BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
The Hawthorns, England
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West Bromwich Albion
0 - 1
And that's the final whistle - a deserved win for Spurs in a game changed completely by Popov's sending off. Spurs are now only a point behind London rivals Chelsea.
Bale makes another good run and wins yet another Tottenham corner. That, you would think, should be that.
A Sigurdsson pass goes astray and West Brom win a free-kick. A late chance - maybe the last one. Ben Foster is forward, and Lloris claims the cross well.
There's a bit of blood from a cut around his mouth, but he'll be fine to continue.
There's a crunching challenge on Bale by Reid, and the Spurs man is down.
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Goal-kick for West Brom, and you feel they will be sending everything long now.
There will be four minutes of added time as Ridgewell challenges Bale well.
A Sigurdsson cross deflects and West Brom whack clear. Fortune chases, but Tottenham win that one back.
We are into the final minute of normal time at The Hawthorns.
At the other end, Bale - who else - takes over and wins a 16th corner of the afternoon for Spurs.
Another long ball forward for the Baggies, and again Lloris is there.
A long ball from West Brom is claimed by Lloris as Olsson and Vertonghen tussle.
The substitute takes the corner and Bale gets his head to it but can only steer the ball over the crossbar.
Sigurdsson is on and Aaron Lennon off for Tottenham.
The Welshman wins his team another corner.
Still it's with Tottenham, though, and Bale has it on the right.
And Spurs play the ball all the way back to Lloris. Then Holtby plays a fine pass out to Lennon on the left, who gets into the area and has a shot blocked.
Spurs are readying substitute Sigurdsson to come on, it would seem.
Spurs clear, and they can break with Bale. He then slows play down and feeds possession to Holtby.
Free-kick for West Brom out wide on their right. This will be going into the area.
Fortune and Rosenberg on, Yacob and Dorrans off.
Bale is on the left - his cross is too strong, though. Two more changes coming up for West Brom...
Brunt does well and feeds Long. He has a sight of goal from the edge of the area, but it's a scuffer and no problem for Lloris.
Long chases a ball forward with Dawson, and the Tottenham man does well to usher it back to Lloris.
Again, Spurs pass it around. West Brom win it back but Yacob wastes the situation, playing an aimless pass when he had options on.
William Gallas is on and Kyle Walker off for Spurs.
Spurs are happy just to knock the ball around. Dembele feeds Dempsey who, from an angle on the left, has a shot and Foster touches it behind for a corner.
Olsson plays the ball straight out of play for West Brom, inside their half. That's the last sort of thing they need.
Spurs, though, are having such a monopoly of possession that you feel they could get a second and put the issue entirely beyond doubt.
Fifteen minutes of normal time remaining and, while there's only one goal in it, there's still a sliver of hope for the ten men.
Reid, fighting a lonely battle, tries to get something going for the home team down the left. He lacks support, and is crowded out.
Walker whizzes down the right, and when the ball comes in it's cleared at full stretch by West Brom.
Holtby is impressing for Spurs. He is neat, productive and keeps the ball moving quickly and constructively.
Dempsey is challenged as he tries a spot of ball-juggling in the West Brom area, but that's no penalty.
That's cleared, and as the ball goes back to Foster he whacks a clearance off Holtby. It could have gone anywhere. It goes out for a throw to West Brom.
Songs of praise from the Tottenham support for Bale, who is on the ball again. He jinks his way into the area and sees his effort deflected away for a corner.
And it is. Not much arguing with that decision, really.
That's number 13 of the season for Bale. A heavy challenge by Dorrans looks as though it may be punished with a yellow card...
GOAL: And that's exactly what Gareth Bale does - he makes space for himself on the edge of the area and thunders a shot high past Foster. Another cracking finish in a marvellous season for Bale.
Spurs on halfway with Assou-Ekotto, building patiently again. You feel, though, that they may need to up the tempo a bit to make a breakthrough.
Morrison and Reid have a communications breakdown, and the ball drifts out for a Tottenham throw.
Long and Yacob do well to pressure Parker in to a mistake as the Spurs midfielder, robbed of time, shanks a pass out of play.
Cleared - temporarily - and when Spurs come forward again, Foster claims the cross well.
Vertonghen shoots low and from distance. It hits McAulay and goes for a corner to Spurs.
Dempsey flicks from an Assou-Ekotto cross as Spurs come forward again, and again the home defenders do their job.
Long ball downfield from West Brom, but they are struggling to keep possession for any length of time at all at the moment.
It was a slightly heavy collision, but Bale is back on his feet again.
Spurs on half-way. Bale gets into the area and Foster blocks bravely. Bale is down after that collision.
