Tottenham held to 2-2 home draw by West Brom

Tottenham Hotspur blew the chance to reclaim a Champions League

spot as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich

Albion in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Substitute striker Simon Cox salvaged a point for West Brom when

he cracked a curling shot past Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes with

nine minutes remaining at White Hart Lane.

Spurs, vying with Manchester City for fourth place in the

league, looked in control after Jermain Defoe scored his 100th

Premier League goal to put the home side 2-1 up after 66

minutes.

West Brom had taken a fifth-minute lead through its Nigerian

winger, Peter Odemwingie, but Roman Pavlyuchenko made it 1-1 in the

27th minute.

Tottenham stays fifth, one point behind City, which visits

Blackburn Rovers on Monday. West Brom is 12th, six points above the

relegation zone.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Harry Redknapp’s side, which

could not build on the stirring comeback it mounted in a 3-3 draw

with derby rival Arsenal in midweek.

And Spurs’ hopes of securing another season in the Champions

League look bleak given that the club must face City, Chelsea and

Liverpool in the run-in.

”It’s going to be difficult but it’s still all to play for,”

Redknapp said.

”I find it hard that now everyone expects us to be in the

Champions League. Tottenham had never been in it before until this

season and suddenly it is like ‘we have to be in the Champions

League.’

”Manchester City have gone out and spent God knows what to get

above us. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea are there every

year, Liverpool will be there next year. It’s difficult to get

fourth. It has been a great season but it’s not over yet.”

Redknapp even suggested Spurs were close to becoming a serious

challenger for the league title.

”This is the closest we have ever got to Arsenal and Chelsea,”

he said. ”I think we can compete with the top clubs every year. I

think there is a championship in this club, not just a Champions

League place. It will need a bit of investment but the nucleus is

there.”

West Brom started brightly on Saturday and took the lead when

Odemwingie latched on to Carlos Vela’s pass to outmuscle Benoit

Assou-Ekotto and bend a delightful 20-yard shot past Gomes for his

13th of the season.

Pavlyuchenko missed one chance before he made his presence tell.

The Russian stole the ball off a West Brom defender and rifled past

Scott Carson with a 20-yard strike that went in off a post.

Five minutes into the second half Nicky Shorey found Odemwingie

unmarked in the box but Gomes pulled off a sharp save to tip his

header around the post.

The home side’s frustration at not finding a second ended after

66 minutes when West Brom paid the price for backing off Defoe, who

found the bottom right-hand corner of Carson’s goal with a

well-placed strike.

Every one of Defoe’s team-mates, the keeper aside, ran across

the pitch to congratulate the striker on reaching his 100th Premier

League goal. It was also his 100th goal for Spurs and the club’s

1000th in the division.

Redknapp replaced Pavlyuchenko with England striker Peter Crouch

with three minutes left but Spurs’ efforts petered out.