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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 25 February, 2018
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James McClean scores first goal for West Brom in hard-earned draw with Tottenham

The Ireland international powered home a first-half header.

McClean found the net in his 15th Premier League outing for the Baggies.
McClean found the net in his 15th Premier League outing for the Baggies.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

JAMES MCCLEAN HELPED West Brom come from behind to earn a point at home to Tottenham after the Ireland international scored his first goal for the club.

Dele Alli had put the visitors in front with a tidy finish but McClean found himself on the end of Darren Fletcher’s cross to level matters with a diving header.

Tottenham extended their unbeaten run to 14 Premier League matches with the hard-fought 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns as the Baggies came from behind to avoid defeat for the third successive game.

It was McClean’s first strike for the club he joined in the summer from Wigan Athletic.

Chances were rare at both ends in difficult conditions with defences well on top for most of the game and neither team able to force a deciding goal. Hugo Lloris made a top-class save from Jonas Olsson’s point-blank header late on as the hosts sought to record what would have been only their third home win of the season.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino recalled Alli after the 19-year-old had served a one-match ban, with the teenager replacing the injured Ryan Mason, while Tony Pulis continued to leave Saido Berahino, the subject of considerable interest from Tottenham in the off-season, on the bench.

Despite early Spurs pressure the first chance fell to the hosts on six minutes. Rondon chased down a long ball from James Morrison and got in front of Jan Vertonghen, but the Venezuela striker shot off target with his left foot.

West Bromwich Albion v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - The Hawthorns It was a frustrating day for Spurs in the Midlands. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The returning Alli put the visitors in front on 14 minutes. Alderweireld split Olsson and Gareth McAuley with a ball over the top and Alli poked a volley through Boaz Myhill’s legs for his third Premier League goal of the season.

West Brom wasted numerous set-pieces as Pulis’ men tried to get back on level terms before the break, with Tottenham seeking to equal the 14-game unbeaten top flight run they achieved in 1985.

The finest move of the match saw the Baggies equalise on 37 minutes. Flowing passing fed Stephane Sessegnon, Fletcher got in behind and McClean powered in the header.

Craig Dawson and McAuley made terrific interventions to deny Tottenham early in the second half as West Brom’s resolute defence held firm, before Danny Rose had to make a superb last-ditch challenge to stop Craig Gardner playing in Rondon.

Tottenham were looking more likely to find a winning goal and Moussa Dembele should have done better with a well-worked opening from 20 yards, but the midfielder went for placement over power and Myhill made a comfortable low save.

With just 15 minutes to go Lloris preserved Tottenham’s point with a wonderful save. West Brom kept a set-piece alive and Olsson turned the ball toward goal but the France international made a brilliant stop to keep the scores level.

Lloris was called into action again three minutes later as Rondon shot from 20 yards out, but the goalkeeper saved easily.

Next up for West Brom is a daunting match away to Liverpool, while Tottenham are at home to Newcastle next weekend.

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