After both sides progressed through in the Carabao cup this week, both Tottenham and West Ham were looking for 3 crucial points to gain the upper hand for their teams first London derby of the season. The London Stadium played host to the fiery encounter which ended in an away victory for Tottenham.
The first half – Spurs quality the difference
The bitter rivalry produced a terrific atmosphere from the very start, both sets of fans could be heard from all areas of the ground and this was made to be a good game for the neutral.
The opening five minutes saw both teams try to grab a foothold in the game, neither with conviction thus far.
Nevertheless, the first move of the game came soon after, with West Ham as left-back Aaron Cresswell sprayed a ball out wide for Marko Arnautovic (brought in for Andy Carroll this game) produced a dangerous ball into the box but it was subsequently cleared away.
Minutes later Kouyate overcame Moussa Sissoko and played Javier Hernandez free who played a one-two before a first time shot sailed just over the bar. The little Mexican had a slow introduction to the game but his shot gave the home fans some welcome encouragement.
Marko Arnautovic was the man causing the problems with his continual pressure on Serge Aurier, bombing down the left wing. Unfortunately for the Hammers, Arnautovic lacked when it came to the final delivery but his persistent trying was to be commended.
Tottenham eventually found a gap in the hammers defence as Moussa Sissoko played through wing-back Serge Aurier as he whipped a low ball straight across the goal only for Kane to miss the target from yards out, however, to spare his blushes, the flag was raised on the far-side.
After 25 minutes, Michail Antonio went down and stayed down as he clutched his hamstring. The “Beast” as he’s nicknamed only just passed a late fitness test and he was forced off, replaced by Andy Carroll. The big no.9 was looking to prove a point after being dropped to the bench and within 30 seconds of being involved, Carroll had sent Davidson Sanchez to the ground as he beat the centre-back to win his first ariel battle of the game.
Up the other end, Jose Fonte was nearly a master in his own downfall as he headed the ball straight up in the air and Kane beat him to it, as Spurs broke, Harry Kane was released and just about to unleash but Fonte made it back to make a terrific block.
34 minutes in, Andy Carroll, the man brought on in place of the injured Michail Antonio, lost possession and Spurs broke forward, this time to great affect. Dele Alli put it on a plate for his England partner Harry Kane, who’s simple header made it 1-0 Spurs, against the run of play.
A sucker punch was landed minutes later and again Andy Carroll the culprit, after losing the ball at the half way-line, Tottenham forced the ball through finding Dele Alli in the box. Although Joe Hart made a good block to deny the first shot from Alli, Harry Kane was on hand to simply poke the ball home into an empty net.
As the half concluded, the home fans were silenced as the quality of Alli and Kane is out for all to see. West Ham have had many more attacks but their rivals have the real quality to make the chances count.
The second half – FIghtback from the irons
After the Hammers faithful rose to their feet to sing ‘bubbles’ the start of the second half, the second half swiftly resumed.
Much like the start to the game, neither side failed to create a chance with West Ham and Marko Arnautovic in particular, trying to force a comeback into the game.
After nothing much occurred in the second half, 59 minutes in, Tottenham had their third. Harry Kane rattled the post with a free kick and the ball was cleared but only as far as Serge Aurier who found Christian Eriksen waiting on the edge of the box, who made no mistake to slot the ball into the bottom corner. Tottenham would have hoped that would have sealed the game but it wasn’t made straight forward by West Ham.
5 minutes later the fourth goal of the game, this time to West Ham and the comeback could well be on.
Aaron Cresswell whipped a corner into the box which Jose Fonte made a mess of the header but the ball found Chicharito who made no mistake in converting. The poacher himself added his third West Ham goal and gave Hammers fans something to cheer about as it seemed to be no more than a consolation.
Moments after, right-back Serge Aurier (who was booked in the first-half after enduring many problems from Marko Arnautovic), found himself again in the referees book for a late tackle on Andy Carroll giving more encouragement to the home fans. Aurier who made a great start to life at Spurs found himself heading for an early bath as he was sent-off.
With time closing in, West Ham were still persistent in hope of the next goal… and it paid off.
West Ham had made their 11 man advantage count as Arthur Masuaku, who came on for Jose Fonte put a beautiful ball straight onto Cheikhou Kouyate’s head and with 4 minutes left, the score was now 2-3.
West Ham battled hard until the end as controversy soon followed. Fernando Llorente, who was brought on for 2-goal Harry Kane, appeared to elbow Andy Carroll and the no.9 certainly wasn’t happy.
All players surrounded the referee and pushes were thrown from both sides, it does appear Llorente was a lucky boy to survive only a yellow. After the game stopped and cooled down the final whistle soon followed.
West Ham made a tremendous account of themselves for their determination but the quality of the Spurs’ attack made the difference. Slaven Bilic’s men now face another set-back after good recent performances.
Main talking point:
In the five goal thriller, there could have been many talking points.
However Serge Aurier’s stupidity was the main downfall for Spurs on the day. The wing-back brought in from PSG in the summer couldn’t cope with Marko Arnautovic in the first half and this failure to cope saw him booked within the first half. The Ivorian was walking on a tight rope for the rest of the game until he decided to go in late on Andy Carroll, a deserved second yellow and a big mistake from Aurier which could easily have cost his team.
Possession: West Ham 49% Tottenham 51%
Shots: West Ham 10 Tottenham 15
Shots on target: West Ham 4 Tottenham 5
Corners: West Ham 4 Tottenham 3
Fouls: West Ham 10 Tottenham 20
West Ham starting line-up (3-4-2-1): Hart 6, Fonte 6, Reid 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 5, Zabaleta 7, Noble 7, Kouyate 6, Arnautovic 7, Antonio 5, Hernandez 6
Subs: Carroll 5, Masuaku 7, Ayew 4
Tottenham starting line-up (3-4-2-1): Lloris 6, Sanchez 7, Vertoghen 6, Alderweireld 6, Aurier 4, Davies 6, Dier 6, Sissoko 7, Eriksen 8, Alli 7, Kane 8
Subs: Winks 6, Llorente 6, Trippier 6