Solitary strike settles derby

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 West Ham United

West Ham United were undone by a solitary second-half strike from Roman Pavlyuchenko but will have taken plenty of heart from a battling away display.

The home side enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening period, but a resolute defensive display from Gianfranco Zola's men limited them to just two chances of note while David Di Michele had the pick of the Hammers' chances. Spurs did eventually find a way though, though, as Pavlyuchenko scored the only goal of the game on 65 minutes with a shot from just inside the area. West Ham battled bravely but could not quite create an opening good enough to get themselves back into the game.

Zola was forced into one change as Jonathan Spector was still recovering from the concussion he suffered during last Saturday's 2-0 win against Sunderland. James Collins came in at centre-back, James Tomkins switched to right-back with Lucas Neill remaining in central midfield in the absence of Scott Parker (groin) and Radoslav Kovac (thigh). Tottenham also made one enforced change with Tom Huddlestone replacing the injured Wilson Palacios.

The game got under way with the electric atmosphere one might expect from a local derby, with the away supporters more than playing their part . The action on the pitch did not quite marry the buzz in the stands, though, with neither side finding their feet early on. The home side struggled to create a good opening until the 30th minute when Robert Green was forced into two saves in quick succession. First, he dived to his right to beat away a speculative 25-yard effort from Huddlestone and then, seconds later, he showed great reactions to push a Robbie Keane effort around the post.

Spurs threatened once more four minutes later as a Luka Modric cross from the left was headed inches wide by Darren Bent. It was not all one way traffic, though, as Di Michele called Heurelho Gomes into action for the first time after collecting a long free-kick from Neill at the far post and hitting a volley that the Brazilian scrambled to safety.

Then, a good breakaway saw Noble carry the ball 20 yards forward before feeding Di Michele. The former Italy international turned his man and fired at goal, only to see it deflected wide for a corner. In added time at the end of first half Luis Boa Morte became the first player to go into referee Martin Atkinson's notebook after a series of minor infringements throughout the first 45 minutes.

Harry Redknapp made his first change at half-time by switching Jermaine Jenas for Didier Zakora. The Ivorian's first major contribution was to launch into a late tackle on Neill, for which he picked up a booking. Ten minutes later Spurs made another change, with Pavlyuchenko coming on for Bent.

Just before the hour mark, Neill picked up a booking of his own for a challenge on Modric before Di Michele had a great chance to give the Hammers the lead. Jonathan Woodgate misjudged a long ball into the box, which allowed the West Ham No32 a clear sight of the Spurs goal. He shot low, only for Gomes to save with his legs. To compound his frustration, Di Michele then became the third Hammers' player to be shown a yellow card for pulling Aaron Lennon back.

Huddlestone tested Green for the second time with a long-range drive before Spurs took the lead through Pavlyuchenko. The Russian picked up a short pass from Modric 12 yards from goal, before turning Collins and firing low past Green and into the far corner.

Zola made his first change after 71 minutes by bringing on Kieron Dyer for Boa Morte. Ten minutes later, Green had to be alert to deflect a cross from Lennon around the post. West Ham then saw Savio replace Tomkins, with Neill reverting to right-back and then minutes later Freddie Sears entered the fray for Tristan as the Hammers went all out for an equaliser - backed by sustained deafening support from the away fans among the 35,969 inside White Hart Lane.

Spurs nearly doubled their lead two minutes from the end, with only the combination of a Green save and a goal-line clearance from Collins thwarting Pavlyuchenko and Lennon respectively. The last points of note were two more West Ham bookings for Noble and Collins as Tottenham saw out the four minutes of added time.

Despite the defeat, West Ham remain in seventh position as other results went in their favour on the day, and they will be looking to continue their European push next Saturday when they travel to Aston Villa.