LONDON – The Tottenham fans who left White Hart Lane early with their team losing against their fierce rivals West Ham United must have forgotten what has become the story of their season.
Most teams would be dead and buried if they were trailing by two goals with 10 minutes remaining but Tottenham, under their head coach Mauricio Pochettino, have made a habit of scoring vital late goals.
In Harry Kane, Spurs also have a hero who continues to deliver the perfect script. Two weeks after Âscoring the later winner against ÂArsenal, the striker equalised in the 96th minute to deny West Ham a third successive White Hart Lane victory.
Tottenham have now secured 11 Premier League points with goals scored in the 88th minute or later in a match and Kane has scored 24 times in all competitions.
Kaneâ€™s latest last-gasp goal owed much to the former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, who needlessly pushed him over in the penalty area. The strikerâ€™s spot-kick was saved by goalkeeper Adrian, but he reacted quickest to fire the loose ball home.
Danny Rose had given Spurs hope by scoring in the 81st minute with a shot into the ground that bounced into the net after Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho had put West Ham two goals up.
Sam Allardyce branded Tottenham and Kane â€˜luckyâ€™, and the West Ham manager claimed that the referee Jonathan Moss was not brave enough to blow the final whistle as soon as Kaneâ€™s penalty was saved.
Kane was awarded his penalty in the final minute of the five that were added on for stoppages and Adrian saved 54 seconds later.
Asked whether the final whistle should have been blown before the 21-year-old had chance to score the rebound, Allardyce said: â€œThe answer to that is yes, but he wouldnâ€™t be brave enough to do that at [Tottenhamâ€™s] home would he?
â€œHeâ€™ll say there was still two Âseconds to go. He will say when the penalty was taken, there were five seconds left, when the rebound came back there were three seconds left.
â€œSo weâ€™re doing NFL now arenâ€™t we? Iâ€™d like a time-keeper to be perfectly honest with you. At the end, the refereeâ€™s not the reason why we drew. It was down to ourselves and a huge slice of luck for Spurs. The first Spurs goal was a complete mis-hit.
â€œWhen it bounces over the goalkeeper after itâ€™s hit the floor, itâ€™s so unusual that it sneaks into the corner and it lifts the opposition.â€
On the penalty decision, the West Ham manager said: â€œAlex has to keep his hands off him because heâ€™s going to feel that contact and take to the floor. Heâ€™s got to.
â€œNo oneâ€™s under doubt that when youâ€™re losing at that stage of the game and you know youâ€™re not going to score because Kaneâ€™s kicked it too far, youâ€™re going to take the chance.
â€œThe referee gives him the opportunity to take the penalty and he wasnâ€™t good enough to score that, but lucky enough to get the rebound so all ends up, weâ€™ve been very, very unlucky today.
â€œAlex has touched him on the arm and this is a penalty, whereas Diego Costa goes down after a blatant push from the full-back and itâ€™s not a penalty. So that is the inconÂsistency that we unfortunately have to deal with.
â€œKaneâ€™s first touch was too heavy and he knew it was too heavy. Youâ€™ve got to give him credit for getting Tottenham a point in the end. It was also lucky because he missed the penalty and luckily it went to him to finish off.â€
Pochettino believed that there was also an element of good fortune in West Hamâ€™s two-goal lead.
There was no debate over the firstâ€‘half opener, when Kouyate got in between Eric Dier and Jan ÂVertonghen to head an Aaron Cresswell cross past Spursâ€™ goalkeeper, the France international captain, Hugo Lloris.
However, Pochettino claimed legitimately that Enner Valencia could have been judged offside when he attempted to head Mark Nobleâ€™s cross, but the ball evaded the Ecuador international and Sakho ghosted in at the far post to score West Ham Unitedâ€™s second goal of the afternoon.
â€œThe second goal, now I have seen it on TV, was offside,â€ Pochettino said. â€œYou can see he [Valencia] is offside. But I donâ€™t blame the referee.
â€œItâ€™s difficult always for the referee to take a decision. Only I give my opinion about that after I saw that it was replay. Iâ€™m not blaming the referee, the job is very difficult.â€
Noble could have been sent off for two bookÂable offences after the midfielder escaped a second yellow card for a late challenge on Nabil Bentaleb before being substituted and Pochettino said: â€œIn football, you need to accept that sometimes itâ€™s for you, sometimes itâ€™s against you. Today, I think the decisions were more against us than for us, but this is football. I donâ€™t blame the referee.â€ – The Telegraph