West Brom 0-1 Tottenham: Rating the Spurs Players in Win over the Baggies
Tottenham's victory over West Brom on Sunday added to the club's fine run of results, which has seen them unbeaten through their past nine Premier League matches.
The win established a bit of a gap between Spurs and fifth-placed Everton, though the three-point difference is not one to rest easily upon. Further, it got Spurs right back in the conversation for third place, with just a point separating them and Chelsea, and even a surprising outside shot at second, where Manchester City sit with an eight-point advantage.
While any win away from home in the Premier League should be reveled in, Tottenham's road to the victory was made quite a bit easier by the despicable actions of Goran Popov, who saw red for a spit at Kyle Walker.
Even with that helping hand, the side should be quite happy with their performance through the 90 minutes.
So how did Spurs do individually at West Brom?
Here are the ratings, on a scale of 10, for Tottenham's players in their 1-0 victory Sunday.
Hugo Lloris: 7
In the first half, Hugo Lloris produced a fine save off Romelu Lukaku and a brilliant one-on-one stop off Shane Long.
The Frenchman had considerably less to do throughout the second half, though, as West Brom played for the draw after Popov's sending off.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto: 4.5
Assou-Ekotto made some good runs, but his crosses and final balls were almost all off.
Ever since returning from injury, BAE's play has looked below his standard, as he has sometimes gotten out of sorts.
A poor volley that went well into the stands pretty much summed up the Cameroonians day.
Jan Vertonghen: 7
Jan looked in control out there and even popped up in attacks a few times.
It was a typically solid display from Vertonghen.
Michael Dawson: 6
He had a few shaky moments early on, but Dawson easily dealt with West Brom's attack when they went down to 10 men.
He's played better over past few matches, but the Englishman did contribute to the clean sheet.
Kyle Walker: 4.5
In the first half, Walker was the target on almost all of West Brom's attacks and was found wanting on a few occasions.
His runs down the right were better, though, as he did contribute to the attack.
Kyle's best contribution was probably on the red card, where he was able to keep his composure, despite being spit at.
William Gallas: 5
Gallas came in for Kyle Walker for the final 15 minutes or so and did a decent job down the right.
To be fair, there wasn't much threat due to the red card.
Gareth Bale: 9
What more can be said about Gareth Bale at this point?
His runs at the West Brom defense were some of the best you will see anywhere this season, while his 25-yard bullet of a winner showed just how lethal he is.
Bale brought his teammates in, got up from a few knocks and marauded all over the field as he was needed.
It was a complete performance from the Welshman.
Scott Parker: 6
Scottie didn't have much to do throughout the match, but he made a few fine tackles and did well in protecting the middle.
It's easy to disregard his contribution, but Parker allowed Spurs to attack as they did.
Clint Dempsey: 5.5
Dempsey was not a huge factor in the match but had a few golden opportunities that he missed in the first half.
Still, he did a decent job in link-up play and moved to the center when he was needed.
Moussa Dembele: 7.5
Dembele kept possession superbly, dribbled incredibly and created numerous chances from the center of the midfield.
It would have been nice to see him test the keeper after creating space, but Dembele did fine as it was.
Aaron Lennon: 6.5
The match summed up Aaron Lennon: When he was on the ball, he was able to use his speed to threaten the defense. However, when he wasn't on the ball (which was much more often), he had great difficulty contributing and getting involved.
Still, he had a great run past the later disgraced Popov and had an easier time after the red card.
Lewis Holtby: 7
Not that there was any doubt of it, but what a signing Tottenham made in bringing Holtby in during January.
The German came on for Jermain Defoe in the first half and immediately injected a dose of energy into the Spurs attack.
After just two performances from the bench, Lewis should have White Hart Lane buzzing with excitement.
Gylfi Sigurdsson: 5
Sigurdsson came on for Lennon late in the match.
At that point, Spurs were happy to settle for their victory.
Hence, Sigurdsson didn't contribute much.
Jermain Defoe: 5.5
Through the first 40 minutes of the match, Defoe was contributing well and making a few nice runs, quelling the nervousness one felt about the striker position at Tottenham.
Then, the worst-case scenario came for Spurs, as their English striker went down with injury and reemerged on crutches in the second half.
An early report by BBC Sport Football has Jermain out for about three weeks, a huge blow to a position that doesn't have all that much cover.
On the bright side, at least Togo lost to Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations Sunday, signalling the imminent return of Emmanuel Adebayor.