The last time West Bromwich Albion lined up against Andre Villas Boas, it ended with the Portuguese manager being fired from Chelsea. You can understand why he probably felt some trepidation with us being the first team to visit his new home of White Hart Lane. After facing the home crowd for the first time as Spurs boss, he faced boos from a certain section of the crowd at the final whistle due to a James Morrison injury time equaliser to share the points on the second match of the season.
Morrison has a knack for scoring these last minute goals, with his last goal being a late equaliser against Bolton last season. Tottenham were well in control of the first half, but second half saw the Baggies up the pace, especially when Lukaku was introduced by Steve Clarke.
Our new head coach made two changes from the successful win over Liverpool, with Marc Antoine-Fortune and Graham Dorrans being given starting places in place of the injured Peter Odemwingie and benched Zoltan Gera. The new Swedish signing Markus Rosenberg was handed a place on the bench alongside Billy Jones, who had recovered from food poisoning.
Tottenham made two changes from the opening day defeat to Newcastle United, with new signing Jan Vertonghen and Rafael Van Der Vaart taking the place of Younes Kaboul and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Spurs started off the far better side, showing the strength available for them, with Gareth Bale volleying wide just after eight minutes had gone on the clock. So far, Tottenham were playing confidently, passing the ball round with ease, Albion seemingly very nervous and anxious to what the rest of the game may hold.
Aaron Lennon was a constant threat for the home side who, after some lovely build up play, fluffed his shot from just over 15 yards out. Lennon was involved in the build up to the next chance when he teed up Van Der Vaart, only for the Dutchman to send the ball wide of the post.
The next chance for Spurs came just before the 25th minute when new signing Vertonghen volleyed over from 12 yards out after Bale set the ball up perfectly for him.
It was just after the half hour mark of the game that saw the Albion record their first shot at goal, thanks to a free kick from Steven Reid, but he sent the ball far wide. The next chance for us came a bit out of the blue when Mulumbu punted the ball up field, only for it to be chased down by Fortune, causing a brief moment of panic for Brad Friedel who rushed off his line to clear Kyle Walker’s dodgy looking back header.
The half time whistle went and most Albion fans were quite happy we had weathered the storm, 0-0 away at White Hart Lane is a respectable half-time score. But little did we know what the next 45 minutes would bring both sets of fans.
The Albion started brighter in the second half and Dorrans really tested Tottenham in the 53rd minute when he surged through the defence, eventually driving the ball to Friedel, with the experienced American pushing the ball to safety. This seemed to be the catalyst for the Albion to carry on pushing for goal, quite unlike what we had seen in the first half. Shane Long headed straight down at Friedel and Fortune fired horribly high just a minute later.
Tottenham were next to have a chance, with Defoe firing straight at Foster. Both teams could sense that there was something available for them, and with the arrival of Lukaku into the Albion team, the away fans felt that maybe we could just get something from the game. However, just a minute later, Tottenham thought they had scored when Defoe put the ball into the back of the net, on;yfor it to be ruled offside. The Albion jumped onto this and Lukaku could have bagged his second Albion game in two games when he fired towards goal from 15 yards. The game was descending into a classic end-to-end game, with the atmosphere hotting up inside the ground, both sets of fans chanting, standing, screaming their team forward.
On the 69th minute, the Albion had another good chance when Fortune saw his goal bound effort blocked at point blank range by Friedel after he had held off the Spurs defence.
However, minutes later, Spurs took the lead when McAuley cleared out a corner, only for it to go to Assou-Ekotto, who fired the ball goalwards form 25 yards out, taking a nasty deflection off Dorrans, flying into the bottom right hand corner, giving Foster no chance.
This did not stop the Albion from fighting, and Fortune and Lukaku carried on looking dangerous for the away side. As the game was heading towards the final whistle, the Baggies grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and shook it up. McAuley saw his effort get headed off the line and onto the Spurs bar by Assou-Ekotto. Then moments later, Lukaku had his effort cleared off the line by Gallas. The suddenly James Morrison sent the ball into the back of the net through a crowded goalmouth after being teed up nicely by McAuley. Cue wild celebrations in one corner of White Hart Lane, fans jumping up and down as if we had just won the game.
A 1-1 draw away at Tottenham, is whatever way you look at it, a very good result. Tottenham will be in and around the top four throughout the season, but right now, it is the Albion occupying the Champions League positions. Two games down and this is one of the best starts we have had, a trip to Yeovil midweek is next in the League Cup followed by a tricky looking game against Everton at the Hawthorns on Saturday. I have a feeling a draw is a possibility on Saturday, and if we can continue this form, then we really have a bright season ahead of us.