Tottenham’s title dream might now be gone, but the power has shifted in London

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Micky Hazard has been wrong before, it has to be said. Four years have passed since he took Sportsmail down the Seven Sisters Road in his black cab and declared a shift of power in north London.

The Tottenham of Gareth Bale were about to usurp Arsenal, he claimed, but it did not quite work out that way. Bale left for Real Madrid without ever finishing above the neighbours.

On Monday night, former Spurs midfielder Hazard was out on the pitch, telling home fans again what they longed to hear.

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Tottenham's Harry Kane looks dejected as he leaves the pitch following the draw with West Bromwich Albion

Tottenham’s Harry Kane looks dejected as he leaves the pitch following the draw with West Bromwich Albion

In his black cab, Micky Hazard predicted the power was shifting in North London - despite the draw, it is now

In his black cab, Micky Hazard predicted the power was shifting in North London – despite the draw, it is now

Tottenham were leading at half-time when Hazard spoke on the pitch but they ended up losing the lead
The gap at the top is now seven points

Tottenham were leading at half-time when Hazard spoke on the pitch but they ended up losing the lead

‘That Eden Hazard…’ Hazard joked. ‘He’s no member of my family.’

Eden Hazard had caused a stir on Saturday by claiming he’d prefer Leicester to win the title, which would have attracted less attention if Chelsea did not have both Leicester and Tottenham to play.

Micky’s gag went down well. It was half-time, Spurs were one-up, in control and their fans were deliriously free of the tension. 

Then he delivered his prediction: Leicester, according to Hazard, would lose their final three games while Tottenham would take seven points from theirs.

Again, from the steep stands, they roared their approval. Those of us who, way back in August, foretold Leicester would be relegated understood the perils of predictions this season.

Forty-five minutes later, White Hart Lane descended into a numbed silence.

Mauricio Pochettino rubbed his head and quietly shook hands dutifully with Tony Pulis and his coaching staff. His players trudged towards the tunnel as the home crowd recovered to offer a chorus of support.

Suddenly there was a different complexion.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino shows his frustration as Spurs fell behind in the title race

Dele Alli could face retrospective action after appearing to aim a body punch at Claudio Yacob

Two points had been dropped, Eric Dier was hurt and Dele Alli will face an investigation into what seemed to be a punch into the stomach of Claudio Yacob.

All they had to cling to as they filed into the streets of N17 was Hazard’s wishful prediction.

Seven points will be enough if Leicester lose their final three games but Claudio Ranieri’s team have only lost three so far this season.

They have become experts at grinding out precisely the kind of game Spurs allowed to slip on Monday night.

Boaz Myhill and the woodwork on his goal denied Spurs in the early stages before Craig Dawson's own goal

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Boaz Myhill and the woodwork on his goal denied Spurs in the early stages before Craig Dawson’s own goal

Erik Lamela dusts himself down on the turf at White Hart Lane during the disappointing draw with West Brom

Erik Lamela dusts himself down on the turf at White Hart Lane during the disappointing draw with West Brom

Next up for Tottenham it is Chelsea away, where they have not won since 1990 and where Eden Hazard wants Leicester to win it.

Until this point, Spurs were revelling in the thrill of this chase.

At Stoke last week it was Harry Kane having fun with his pride of lions prowling around on social media.

On Monday night at White Hart Lane, the Fugees lyric of: ‘Ready or not here I come you can’t hide, gonna find you…’ mashed up with the usual pre-match hype about glory-glory and daring-to-do.

West Bromwich Albion, however, were determined to provide a sterner test than Stoke. Even when they went behind, they responded as only a Tony Pulis team can at this stage of the season with nothing to play for.

Pulis has taken to operating with a back-four, all central defenders by trade, packed tightly across the width of the penalty box, flanked by two wing backs. 

Kane picks the ball out of the net after Dawson's equaliser that came 17 minutes from time on Tuesday

Kane picks the ball out of the net after Dawson’s equaliser that came 17 minutes from time on Tuesday

It is effectively a back-six, protected by the human flashpoint that is Yacob, deep in midfield.

From this solid base, Albion sat deep and squeezed the space, tried to break quickly every so often and leaned heavily on their set-pieces.

Half an hour ticked by and the anxious silences were becoming a little longer and heavier.

When Craig Dawson scored his first of the night, somehow squirting the ball past his own goalkeeper with a chest-trap in close company with Jan Vertonghen, the pressure was giddily released.

Vertonghen chuckled as he declined the congratulations and Mousa Dembele rolled out increasingly extravagant footwork in increasingly dangerous areas of the pitch.

Kyle Walker took even greater risks, dribbling the ball out from full back and kicking out at Salomon Rondon. Walker was lucky to escape without a card of some colour, and he wasn’t the only one. 

Tottenham should not be too downhearted, they have changed the game in London with this season's showing

Tottenham should not be too downhearted, they have changed the game in London with this season’s showing

Social media was already feasting upon a video clip from earlier in the game of Alli certainly slapping and quite possibly punching Yacob in the stomach.

Yacob is an irritating presence, no question, but Alli lost his composure. Was it this Jamie Vardy moment? Will it trigger a retrospective charge? Will it damage their hopes?

It was a reminder of the youth and inexperience in Pochettino’s team and here Micky Hazard may be closer to the truth.

‘They’re so exciting,’ said Hazard. ‘Why be nervous? Enjoy. It’s the beautiful game played with passion, desire and heart. This team has the potential to go on and become the greatest Spurs team ever.’

He’s been wrong before, it has to be said, but Spurs now cling to his prophecy.

Title or no-title, Spurs have changed the game this season.

They are going back into the Champions League, at last set to finish above Arsenal and with an exciting young team with a bright future.

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