Obiang's rocket and a resolute defence make Wembley point
Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Ham United
Premier League, Wembley Stadium, Thursday 4 January 2018
Pedro Obiang’s wonder strike earned West Ham United a hard-won Premier League point at Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday evening, helping his side rise one place to 15th in the table.
Just 48 hours after the home victory over West Bromwich Albion, David Moyes’ side gave another committed display at Wembley Stadium to stretch their recent run to one defeat in seven top-flight matches, and see them go above AFC Bournemouth in the standings.
Indeed, despite conceding 31 goal attempts to their own three, West Ham's outstanding defending - the Hammers blocked 13 shots and Adrian saved seven more - set the platform for Obiang to fire the visitors into a shock lead that was only cancelled out by an equally impressive strike from Hueng-Min Son seven minutes from full-time.
Spurs started on the front foot and almost scored a fourth-minute opener from a left-wing corner when Adrian bumped into Cheikhou Kouyate and lost the ball. Davinson Sanchez took an immediate snapshot, but Declan Rice blocked the route to goal.
Tottenham were dominating possession and Adrian had to make a smart save down low to his left to push Harry Kane’s 20-yard curler aside just before the half-hour.
Eleven minutes before the break Kane really should have done better in front of goal when Serge Aurier was picked out by Jan Vertonghen’s raking diagonal ball, allowing the full-back to knock square for his unmarked striker. The Hammers held their breath and Kane’s touch let him down and the ball span wide.
Then, on the stroke of half-time, Adrian showed sharp reflexes to touch Christian Eriksen’s drive over the bar after the shot took a nick off Angelo Ogbonna and flew towards the roof of the net.
West Ham’s defending was resolute, even if they struggled to make their mark in Spurs territory and Ogbonna was again in the right place at the right time to block from Son after the break.
Well-timed interventions in the Hammers box were becoming a theme, and Pablo Zabaleta was next to deny the hosts when Kane wriggled clear to shoot inside the box.
As the game entered its final quarter the Hammers still had not registered an attempt on goal of any description, but that changed in magnificent style with 70 minutes played.
Andre Ayew provided the catalyst for the goal with an excellent piece of hold-up play, and when the hosts stood off Obiang more than 25 yards out, the Spaniard took the invitation to shoot, sending a scorcher flying into the top left-hand corner which Hugo Lloris simply could not handle.
It took an equally impressive strike to unlock the Hammers defence with just seven minutes left to play as Son lined up a shot from just as far out, finding the power and accuracy to beat Adrian with a fierce shot from even further out.
There was still time for Lloris to deny the impressive Ayew with his legs, and West Ham to produce a series of brave blocks as the game went into added-time, but when Mike Dean's whistle went for full-time, David Moyes and his players could be more than happy with their night's work.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies (Llorente 82), Eriksen, Dier (Wanyama 74), Sissoko (Lamela 74), Alli, Son, Kane
Subs not used: Vorm (GK), Trippier, Dembele, Winks
Goal: Son 84
West Ham United: Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Rice, Masuaku, Obiang, Noble, Kouyate, Lanzini (Carroll 85), Chicharito (Ayew 65)
Subs not used: Hart (GK), Makasi, Haksabanovic, Quina, Martinez
Goal: Obiang 70
Booked: Carroll, Noble
Referee: Mike Dean