Hammers beaten at Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United
West Ham United were handed a 2-0 loss away at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday evening.
Despite creating some presentable opportunities throughout the course of an open and entertaining 90 minutes, an unfortunate own-goal from Tomas Soucek put Spurs on course for three points midway through the second half.
That result was sealed by Harry Kane late on, leaving the Irons still seeking their first win since the Premier League restart.
Manager David Moyes made two changes to the team which fell late on to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Ryan Fredericks and Fabian Balbuena replacing Jeremy Ngakia and Felipe Anderson.
The Hammers made a fast start within minutes when Michail Antonio held off his marker to chest down Aaron Cresswell’s diagonal ball. The No30 laid off to the onrushing Mark Noble but, under pressure from Davison Sanchez, the skipper was unable to get his shot away from a promising position.
Immediately up the other end, Tottenham nearly took the lead in bizarre circumstances, Heung-Min Son’s swinging cross from out wide almost beat Lukasz Fabianski at his near post – but the Pole reacted smartly to tip over.
Both teams settled into the game early on, trading attacks and half-chances with some exciting, dynamic attacking play – if not quite the end product to match.
Shortly after, Antonio’s strength caused Spurs yet more problems, the forward bustling to meet a searching Noble free-kick before sliding a low shot from a tight angle against the legs of Lloris. Bowen’s follow-up was then blocked by Eric Dier, before the assistant raised his flag for offside in the first instance.
Moments later and West Ham goalkeeper Fabianski responded with an outstanding save of his own, employing every ounce of his concentration to watch – and turn over – Lucas Moura’s fiercely swerving piledriver from 25 yards.
Diop soon after had a half chance from West Ham’s first corner of the game, heading Cresswell’s near-post corner wide under pressure from Dele Alli.
The home team thought they had the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time, Son holding his position on the left as the visiting defence tucked in. The South Korean was picked out and thrashed in a low finish but, as it turned out, was in an offside position when the pass was played – and Video Assistant Referee (VAR) duly chalked the goal off.
Moments later, Moura really ought to have given Spurs that lead, but produced a poor finish when Davies’ fizzing pull-back found him with plenty of space inside the area.
Chances continued to flow freely after the break, with openings for Dier and Kane within minutes of the game resuming.
A neat exchange of passes then led to Bowen crossing the ball hard and low for Fornals, but the Spaniard – from a scenario similar to that which resulted in his goal against Liverpool at Anfield – on this occasion miscued, sweeping wide of the far post.
The game was stretched, and moments after Kane ought to have put Spurs ahead from an incisive counter-attack, a glorious ball from Rice released Antonio over the top. The striker, at the same end where he scored such a famous volley last year, was on the stretch this time, and fired over.
An opening goal beckoned for both sides, but it was Spurs who got it in scruffy circumstances, Sanchez's touch at the near post causing an in-swinging corner to ricochet off the inside of Soucek’s leg – and roll past Fabianski.
The Hammers responded positively with some menacing forays forward in the subsequent ten minutes, their best effort coming a fizzing low drive by substitute Felipe Anderson.
Further chances were in the offing, Antonio coming close to meeting a whipped Cresswell free-kick moments before Anderson recycled the ball to Bowen. Forced into a snap shot inside a packed penalty area, the No17 smashed goalwards – but his shot clipped the outside of the post.
That was as close as West Ham would come, and the home side finished off the game when Son set Kane clear from inside his own half. The striker, one on one with Fabianski, this time made no mistake - a clinical clincher to seal Tottenham the spoils.
West Ham United: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Balbuena, Cresswell, Fornals (Lanzini 71), Rice, Noble (c) (Felipe Anderson 71), Soucek, Bowen, Antonio
Substitutes: Randolph, Ogbonna, Johnson, Wilshere, Yarmolenko, Xande Silva, Ajeti
Booked: Fornals, Noble
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c), Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sissoko, Alli (Lamela 59), Lo Celso, Lucas Moura (Bergwijn 71), Son (Winks 86), Kane
Substitutes: Gazzaniga, Sessegnon, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Ndombele, Fernandes
Booked: Kane, Davies
Goals: Soucek (o.g.) 64, Kane 82