Bentaleb brace humbles Baggies
ALBION were brushed aside 4-0 by league-leaders Tottenham in the Barclays U21 Premier League at The Hawthorns this afternoon.
Goals from Dean Parrett and Cristian Ceballos, in addition to a Nabil Bentaleb brace, earned the visitors a comprehensive victory.
Isaiah Brown got 81 minutes under his belt on his comeback from injury after last week being unable to take his place in England’s UEFA European Under-17 Championship Elite Round tournament squad due to a calf problem.
Spurs started the brighter of the two sides and were so nearly ahead when Ceballos volleyed just over the bar from Parrett’s throughball after only 90 seconds.
Tottenham, who had Tom Huddlestone pulling the strings in central midfield, continued to press the young Baggies and should have been in front five minutes later - but Parrett struck over from Ryan Fredericks’ low right-wing cross.
Albion broke against the run of play on 13 - but excellent goalkeeping from Jonathan Miles denied Adil Nabi and Romaine Sawyers.
Nabi’s strike was parried by the Spurs keeper before Sawyers’ drilled rebound was turned behind from ten yards.
Tottenham were deservedly ahead through Nabil Bentaleb four minutes later. The French midfielder found the back of the net from close range after Kenneth McEvoy whipped the ball in from the right.
Spurs doubled their lead on 21 as Parrett slotted past Daniels from Ceballos’ throughball.
Referee Michael D’Aguilar had no other choice than to award Spurs a penalty five minutes before the break after Wes Atkinson brought down Ceballos inside the area.
The Spanish winger regained his composure and coolly found the back of the net from the resulting spot-kick.
Ceballos was at it again two minutes later when he fired a powerful left-foot strike straight into Daniels’ right-hand post from 20 yards.
Bentaleb grabbed his second and Spurs’ fourth on 60 minutes after Ceballos’ cross fell straight onto his head at the back post.
Adil Nabi could have grabbed the Baggies a consolation seven minutes later but his glancing header from Atkinson’s cross fell the wrong side of the back post.
Bentaleb should have completed his hat-trick on 73 but hit his weak left-foot effort straight into the arms of Daniels from the edge of the six-yard box.
ALBION (4-2-3-1): L Daniels; Hurst, D Daniels, C Jones, Atkinson; O’Neil (c), Allan; Brown (Birch 81), A Nabi, Roofe; Sawyers. Subs not used: Lewis (gk); Francis, Smart, S Nabi.
TOTTENHAM (4-3-3): Miles; Fredericks, Hall, Fryers, Byrne (Gallifuoco 64); Huddlestone, Bentaleb, Luongo (Dombaxe 64); McEvoy, Parrett (Michael-Percil 64), Ceballos. Subs not used: Vigouroux (gk).
GOALS: TOTTENHAM - Bentaleb (17 & 60) Parrett (21) Ceballos pen (40)
REFEREE: Michael D'Aguilar (Staffordshire)
ALBION STARMAN: Scott Allan.