Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the winner against West Brom on February 3, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at Tottenham's 1-0 win over ten-man West Brom this afternoon.

Tottenham Hotspur moved to within one point of third-placed Chelsea courtesy of a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns this afternoon.

Neither side could find an opening goal in an even first half that saw chances for both teams.

However, a red card for Goran Popov for allegedly spitting at Kyle Walker changed the game, and Gareth Bale was able to get the winner in the 66th minute.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at an entertaining match between the two sides.

Match statistics:

West Brom:
Shots 4
On target 3
Possession 30%
Corners 2
Fouls 9

Tottenham:
Shots 21
On target 13
Possession 70%
Corners 17
Fouls 9

Was the result fair?

Yes. The first half was very even and could have gone either way, but Popov's red card allowed Tottenham to take control. They dominated the second half, attacking at will, and the only surprise is that they didn't score more goals.

West Brom's performance

Very much impacted by Popov's red card. In the first half they looked threatening on the break, with Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long linking up well and causing the Spurs backline some problems. However, the red card was swiftly followed by Lukaku coming off, which ended the Baggies' attacking ambitions, and from there on there was only one winner.

Tottenham's performance

They were good in the first half but failed to work Ben Foster until the last few minutes. They took full advantage of their extra man in the second half, however, as they dominated possession. They were making more of their good attacking platforms too, creating plenty of chances, and probably should have won by more than a solitary goal.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gareth Bale: Only one winner here. The Welshman was Tottenham's most dangerous player in the first half and ran the game in the second. West Brom couldn't deal with his acceleration, pace and ability to drop his shoulder and find space to shoot on the edge of the box, which eventually led to his goal.

Referee performance

Mark Clattenburg had a very good game. He didn't hand out cards unless they were really necessary and kept a good hold of the game. He applied common sense and got the red card decision spot on. It was hard to tell whether Popov was spitting at Kyle Walker or simply near him, but Clattenburg clearly thought that it was the former so had no choice but to send the West Brom man off.

What next?

West Brom: Next up for the Baggies is a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool next Monday.

Tottenham: Spurs will host Newcastle United next Saturday before resuming Europa League duties against Lyon.

Gareth Bale celebrates after scoring the winner against West Brom on February 3, 2013
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