Tottenham Premier League title hopes take hit with West Brom draw
LONDON (AP) — Leicester is one win from its first Premier League title after Tottenham was held 1-1 by West Bromwich Albion on Monday.
Leicester, a team transformed since narrowly avoiding relegation a year ago, can clinch the biggest prize in its 132-year history by beating Manchester United on Sunday.
Holding a seven-point lead over Tottenham, Leicester has three chances to become one of the unlikeliest champions of the English top flight and the first maiden title-winner since Nottingham Forest in 1978. Tottenham also has three games left.
West Brom—one of only two teams Leicester hasn't beaten in its last nine games—did the central England team a big favor at White Hart Lane.
Craig Dawson denied Tottenham the win with a 73rd-minute header after the defender's own goal gifted the hosts the lead in the first half.
Although Spurs look set to miss out on a first title since 1961, they are close to qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in six years.
Mauricio Pochettino's side might have to cope without Dele Alli for some of its remaining games through suspension. Video emerged of Alli appearing to swing a punch at Claudio Yacob's stomach during the first half and he could face retrospective action—assuming it was missed by the referee.
Preparing for this game meant the 20-year-old Alli missed Sunday's Professional Footballers' Association ceremony, where he was named young player of the year. Alli, who was playing in the third tier last year, has been a driving force behind Tottenham's unexpected title challenge.
The midfield dynamo showed why early on, playing a slick one-two with Harry Kane before the striker's shot was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.
West Brom posed little threat in the first half, content instead to attempt to frustrate the hosts. Manager Tony Pulis was far more assertive than his team, bellowing instructions as opposite number Pochettino remained typically composed.
Spurs picked up where they left off in the 4-0 demolition of Spurs, with intense pressing but an opening goal was hard to produce. Christian Eriksen's free kick clipped the crossbar and a low shot from Kane was turned round the post by Myhill. All West Brom could offer in response was Craig Gardner blasting a shot over.
But Tottenham went ahead through a messy own goal in the 33rd minute. Dawson tried to stop Jan Vertonghen getting on the end of Eriksen's free kick but instead managed to move the ball over the line with his stomach while on the ground.
The failure to extend the lead would prove costly for Tottenham, with Erik Lamela clipping a post and Kane firing well over in the second half.
West Brom was transformed, no longer the team lacking imagination before the break.
Salomon Rondon saw goalkeeper Hugo Lloris tip over a shot, but the equalizer came from the resulting corner. Gardner whipped in the ball and Dawson climbed above Eric Dier to power a header into the net.
Tottenham was stunned and couldn't muster the winner. The north London team, for so long eclipsed by neighbor Arsenal, still remains on course for its first second-place finish since 1963.