Goalscorers: Salomon Rondon 4, Harry Kane 74
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Ben Davies, Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen (Fernando Llorente 60), Eric Dier, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Winks (Mousa Dembele 61), Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son
West Bromwich Albion: Ben Foster, Kieran Gibbs, Jonny Evans, Ahmed Hegazi, Allan Nyom, Gareth Barry (Claudio Yacob 79), Jake Livermore, Sam Field (James McClean 67), Matt Phillips, Jay Rodriguez (Hal Robson-Kanu 67), Salomon Rondon
Referee: Mike Jones, Attendance: 65,905
11 games without a win in the Premier League, West Bromwich Albion took the bold step to part ways with survival specialist Tony Pulis. Pulis departed with the club just hovering outside the relegation zone. In caretaker charge ahead of a trip to Wembley Stadium was Gary Megson, who was taking charge of his first Premier League match since being sacked as Bolton manager in December 2009.
West Brom were visiting a Tottenham side that were flying in the UEFA Champions League but had won just one of their last three league matches and had been thoroughly outplayed and beaten in the North London Derby a week earlier.
Megson didn’t tinker much from Pulis’ last team selection, only dropping Grzegorz Krychowiak and Gareth McAuley from the side that lost 4-0 to Chelsea a week earlier. Sam Field and Allan Nyom came into the starting XI. However, it was a former Tottenham player who made a big early contribution for the visitors.
Just four minutes had been played when ex-Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore won possession in the middle of the park and played through Salomon Rondon. Rondon showed greater strength than Davinson Sanchez, nudging him off a bit too easily and then, he showed great calmness to roll the ball beyond Hugo Lloris. West Brom had a shock lead after just four minutes.
Apart from a 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool FC, Tottenham’s league performances at Wembley had been scratchy. Chelsea had won there, Swansea City and Burnley leaving with draws and West Brom’s defensive effort ensured this would be another frustrating afternoon on their temporary home soil for Mauricio Pochettino. The Londoners enjoyed 73% of possession but they failed to create much in the way of clear-cut opportunities.
Kieran Trippier was causing danger down the right flank but his balls into the box were not finding Harry Kane. West Brom skipper Jonny Evans and his centre-back partner, Ahmed Hegazi were enjoying a great day, keeping Kane and Heung-Min Son relatively quiet. In the second half, Pochettino was forced to change tactic. He took off Jan Vertonghen and Harry Winks, throwing on Mousa Dembele and an extra forward too in the form of Fernando Llorente.
Despite their constant pressure throughout, it looked like Tottenham might not find a way through until the 74th minute. Dele Alli produced the best ball of the match and Kane finally managed to escape the attentions of Evans to scoop a shot underneath Ben Foster’s legs. It was his 47th goal for club and country in 2017.
Despite having just six touches in the opposition box all game, West Brom held on for an unlikely but gritty point. However, although they beat Spurs at The Hawthorns in May, they would be relegated. Tottenham finished in the top three for a third successive season.