Alan Shearer has claimed that Jose Mourinho’s decision to bring Carlos Vinicius and Lucas Moura on in place of Moussa Sissoko and Gareth Bale was what won Tottenham the game against West Bromwich Albion,
The game at The Hawthorns had a very similar pattern to Tottenham’s win at Turf Moor a couple of weeks ago, with the opposition denying Tottenham’s forwards space to run in-behind.
Just when it looked like Spurs were going to drop points, their talisman, Harry Kane popped up with another crucial goal in the dying moments of the match to hand them a win.
The goal was Kane’s 150th in the Premier League and takes him a step closer to Alan Shearer’s all-time record but the Newcastle legend insisted that it was the positive substitutions made by Mourinho that made the difference.
He wrote in his BBC Sport column: “When you’ve got the forward line that Tottenham have, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale, you always carry a threat, especially with the form Kane and Son are in.
“Son didn’t even have one of his better games against West Brom but it was Kane who popped up with another vital goal right at the end that briefly sent his side top of the pile.
“Credit has to go to Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, though, because of the positive change he made 12 minutes from time, when he took Moussa Sissoko and Bale off and brought on Lucas Moura and Carlos Vinicius.
“That’s what won them the game in the end. I know Harry secured the three points but it happened because Mourinho was looking to win the game, and it worked.”
Shearer praised Tottenham’s ability to dig out wins when they are not playing at their best.
“Spurs have now gone seven games unbeaten in the league since losing at home to Everton on the opening weekend in what was a poor performance”, he continued.
“Yes, that run includes their 6-1 win at Old Trafford but they have also shown they can win the hard way, when they are not playing well.
“They dug out wins over Burnley and Brighton in the past couple of weeks and it was exactly the same against the Baggies so, without playing spectacular football, Tottenham find themselves in a great position in the table.
“They actually should have more points on the board, but they conceded a late equaliser against Newcastle and somehow let that 3-0 lead slip in the final few minutes against West Ham.
“Even so, they have given themselves something to build on and their game against City on 21 November is another one to look forward to.”
However, the pundit still backed one of Liverpool or Manchester City to win the title ahead of Spurs.
Shearer added: “I still see Liverpool and Manchester City as the stand-out teams in the Premier League and think one of them will win the title – but Leicester and Tottenham might have something to say about that.”
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