I kept the faith and Tottenham finally repaid my patience. Tottenham have stolen points with dramatic last minute winners, a trademark of our travels up and down the country this season. What we've not done enough of is consolidate our momentum and possession and put the game to bed. A frustration that still manages to birth those moments of glorious late show magic from the feet of Christian Eriksen once the the clock ticks into the 87th minute and beyond. But what of a performance where we settle things early in the game and see it through with a touch of professionalism and quality?
WBA 0 Tottenham 3.
Boom. There we go. We're capable of it.
Before you point out that our hosts are hardly top tier opposition let's remind ourselves of our struggles (especially at the Lane) against teams considered to be easy fodder. We've made hard work of most this season and at times the difficultly has been furthered by defeating ourselves with lethargic application and wasteful product in the final third. What we also need to take into consideration are the amount of games we've played compared to others. Add to the mix the transition Mauricio Pochettino is working through as he solidifies the core of the current squad and moulds into the pressing side he desires. It's not always going to be perfect, so when we do finally match the deliverance of the football with the spirit and character we possess - hallelujah!
Spurs started superbly, pinging the ball around with confidence and took an early lead through another Christian Eriksen's free-kick. Then Harry Kane made it 2-0 assisted by a Mousa Dembele positive surge. Kane smacking it into the net like a thunderous storm raining down on the Baggies. The third was a penalty in the second half that killed off any chance of a home side revival.
I'm not going to ignore that this Tony Pulis side had their moments of pressure. Hugo Lloris pulled off two absolutely magnificent saves proving that heart-stopping goalkeeping can be as pivotal as any goal scored down the other end. They also hit the woodwork. This shouldn't be perceived as something detrimental to our performance. The flow of a game will always see a change in momentum. Perhaps had WBA scored earlier in the game it might have influenced the tempo more favourably in their direction.
I enjoyed the fact that even with those nervous moments, we didn't look fazed and we didn't panic. We retained our work ethic, pressed on and contained their efforts. These are the games we have to be winning, especially when the next one up is a North London derby. Three goals, three points, clean sheet. Textbook that we're not usually accustomed to.
Kudos to Pochettino for drilling the team. Well done to the players for a much improved and confident swagger (compared to the flawed semi-final draw against Sheffield United). As for Eriksen, he continues to provide that something extra whilst Harry Kane persistently provides us with everything else; Heart, determination, goals and the ever growing touch of assured quality.