Tottenham Hotspur 1, West Bromwich Albion 1: Dele Alli accused of punching Claudio Yacob as Spurs' title hopes recede further

 
Frank Dalleres
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Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
Dele Alli, the newly crowned PFA Young Player of the Year, repeatedly clashed with Claudio Yacob (left) (Source: Getty)

Tottenham Hotspur 1, West Bromwhich Albion 1

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists they can still win the Premier League despite dropping more points - although they may have to do it without Dele Alli after the firebrand England midfielder clashed with West Brom's Claudio Yacob.

Baggies defender Craig Dawson scored at both ends as Spurs missed the chance to cut leaders Leicester's lead to five points, meaning the Foxes can clinch a first ever top-flight title by winning at Manchester United on Sunday.

That is before Tottenham's next fixture, at Chelsea 24 hours later, for which Alli could be suspended after the newly-crowned PFA Young Player of the Year was accused of swinging a low punch into Yacob's midriff in an off-the-ball scuffle.

"It's not over because the gap is seven points and we have three games still. It's true that it's very difficult, more difficult than before the game, but we have to still believe and hope that Leicester drop points," Pochettino said.

Pochettino said he had not seen the incident involving Alli, but admitted the 20-year-old was "a strong character".

"Sometimes the opponent tries to provoke because they know he has a strong character and maybe [will] react," he added.

Tottenham had risen to the challenge of trading blows with Leicester in the run-in by scoring seven without reply in their two preceding fixtures, and there looked little chance of a West Brom side with just one point from their last five games halting their momentum.

So it proved in the utterly one-sided opening skirmishes: in the sixth minute White Hart Lane rose to cheer Harry Kane's opener, after he had swapped passes with Alli and ghosted into the penalty area, only for his shot to come back off the inside of the post.

Replays revealed that Boaz Myhill had got a faint but decisive touch, and the Baggies goalkeeper also tipped a Christian Eriksen free-kick round the post, while the Denmark playmaker skimmed the bar with another swirling set-piece.

It was another Eriksen dead ball that eventually reaped the opening goal on 32 minutes. Dawson, so determined to beat Spurs captain Jan Vertonghen to the cross, succeeded only in bundling the ball past Myhill as he skidded chest-first into the goalmouth.

Attacking midfielder Erik Lamela became the third Tottenham player to hit the woodwork when he could only guide a first-time effort against the far post, following Eriksen's lung-bursting dart down the left and cut-back, 12 minutes after the break.

West Brom grew into the contest as the second half evolved, and Spurs saw their slim title hopes recede further in the 72nd minute when Dawson out-jumped Eric Dier to head in a corner.

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