West Ham strike early and hang on to edge out lively Tottenham

Michail.Antonio.2021.TEAMtalk

Michail Antonio’s fifth-minute strike sent West Ham on their way to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham and condemned Spurs to a fifth defeat in six league games.

The 30-year-old pounced after Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga failed to deal with Jarrod Bowen’s excellent cross. He initially failed to make contact but a touch off Hugo Lloris saw the ball fall invitingly for the striker.

He tucked it away to give David Moyes’s side the perfect start.

Spurs had Sergio Reguilon back in their ranks and he began well. But the goal rocked Spurs and the hosts exerted early dominance.

On 13 minutes, Harry Kane fired wide from inside the box after excellent work from Lamela. Tomas Soucek and Tanganga clashed heads on 17 minutes as Lucas Moura swung in a corner.

The West Ham midfielder came off worse and, with blood flowing, required treatment from the home medical team.

Jose Mourinho was less than impressed with his side, cutting a frustrated figure. And referee Craig Pawson had words with the Portuguese coach on 34 minutes as his temper boiled over.

West Ham’s best chance came from a corner with seven minutes of the half remaining. Aaron Cresswell’s delivery was met by a strong header from Craig Dawson which required a decent save by Hugo Lloris.

Spurs best effort came in first-half stoppage time as Kane forced Fabianski into a smart save. Neither side created too much in the first 45 minutes and West Ham’s compact defence was dominant.

Deja vu

Mourinho brought on Gareth Bale and Matt Doherty for Lamela and Tanganga but they were soon two goals behind. Jesse Lingard slotted home superbly on 47 minutes after being put through by Pablo Fornals.

The goal was initially ruled out but VAR overturned the offside decision much to Lingard’s delight. It seemed to knock the wind out of Spurs’ sails who were looking for a lift from Bale.

Kane did his best to cut the deficit just before the hour mark. His free-kick has Fabianski scrambling but it flew just wide.

The visitors came more into the game as the half progressed. And they were rewarded with a goal on 64 minutes.

Lucas Moura got on the end of Bale’s corner and his flicked header gave Fabianski no chance. Spurs began to dominate as the Hammers scrambled to keep their lead.

Antonio and Fornals were both booked as the north Londoners continued to pour forward.

Once again Kane came close with a shot from distance before whipping a dangerous ball across the box on 67 minutes.

West Ham’s attacking ambitious was limited to counter-attacks but Bale almost levelled affairs on 79 minutes. The Welshman’s shot crashed against the bar after good work from Kane.

The last 10 minutes was end-to-end stuff. Spurs almost equalised in injury time as Son’s shot struck the post. It was all hands to the pump for Moyes’s men.

Mourinho will doubtless feel his side deserved something for the game and the return of Bale to form was a huge bonus.

 

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