Late West Brom equaliser frustrates Spurs

Tottenham 2 West Brom 2

A late equaliser from West Brom substitute Simon Cox ruined Tottenham's attempt to move ahead of Manchester City as Harry Redknapp's side had to settle for a frustrating 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane.

Jermain Defoe's 100th goal for Tottenham looked to have given the home side the win after Roman Pavlyuchenko had equalised Peter Odemwingie's fifth-minute opener.

But with nine minutes remaining, Cox dipped a wonderful 20-yard shot over Heurelho Gomes' head to steal a point and leave Spurs one point behind fourth-place City, who play their match in hand against Blackburn on Monday.

The result was a bitter blow for Redknapp and his men, who had their tails up after Wednesday night's thrilling comeback against Arsenal.

Spurs will now hope that relegation-threatened Rovers will surprise Roberto Mancini's men and it may be that the Londoners have to win all five of their remaining matches - which include tough fixtures against City, Chelsea and Liverpool - to make it into the Champions League for the second year running.

Gareth Bale handed Redknapp a boost before the kick-off when he overcame a knee injury to make a starting XI that also included Younes Kaboul and Defoe, who had moved onto 99 goals on March 6.

Wednesday's north London derby may have been a thrilling encounter, but the two points dropped gave today's clash added importance, especially given that City were not in action until Monday.

Theo Walcott's strike had put Spurs behind five minutes into Wednesday's 3-3 draw and it was the same scenario today as Odemwingie latched on to Carlos Vela's pass to outmuscle Benoit Assou-Ekotto and curl a delightful 20-yard shot past Gomes for his 13th of the season.

Assou-Ekotto picked up what looked to be a muscle strain in the challenge and was replaced by Sandro as Bale dropped to left-back.

Harry Redknapp urged his side to find an instant reply but the hosts' play bore no hallmarks of the high-tempo style they deployed to such good effect in Wednesday's comeback.

Inconsistency in front of goal was also a problem. William Gallas spooned a header over from five yards before Pavlyuchenko miscued a diving header from the same distance moments later.

Redknapp cut a frustrated figure on the touchline but he was punching the air after 26 minutes when Pavlyuchenko equalised.

The Russian stole the ball off a West Brom defender and rifled past Scott Carson with a 20-yard strike that went in off a post.

Spurs then upped the pressure on their opponents as they looked to take the lead. First Bale curled a 25-yard free-kick just over before Van der Vaart stung Carson's palms with a fierce drive. The rebound fell to Pavlyuchenko, but he blazed over from 18 yards while the Baggies goalkeeper was struggling to get to his feet.

Sandro was putting in a steely performance since his introduction, breaking up West Brom's play as the hosts looked for a second.

Defoe was struggling to get into the game but skipped past two Baggies defenders before being shrugged off the ball in the box.

Five minutes into the second half Nicky Shorey found Odemwingie unmarked in the box but Gomes pulled off a top-class save to tip his header around the post.

The home crowd demanded the introduction of Aaron Lennon and Redknapp heeded their advice and brought on the England winger for Huddlestone just after the hour.

Luka Modric slipped in the box as he wriggled past his marker and Tottenham did not have the same fluency that they displayed towards the end of the first period.

Lennon won a free-kick on the edge of the box but Van der Vaart's 25-yard effort sailed over.

The home side's frustration at not finding a second ended after 66 minutes when West Brom paid the price for backing off Defoe, who found the bottom right-hand corner of Carson's goal with a well-placed strike.

Every one of Defoe's team-mates aside from Gomes ran across the pitch to congratulate the striker on reaching his ton for the club. The strike was also his 100th Premier League goal and was the club's 1000th in the division.

The ball appeared to strike Michael Dawson's arm as he blocked James Morrison's shot in the box in the 73rd minute but Stuart Attwell did not give a penalty.

Defoe breezed past three Baggies defenders before being shrugged off the ball in the box. Christ Brunt then picked the ball up at the other end before smashing a 35-yard drive inches wide, with Gomes well-beaten.

West Brom had the shock equaliser nine minutes from the end when Cox curled a shot that flew over Gomes' head to make it 2-2 with his first strike since October.

Redknapp replaced Pavlyuchenko with Crouch with three minutes left as Spurs desperately sought the winner they needed to leapfrog City.

Dawson's frustration boiled over just a minute later when he was booked for a rash challenge on Odemwingie and the home side's push for a winner petered out, much to Redknapp's frustration.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford attends Blade Runner at Target Presents AFI's Night at the Movies at ArcLight Cinemas on 24 April, 2013 in Hollywood, California
film... but Ridley Scott won't direct
Sport
Hughes is hit by a bouncer from Sean Abbott
cricketStephen Brenkley on batsman's tragic flaw that led to critical injury
Sport
Dejected England players applaud the fans following their team's 3-0 defeat
football

News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Life and Style
Stefan Gates with some mince flies
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital