday, it’s Claudio Ranieri and his fantastic Foxes. Leicester can win the title in a fashion they’ve become accustomed to throughout the season – beating the odds against the best. Winning the title at Old Trafford is something that all Manchester United fans long to see – just with The Red Devils lifting the trophy instead. The Foxes can cap their fairytale season with a fairytale ending, With or without Jamie Vardy, and win the league at the most prestigious club in England.