Step back in time to 2005 – Gera strike earns a valuable point at Spurs

Game 33 of the 2004/05 campaign saw Albion travel to White Hart Lane for what was the fourth meeting between the sides that season with the sides having been drawn together in the FA Cup. Both games at the Hawthorns had finished in 1-1 draws although Martin Jol’s side had been victorious in the cup replay in north London a couple of months earlier. Albion though, were on a good run of form and had been buoyed in the point at Villa Park that in their previous match that had lifted them out of the bottom three.

Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Brom 1

Albion had to wait ten days after the point at Villa as they sat out the weekend’s fixtures having been due to play Arsenal who were busy beating Blackburn in the FA Cup semi-final.

Results had gone in Albion’s favour that day as Crystal Palace and Norwich City shared a 3-3 draw while Southampton were beaten at home to Aston Villa. However, the Saints’ draw at Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday 19th April had put the Baggies back in the relegation zone as they prepared to face Spurs on the Wednesday.

If they were disheartened by the Saints’ result, they didn’t show it as they dominated the first period at White Hart Lane against a Tottenham side that had their eyes on European qualification.

Gera wasted an early chance before Neil Clement went close with a delightful free kick from 20 yards, the ball striking the outside of the post with Spurs and England ‘keeper, Paul Robinson, well beaten.

Richard Chaplow, who had made an impact in winning a penalty at the Valley in his first Premier League appearance from the bench was awarded his first start for Albion at the Lane. It was his corner that was deflected off Michael Dawson’s head to fall for Zoltán Gera (pictured) fifteen yards out, and he found the inside of the post with a delightful curling shot to given the visitors a deserved lead on 24 minutes.

Chaplow went close to doubling the lead when his fierce shot was parried by Robinson, but Albion failed to add to their lead giving Jol the chance to regroup at half time.

The Egyptian striker, Mido, came off the bench and his physical presence led to an equaliser for the hosts shortly after the break. As Ledley King’s long ball headed towards the box, he leaned into Clement and the Baggies’ defender’s header fell weakly into the path of Robbie Keane, and the former Wolves striker fired the ball into the corner.

Junichi Inamoto went close to immediately putting Albion back in front when he was put through by Gera, but Robinson managed to get a touch on the Japanese’s shot to divert it wide.

It was an open game from then on but neither side managed to find the breakthrough and both had to settle for a point.

On the same evening, Morten Gamst Pedersen’s goal was enough to condemn Crystal Palace to defeat at Blackburn Rovers, but Norwich City followed up their win over Manchester United with another victory, this time a 2-1 win over Newcastle United with Dean Ashton scoring an injury time winner. That meant that the point was enough to lift Albion back out of the danger zone, but the bottom four were separated by just two points with five games remaining.

Premier League Table – 20th April 2005

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
15th Fulham 33 9 8 16 39 53 -14 35
16th Portsmouth 34 9 8 17 38 53 -15 35
17th ALBION 33 5 14 14 32 53 -21 29
18th Southampton 34 5 13 16 37 55 -18 28
19th Crystal Palace 34 6 9 19 36 58 -22 27
20th Norwich City 34 5 12 17 37 67 -30 27

If you cannot see the table, click here.

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