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Spurs v West Ham, 19.11.16

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER, 2016
(5.30pm)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(0) WEST HAM UNITED 2(1)

Spurs scorers:-
Winks, 51
Kane, 89, 90(+1) (pen)

West Ham scorers:-
Antonio, 24
Lanzini, 68 (pen)

Attendance:- 31,212

Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- S. Long & I. Hussin
Fourth official:- Kevin Friend

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-2-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker (sub Trippier, 89), Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Dembele (sub Son, 72); Eriksen, Winks; Janssen (sub Alli, 68), Kane

Subs not used:- Vorm; Wimmer, Carter-Vickers; Onomah

Booked:- Dembele (dissent), Walker (foul on Payet), Rose (foul on Antonio)

West Ham (4-4-2):- Randolph; Kouyate, Reid (Captain), Ogbonna, Cresswell; Antonio, Lanzini, Obiang, Payet (sub Nordtveit, 85); Ayew (sub Fernandes, 61), Sakho (sub Zaza, 61)

Subs not used:- Adrian; Collins; Feghouli, Fletcher

Booked:- Lanzini (foul on Rose), Antonio (foul on Rose), Reid (foul on Son)

Sent off:- Reid (90+6) - second yellow for foul on Kane

Sunken (Son-Kane) Hammers

Spurs literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in the dying minutes of a game where they looked second best for much of the time, and looked certain to lose that unbeaten record. They remain unbeaten in their 12 Premier League games, which is their longest such run at the start of a season since they won the double in 1960-61. The win keeps them in touching distance of the top four, but this team has a long, long way to go to emulate the standards set by Bill Nicholson's glorious team.

The late, late victory came courtesy of two goals by Harry Kane. The first from Son's cross, and the second from the penalty spot after Son was fouled.

To be honest, most of the game was painful to watch for home fans, with West Ham twice in front, and with their fans crowing most of the time "It's happening again". We had the last laugh, of course, but the result cannot hide a poor team performance.

I look forward to someone enlightening me regarding the Spurs formation. I thought we might see another 3-4-1-2, but Pochettino played four at the back, with firstly Wanyama and Dembele, then Eriksen and Winks in front, behind Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen.

With Spurs struggling to keep hold of the ball in vital areas, and Eriksen failing in his playmaker duties, the Slaven Bilic 4-4-2 often found space in our half and always seemed to get men behind the ball to mark us tightly. As ever though, Spurs' insistence on slow build-up play works against us, and we failed to work the visitors' goalkeeper enough, especially in the first half.

As anticipated, Dele Alli did not start, and no doubt the manager has plans for Tuesday night in Monaco.

West Ham were missing the suspended Mark Noble but they had plenty of energy and desire to succeed. Spurs had kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end, but it was the "Hammers" who had the better of the opening exchanges, with top scorer Antonio dangerous on the right side and testing Hugo Lloris with an early cross. Another West Ham cross from the left was involuntarily passed back to Lloris by Jan Vertonghen.

Spurs did have the ball in the net after 5 minutes when Eriksen met Dier's ball, but the Dane was offside. Five minutes later, Harry Winks (making his first Premier League start) got ahead of Danny Rose to receive the ball and to pass it inside to Harry Kane. Kane tried a long shot but the ball passed safely outside Randolph's right post.

Antonio had a decent shot pass just over the right side of Lloris's goal, after cutting in from the right flank. Harry Winks made it to another good ball down the line by Danny Rose, but when he passed inside Eriksen failed.

West Ham took the lead after 23 minutes, following a couple of corners, the first of which had been conceded very close to the flag. Kouyate headed against the bar from Payet's cross, before Reid followed up and Antonio headed home for the umpteenth time this calendar year.

The game was being played with high energy, and players on both sides were getting stuck in. Lanzini was the first name in the book of referee Mike Dean after a foul on Rose, but when Janssen scythed down Kouyate near the dug-outs there was no card, but plenty of reaction from Slaven Bilic, his players, and the West Ham fans. West Ham did get a free kick though.

Dembele went into the book for his dissent after a decision went against him. The free kick, taken by Payet, was blocked by the Spurs wall. Dembele played in Harry Kane towards the right of the West Ham area, but Kane's chipped cross/shot was over-hit. A Kane pass gave Danny Rose an opportunity to cross, but the ball passed all the way across the area for a West Ham throw.

There were two minutes of added time, and both Eriksen and Kouyate received on-field treatment after separate incidents.

After the break, Payet went down in the Spurs area, but there was no foul. Spurs got back on level terms after Eriksen fed the ball to the over-lapping Danny Rose. Rose's ball inside was seized upon by Janssen who hit a powerful shot. Randolph could only parry, and Harry Winks turned the ball in for a precious debut Premier League goal. Winks ran to the bench to celebrate, and no doubt thank the manager for the faith he is showing in this young protégé.

Kane and Janssen moved forward, and Janssen in particular battled three times to win the ball in the crowded area. Nothing came of the attack though.

After a Spurs corner on the right, Danny Rose had a shot blocked, and had another effort in the following play, with Eric Dier's header held by Randolph.

Bilic made a double substitution on the hour mark, and Danny Rose got his fifth yellow card of the season, which puts him out of next week's game at Stamford Bridge. Antonio fouled Rose, but Eriksen hit the free kick over the bar.

Things got worse for Spurs when the referee blew for a tug by Janssen from a West Ham corner, and pointed to the spot without hesitation. I thought Mr. Dean was a secret Spurs fan, but not after this! He has given more penalties than any other referee so far this season, being more keen than most to enforce the rules about foul play in the penalty area at corners and other dead ball situations. The ball has to be in play, of course, but I guess the infringement took place with the ball en route to the box. Lanzini made no mistake, hitting a right foot shot to the right of Lloris.

Pochettino immediately replaced Janssen with Dele All, and quickly after that Son replaced Dembele. It was West Ham who nearly scored again though as substitute Zaza and Payet took advantage of space available in the Spurs half. Zaza took a return pass from Payet, but hit his shot straight at Lloris.

Spurs were not only given a free kick just outside the Hammers' box, but were allowed to take it quickly. They wasted their opportunity. Eriksen failed with another free kick opportunity, pushing his effort outside the far post. Many home fans had already been sloping away from the ground, and missed the late, late drama. Firstly, and almost out of the blue, Son got deep into the left side of the area, and his cross just beat Randolph’s out-stretched palm, but not Harry Kane, only too happy to fire home an equaliser. Now the home fans chanted “It’s happening again”, and they were soon able to repeat that gleeful derisive chant when Son went down under the challenge of substitute Nordtveit. Mr. Dean again pointed to the spot without hesitation and Harry Kane scored convincingly for his fifth goal in his last four Premier League games, two of which have been from the spot.

Now it was the West Ham fans who were sulking and the home fans went all the way down the High Road in high spirits. Winston Reid saw red for two late bookings to add salt to the wounds of his team.

Spurs are now five points ahead of both Everton and Manchester United, who both drew today. United drew at home to Arsenal, who remain a point above Spurs in fourth place. We will need to play a lot better than this to get a result on Tuesday in Monaco, and next Saturday tea-time at Stamford Bridge.

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