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Published: 21:26 | 25/4/16

Foxes on verge as Spurs are held

Leicester seven clear after Tottenham draw with West Brom

Leicester City require just three further points to secure the Premier League title following a 1-1 draw between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion.

Craig Dawson netted at both ends at White Hart Lane as title challengers Spurs could only reduce Leicester’s advantage at the top to seven points.

Both Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen struck the frame of the West Brom goal during the early stages.

The visitors enjoyed a decent spell before Craig Dawson bundled Eriksen’s delivery into his own net soon after the half-hour.

Early in the second half, Erik Lamela became the third Spurs player to hit the woodwork, and Dawson punished the hosts by heading in the leveller inside the final 20 minutes.

The result leaves Leicester seven clear of Spurs with just three games apiece remaining.

A win away to Manchester United on Sunday would secure the Foxes, who appeared for much of last season to be set for relegation, their first top-flight title.

Spurs dominated early on in North London on Monday night, with Kane going extremely close, his effort tipped onto the inside of the post by Boaz Myhill following a superb combination between the England striker and Dele Alli.

Eriksen, having earlier forced Myhill into a decent save with a free-kick, struck a dead-ball effort off the top of the Baggies’ crossbar.

Following a foul by Craig Gardner on Alli, another Eriksen free-kick led to the opening goal, as Dawson fell onto the Dane’s wicked delivery whilst under pressure from Jan Vertonghen and nudged the ball through Myhill’s legs.

From Eriksen’s pull-back, Lamela rolled an effort off the base of the far post a little prior to the hour, before a succession of subsequent Tottenham attempts also failed to provide the second goal.

The hosts were made to pay by Dawson, who compensated for his earlier own-goal by rising highest to head Gardner’s corner home, with Hugo Lloris stranded amongst a sea of bodies.

Salt was rubbed into Tottenham’s wounds by the exit of Eric Dier, injured as Dawson had nodded in the equaliser.

The teams looked just about as likely as one another to win it in the time that remained, albeit without a clear opportunity being created at either end.

Tottenham will rue their earlier missed chances but West Brom had enjoyed a strong phase prior the Lilywhites’ goal, creating a good opening through Craig Dawson’s low cross to Gardner. The midfielder, though, could only manage to fire high over the top from 15 yards.

The visitors threatened to spring a leveller late in the first half and regularly during stages of the second, too, particularly when Gardner’s looping cross was headed narrowly off target by Salomon Rondon, who also forced Lloris into a fingertip save.

That West Brom ultimately bagged an equaliser was of little surprise on the night, as Spurs and the Lane faithful became increasingly nervy.

What was a little unanticipated, though, was Tottenham’s inability to dominate the closing stages and place the visitors under severe pressure in the search for a winner that would have kept Leicester well within sight.

The title push of Mauricio Pochettino’s troops is on the brink of ending, and Spurs must be wary of the threat of Manchester City and Arsenal, with both just five points in arrears.

Leicester are now closer than ever to guaranteeing what would be an astounding title triumph.

For Tony Pulis and his men, they are still not mathematically safe from relegation, although the 13th-placed Baggies are all but secure, with a 10-point advantage over Sunderland and Norwich City, who sit 17th and 18th respectively.

By David Maher


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