Defoe strike seals Spurs win
Jermain Defoe secured a 1-0 win for Tottenham from what could prove a costly match against West Brom.
The 29-year-old earned Spurs a deserved Barclays Premier League win at White Hart Lane, turning well before firing home in the 63rd minute.
However, Tottenham's victory came at a price as Sandro, William Gallas and Jake Livermore all came off injured. Luka Modric and Gareth Bale also appeared to nurse knocks against the Baggies, who themselves lost Jerome Thomas to injury in the first period.
Defoe, who has hinted he could seek to leave this month, looked keen to make a good impression, testing Ben Foster twice in the opening five minutes on a chilly night in north London.
Foster punched clear a teasing cross from Bale before Thomas hacked down the Welshman down to give Spurs a dangerous free-kick which Rafael van der Vaart wasted by firing in to the wall.
The Dutchman quickly made amends by sneaking in front of his marker to clip a delicate shot with the outside of his boot which Foster tipped over at full stretch.
Van der Vaart drilled a low shot towards goal but Foster saved and Spurs boss Harry Redknapp shook his head in disappointment at the half-time whistle.
Craig Dawson flashed a header just wide in a rare West Brom attack before Spurs came close with a curling Modric free-kick that sailed just wide.
Sloppy passing led to further frustration, but concerns the game was heading for a goalless draw ended in the 63rd minute. The ball ricocheted off Van der Vaart from Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross and fell to Bale, who squared for Defoe. The England striker held off the challenge of the Baggies defence before turning and firing home.
Brad Friedel then palmed away a strong effort from substitute Somen Tchoyi and Van der Vaart cleared desperately in the six-yard box as West Brom applied the pressure in search of an equaliser.
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