West Ham United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Barclays Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur stole all three points at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday, as Spurs debutant Eric Dier popped up in the third minute of stoppage time to consign West Ham United to defeat on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League.
With the game seemingly headed for a goalless draw, Dier raced onto Harry Kane's through ball before rounding Adrian and slotting into the unguarded net.
Mark Noble had earlier passed up the Hammers' best chance after half an hour, firing his spot-kick wide of the post in the wake of Kyle Naughton's dismissal for handball. But Sam Allardyce's men were unable to keep their full complement either, as James Collins saw red in the 63rd minute for a second bookable offence.
In a pulsating affair, the impressive Cheikhou Kouyate was quickly in the thick of it, bursting through a flimsy challenge and sliding in Carlton Cole. West Ham's No24 shrugged off Younes Kaboul and when his square ball ricocheted back to his feet, he side-footed over from 18 yards.
At the other end, Christian Eriksen was orchestrating the Spurs attack, looking for Emmanuel Adebayor, but only finding the head of Winston Reid.
But it was midway through the first half that West Ham really began to make their presence felt and a flurry of chances followed. First up, Ricardo Vaz Te was unable to adjust his feet quickly enough to volley Noble's corner goalward and instead miscued back across the face.
And it was the Portuguese forward who got his head to Downing's centre, but this time Vaz Te's effort slid just past the far post. Cole then dragged an effort right across the face, forcing Danny Rose into some last-ditch defending, with Downing poised to convert.
Kouyate was next to go close, as he latched on to another teasing Downing cross, only to see his glancing header go a yard wide of Hugo Lloris' right-hand upright.
As it turned out, those missed chances were merely the precursor to the main event. Noble's corner was flicked on by Reid, with Nolan's snapshot effort on the turn cannoning into the arms of Naughton. Though a presumably unsighted Chris Foy was unmoved, his assistant on the far side awarded the spot-kick, prompting the referee to give Naughton his marching orders.
As ever, Noble took responsibility, but despite sending Lloris the wrong way, rolled his effort wide of the left-hand post, his first miss from 12 yards since 2009.
Now a man to the good, the Hammers continued to push for the opener, with the lively Aaron Cresswell picking out Cole, whose latest effort was blocked behind. The resulting corner fell kindly to Vaz Te at the far stick, who smashed an effort right back from where it had come, but beyond the upright.
Spurs, meanwhile, having adopted a 4-4-1, still posed a significant threat, with an Aaron Lennon strike fizzing narrowly over Adrian's crossbar. But West Ham should have gone in front after 42 minutes, when Vaz Te headed Joey O'Brien's centre into the ground and the grateful arms of Lloris.
Downing engineered the Hammers' first chance of note following the restart, forcing Lloris into action with a left-footed drive from 20 yards. The French stopper might have gathered, but could only parry and then had to be on his toes to tip the ball away from the feet of Noble.
And the visitors had an opportunity of their own on the hour, when Rose burst clear down the left and though his cut-back was behind Adebayor, it looked destined for Lennon, but for the excellent intervention of Cresswell.
Minutes later and West Ham's numerical advantage was scrubbed out. Already cautioned for a tug on Erik Lamela, Collins was adjudged to have illegally stopped Adebayor in his tracks, with Foy wasting no time in producing a second yellow card.
Unsurprisingly, the balance of power shifted. With 70 on the clock, substitute Andros Townsend twice went close in a matter of seconds. He firstly saw a long-range drive tipped over by Adrian, before his menacing angled effort was deflected beyond the far post.
With the game becoming stretched, Kouyate got the better of Kaboul and set Noble away, with Lloris diving low to his right to foil West Ham's No16. Hammers new boy Enner Valencia was introduced late on, but it was Downing who went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. Collecting Nolan's astute flick, the West Ham winger was brilliantly foiled by Lloris from eight yards, with Etienne Capoue completing the clearance.
Though Nabil Bentaleb saw his late drive palmed away to safety, there was still time for a dramatic conclusion, as unlikely hero Dier danced through to end Tottenham's Hammers hoodoo.
West Ham United: Adrian, O'Brien (Demel 62), Reid, Collins, Cresswell, Nolan (c), Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Vaz Te (Diame 68), Cole (Valencia 81)
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Zarate, Poyet, Burke
Booked: Collins, Kouyate
Sent off: Collins
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Rose, Kaboul (c), Lennon (Townsend), Adebayor (Kane 83), Lamela (Holtby 61), Dier, Naughton, Eriksen, Capoue, Bentaleb
Subs: Friedel, Soldado, Dawson, Davies
Goal: Dier 93
Sent off: Naughton
Referee: Chris Foy