Coming up to the hour and, the way this is going, Tottenham - recognised striker or no recognised striker - will be kicking themselves if they don't win.
Kyle Walker has a chance as the ball drops to him just inside the area, but blasts a wayward volley absolutely miles wide.
West Brom are working very hard, but the possession is all Tottenham's. They have another corner...
Assou-Ekotto does well on the right and drifts in the cross. Olsson is there to do defensive duties for West Brom.
West Brom clear and Assou-Ekotto lashes a follow-up volley high into the stands.
Another run from Bale culminates in another corner for Spurs.
And a problem for Foster as Holtby fires a shot from an angle - the keeper blocks, though, and West Brom scramble it clear.
Long is limping - he seemed to pull up with nobody near him. Another potential problem for the home side.
Lukaku off and Liam Ridgewell on as manager Steve Clarke reacts to his West Brom side going down to ten.
Dembele crosses, but Dempsey can't get enough direction on his looping header and it doesn't trouble Foster.
The away fans are in full voice as Lukaku clears it behind for another corner.
Bale links with Lennon and has a shot - it deflects behind for a corner to Tottenham.
Five minutes gone in the second half, and Popov has potentially changed the whole nature of what's to come in this game.
Spurs almost work their way through thanks to fine play by Scott Parker, but neither Bale nor Holtby can quite get on the end of his delicate pass into the area.
The most ridiculous of incidents for West Brom. Popov had played himself into trouble in the first place, but to react in the way he did was ludicrous.
And referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistant see that - Popov, utterly deservedly, is off. Repellent behaviour.
Popov almost gets into trouble, trying to be clever with Walker. The two have words, and the West Brom man appears to spit at his opponent...
Brunt plays an early ball forward, looking for Lukaku. He's offside, and not for the first time, either.
Loose in midfield between Reid and Morrison for West Brom, but Holtby can't make anything of it.
West Brom get the second half started - they have been solid enough in the first half, but can they find more of a cutting edge to complement that?
The teams are making their way back out at The Hawthorns, and we will be under way in the second half very shortly.
And that's half-time: no goals, and Spurs - who have had plenty of possession - now have no recognised striker.
Beautiful play by Bale who is - not surprisingly - the man most likely.
He makes a wonderful run, weaving his way past challenge and after challenge and firing in a dipping shot that Foster tips over.
After its bright start, this one has rather petered out. A bit scrappy - but here comes Bale...
The game is rather drifting towards the break as Parker puts an aimless ball straight out of play down the right.
Bale gets his attempted pass to Holtby all wrong as the assistant referee signals three added minutes at the end of the first period.
Morrison makes a good run, but the attempted pass towards him is much too long and easy for Lloris to gather.
Free-kick to West Brom on halfway as Dembele tussles with Brunt. The Spurs man is very unimpressed by Mark Clattenburg's decision.
Lukaku again makes that run into the Spurs area from the left, but hacks a wild effort high into the crowd.
There will be at least a couple of minutes of injury time to add to the three or four minutes remaining in this half.
Long is penalised for handball as he tries to control a long ball downfield. Free-kick Spurs.
He combines with Bale, and Reid blasts clear from almost on the byline.
Bale switches wings, popping up on the right to win a throw. West Brom head clear to concede another one.
And indeed it is - Lewis Holtby on, Defoe off.
It appears impossible that Defoe can continue...
West Brom move down the left with Popov, who crosses in the direction of Lukaku. Dawson clears.
He is limping to the sidelines, and is having his ankle strapped. Spurs down to ten at the moment.
Defoe is back on his feet, but it is unclear at the moment whether he will be able to continue.
Worrying for Spurs - Defoe is down after colliding with Long. Spurs aren't exactly rich in striking options at the moment, and Defoe appears to be in some pain.
Twinkletoes from Lennon, skipping away from Popov and Brunt on the left and winning a free-kick.
Bale thumps it - and thumps it high into the stand behind the goal.
Bale, as you would expect, looks very interested. Assou-Ekotto is lurking as well.
Lennon on the run finds Defoe on the edge of the box. Yacob fouls him inside the D, and this is a very dangerous free-kick.
And in the directors' box, a familiar face - former Baggies, and now England, manager Roy Hodgson is taking in events.
As he was at Norwich, Holtby is on the bench should AVB wish to pep up his midfield as the game progresses.
Half an hour in, and the early fizz of the game has faded somewhat. The visitors look slightly the likelier to make things happen, though.
The kick curls out of play and back in again. A wasted opportunity by Spurs, that.
Dempsey shoots from distance - it's blocked but falls to Lennon. He plays Walker in, and the cross is put behind for another corner.
