James Morrison scored an injury-time equaliser to earn West Bromwich Albion a point and spoil Andre Villas-Boas' first home game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham wasted a number of chances in both halves, but the tension inside White Hart Lane lifted with 16 minutes left when Benoit Assou-Ekotto smashed home a deflected half-volley to put the home side ahead. West Brom, revitalised after the introduction of Romelu Lukaku as a second-half substitute, kept plugging away and the pressure paid in the 91st minute when Morrison swept home to steal a point for the Baggies.
Villas-Boas and his trio of new signings Jan Vertonghen, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson received a huge round of applause before kick-off, and the Portuguese's charges looked determined to deliver for their new boss.
Gareth Bale was the architect of an early onslaught. The winger, playing in a wider role than he did under Redknapp, cut in off the left flank and fired a shot just wide. The Welshman spun his marker in the corner and sent a low ball across the box but Liam Ridgewell prevented Aaron Lennon steering home from close range.
Lennon did get on the end of a Bale cross soon after but the England winger miscued a volley. Rafael van der Vaart was the next Spurs player to go close, steering a curled shot just wide after Lennon cut the ball back to the Dutchman.
Tottenham's dominance on the game started to wane, but West Brom lacked a cutting edge going forward, however, with Vertonghen snuffing out any threat from the visitors. The Belgian had a chance to mark his Spurs debut with a goal after playing a clever one-two with Bale but he rifled a volley well over.
Steven Reid fashioned West Brom's only chance of the first half - a curling free-kick that cleared Brad Friedel's bar, and Ben Foster was called in to action for the first time in the 46th minute when he saved a weak shot from Jermain Defoe.
Tottenham continued to dominate in the second period but still could not find the net. Van der Vaart picked out Bale with a cross-field pass but the Welshman volleyed over. Foster then pulled off a terrific diving save to deny Assou-Ekotto from a 20-yard free-kick. Defoe then spurned a great chance when he latched on to Jake Livermore's pass but his effort went wide.
Villas-Boas turned to Adebayor for inspiration, the Togolese striker coming on for Van der Vaart just after the hour. Spurs thought they had finally broken the deadlock after 64 minutes when Defoe smashed home an Assou-Ekotto cross, but the striker was ruled offside.
Lukaku came on for West Brom and almost made an immediate impact, shrugging off Vertonghen before drawing a good save from Brad Friedel. The on-loan striker's presence was causing Spurs problems, but the mood inside White Hart Lane lifted in the 74th minute when the hosts took the lead. Sigurdsson's corner was cleared in to the path of Assou-Ekotto and he smashed home a half-volley courtesy of a big deflection off Gareth McAuley.
Lukaku took advantage of some lackadaisical defending to gain some space just outside the Spurs box but Vertonghen came to the rescue with an outstanding sliding tackle. West Brom piled on the pressure through Fortune and Lukaku towards the end. McAuley came agonisingly close to scoring in the final minute when he sent over a looping header that was cleared off the line by Assou-Ekotto.
Then 30 seconds in to injury time West Brom equalised when Morrison swept home from close range shortly after William Gallas had cleared off the line. Vertonghen thought he had won the game with almost the last kick when he volleyed home but his effort was disallowed.
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|29 Sep 2012||v Man Utd (A)|
|07 Oct 2012||v Aston Villa (H)|
|20 Oct 2012||v Chelsea (H)|