Kane saves a point for Tottenham after West Ham lose control
LONDON -- Three thoughts on Tottenham and West Ham's 2-2 draw in the Premier League.
1. Another Tottenham late show
White Hart Lane was understandably a buoyant place given that the home side came back from two goals down to salvage an exceedingly late 2-2 draw with West Ham.
However, the wonder is not that this habit of earning late points -- that's now 16 this season -- is still the trend, but how long it can last? It's almost a contradiction, but in spite of how well they finished this game, Spurs did look leggy for so much of the match.
For their part, as good as the home side were once Danny Rose had made it 2-1 on 81 minutes, the final score had a lot to do with West Ham switching off once they went two up. Up until that point, Sam Allardyce's side were full value for the lead, and a win.
Cheikhou Kouyate had given them a deserved lead on 22 minutes with a ferocious header, and the Hammers handled Spurs well until Diafra Sakho volleyed in a second on 62 from a tight angle.
Rose then got a lucky bounce on a volley to reduce the arrears, as his strike just evaded goalkeeper Adrian, and Mauricio Pochettino's side did admirably raise their game thereafter.
From that point on, they were relentless, and saved a point after Alex Song was forced into a foul on Harry Kane in the 94th minute. The free-scoring striker got up to take the penalty himself, and actually had it saved, only to slot in the rebound.
It was another Tottenham recovery, but it does raise questions over whether they are running out of steam.
2. A sign of Spurs' problems?
As decisive as such late goals are, it isn't the case that they always finish the discussion, even if they do finish a game. They often raise as many questions. Are they the ultimate sign of a side's character, or do they only temporarily cover deeper issues in their play?
For the first time this season, it was hard not to lean toward the latter with Spurs. They looked lacking in energy, as if the fixture congestion of this campaign -- this was their 43rd game -- is starting to catch up with them.
That could be seen in the team sheet, with Christian Eriksen rested following Thursday's 1-1 home draw with Fiorentina in the Europa League, which sapped Spurs of their creativity. They also lacked sharpness at the back, with the goals they conceded the clearest examples.
Spurs left an unusual amount of space free for both of them. For the first, Kouyate was able to generate such power into his header, because there was not enough of a challenge. Before that, West Ham had worked the ball into the box with concerning ease.
For the second, there was far too much ball-watching from Rose, as Sakho got in at the far post. There was an offside claim, but Enner Valencia was adjudged to not be interfering with play.
For all that Spurs will obviously revel in their recovery, it shouldn't be forgotten that they have now gone three games without a win since beating Arsenal.
3. West Ham lose their way
Before the game, 2-2 at the home of your biggest rivals would have seemed so positive for West Ham and Allardyce. Afterward, it was difficult not to dwell on the negatives.
Although this should have been a performance -- and win -- to restore some energy to their season after last week's dismal FA Cup elimination to West Brom, which was followed by some speculation about the manager's future, it instead perpetuates the feeling of a season petering out.
West Ham definitely petered out on the day and basically lost their way once they went 2-0 ahead. They fell asleep, which will be all the more frustrating because they were so good until that point, offering a good argument as to why Allardyce should be kept on next season.
This was the manager at his best. His players were smart at the back and alert up front, and their fans were giddily singing about the prospect of a third straight win in all competitions at White Hart Lane.
Although Allardyce's contract is up at the end of the season and there have already been overtures to former player and current Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic, West Ham sources state that it is not a foregone conclusion that the current boss will leave.
Performances like this will undeniably help Allardyce's cause. Endings like this will not.
Miguel Delaney covers the Premier League and Champions League for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MiguelDelaney.