Defoe battles down the left after a pass from Assou-Ekotto, but then stabs his attempted infield pass straight to a West Brom player.
Dempsey scuffs a shot from the edge of the area - it's not far wide. He wants a corner, but he isn't going to get one.
Spurs breakaway - another great run from Bale, who again gets a cross in from the right. It's a great ball, but Spurs don't have the numbers in the area to make the most of it.
Lloris does well again, steering the ball away from the onrushing McAulay.
Can they fashion another one here? Dorrans does well and wins a corner down the right.
The best chance of the game is still West Brom's - that Shane Long effort blocked by Lloris.
Dorrans looks to his left but gets the pass all wrong, playing it into no-man's land.
Reid on the ball at the back for West Brom - from his pass forward, they win a throw deep inside Tottenham territory.
Spurs look for Defoe in the middle, but the flag is up.
An excellent pass made made the chance and Long, in behind the last man, was clearly onside.
Dorrans plays a fine ball to Long on the left of the area - he gets in a shot from an angle and Lloris blocks it well.
Dembele skips away from a couple of challenges before trying a long-range shot, which sails well off target.
Olsson booms a ball forward towards Lukaku, but that has too much on it and zips through to Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
The delivery is poor, and it's easily cleared by the home defence.
Spurs attack again, though, and win themselves another corner.
A header through almost finds Defoe - Foster sees the danger and comes out to hack the ball clear.
Dembele is adjudged to have fouled, and West Brom race away from a quickly-taken free-kick. But Morrison tries to find Long, gets it wrong, and it's a throw to AVB's visitors.
Foster is uncertain in dealing with the corner, and Spurs will have another...
Parker on half-way. Bale takes over and powers his way through on the right - the cross is blocked by McAulay, but that was great play by the Welshman.
Brunt looks for the roaming Long on the left, but his delicate attempted pass isn't delicate enough and rolls out of play.
Dembele tries to slide a ball through to Dempsey inside the West Brom area, but the American is offside.
Parker gives the ball away to Brunt, then Dembele does likewise under pressure from Dorrans. No harm done for Spurs, though.
Lukaku races down the left, challenging Kyle Walker - and fouling him, says the referee. That's another illustration of Lukaku's dangerous pace, however.
Spurs trying to settle with some short passing, but it breaks down. Good harrying from West Brom in these early stages.
Dembele pushes the ball too far in front of himself in midfield after some neat Tottenham passing, and it's a throw to West Brom.
Lennon makes a good run down the right for Spurs, beating Popov and crossing towards Dempsey, who nods down and wide. He might have done better with that one.
Lukaku is the next home player to show good control, bringing the ball down on his chest before firing in a low shot. Lloris stops it and holds it.
Lloris punches well, getting good distance on the ball.
Nice play by Dorrans on the right, who twists and turns and gets his team a corner...
Now a corner for Tottenham - too deep for Dempsey, who is attacking the far post, and drifts away.
First chance - Lukaku wins a header, and Long gets on to it. Lloris comes to meet him, and Long's control lets him down with the ball going behind for a goal-kick.
McAuley does well as Bale gets on the end of an Assou-Ekotto ball into the area, ushering it away from him.
Brunt tries to curl a ball down the left for West Brom, but Dawson is there again.
Then Dawson fouls Morrison in midfield. That's a West Brom free-kick.
Lloris bowls the ball out towards Assou-Ekotto, who takes his eye off it and sees it drift out of play.
It's an attacking formation from the home side and their manager Steve Clarke - but will it pay off?
Then Morrison chases a long pass forward, but the flag is up for offside.
Tottenham get the game under way - the ball goes forward early, but the Baggies get it away.
Kick-off at The Hawthorns is about five minutes away - let's see what the first of today's two big games brings.
It's an important day for Spurs as well. Below par as they salvaged a draw at Norwich in the week thanks to a moment of brilliance from Gareth Bale, they will be hoping to shrug off the lethargy that characterised both the game at Carrow Road and the Cup defeat at Leeds.
Predictably, there is no sign of Peter Odemwingie after what happened on transfer deadline evening. But the Baggies, in rocky form of late, can call on Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long, both of whom have produced excellent displays for them this season.
West Brom: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov; Dorrans, Yacob, Morrison, Brunt; Long, Lukaku
Subs: Myhill, Ridgewell, Thomas, Jones, Rosenberg, Fortune, Tamas.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe
Subs: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Huddlestone, Livermore, Sigurdsson, Holtby
Mousa Dembele has warned Spurs that their hopes of a top four finish will be fading unless they win.
Spurs missed out on signing Leandro Damiao in the transfer window.
Join us for Spurs' trip to West Brom as they seek to keep their top four hopes alive.