SATURDAY 27th APRIL, 2019
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0(0) WEST HAM UNITED 1(0)
West Ham scorer:-
Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official:- Jonathan Moss
Spurs (4-3-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Foyth, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Davies; Eriksen, Dier, Rose (sub Janssen, 77); Son, Lucas Moira (sub Llorente, 66), Dele (sub Wanyama, 85)
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Trippier, Walker-Peters; Skipp
West Ham (4-3-3):- Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Masuaku; Noble (Capt.) (sub Ogbonna, 85), Rice, Snodgrass (sub Obiang, 77); Antonio, Arnautovic (sub Perez, 80), Anderson
(Armband to Fabianski)
Subs not used:- Adrian; Zabaleta; Wilshere; Hernandez
Booked:- Snodgrass (foul on Lucas Moura), Fredericks (Time)
Spurs put us through the wringer
It was the worst case scenario. Spurs lost at home to West Ham. West Ham probably played as well as they have all season. They won their cup final. The first goal scored by an opposition team at the new stadium belongs to West Ham, as does the first away win. Despite fielding a stronger team than I anticipated, Spurs have well and truly put us through the wringer with this defeat. Two wins in our last two games will be enough to qualify for next season's Champions League, but talk about limping over the line. I'm not sure we are going to do it.
Mauricio Pochettino fielded as strong a side as he could muster I suppose, but there were some under par performances here and of course, West Ham played arguably their best game of the season, They had not managed an away win so far this calendar year, but here they were, enabling their fans to lord it over their arch-rivals, preventing a league "double", a first-time three wins in a season for us over them, and who knows, perhaps they will be able to claim they prevented us from entering next season's Champions League. Sickening, isn't it?
Jan Vertonghen was not seen taking a full part in this week's training, but we must hope he will be available for Tuesday's Champions League semi-final. Juan Foyth was called upon to play at right back, and Danny Rose was given the midfield berth next to Eric Dier.
Both midfields were packed. West Ham played Declan Rice in front of his back four with captain Noble and Snodgrass either side of him. Antonio played on the right of a front three featuring Arnautovic and Anderson.
Spurs kicked off playing towards the North Stand, but West Ham had an early chance and it fell to Rice after good work by Anderson on the left. Thankfully, Rice's shot was well over the target. Son had Spurs' first effort on goal, after a pass from Dele, but his right footed shot also passed over the target.
Son had another chance after 10 minutes after a combination of Lucas Moura and Dele Alli feeding him the ball. Son was left of centre but his shot was saved by Fabianski and cleared by his defence. A good ball from Eriksen found Dele Alli on the left. Dele had a shot which was blocked. Both Eriksen and Lucas Moura got close to the cleared ball, but the subsequent Spurs move failed with them being caught offside.
Spurs fans sang "You're not West Ham any more" and Danny Rose hit a cross/shot which passed wide of Fabianski's left post. Fredericks had a shot for West Ham which Lloris pushed outside his left post for a corner. A Spurs attack broke down and Anderson made a break for the visitors and had a shot which Lloris saved to his left. It was all looking a bit ominous with the game being quite open when West Ham were on the attack, but the "Hammers" able to get men behind the ball when Spurs went forward.
Spurs' problem a lot of the time was that they persisted in trying clever touches and flicks, which rarely worked. Son can't play on Tuesday and should have played out of his skin, but his touch was just not good enough. Both Dele and Lucas Moura failed too often with their attempted tricks.
There was a good Spurs move from right to left featuring Juan Foyth, Lucas Moura and Son, before the ball reached Danny Rose, but Fabianski ended up with the ball. Antonio hit a left foot shot well over at the other end in front of the South Stand.
West Ham fans could be heard too much, and the "white wall" of the Tottenham South Stand was not creating that match-winning atmosphere we hoped for. I understand that stewards are vigorously trying to enforce no standing rules, and some fans say this affects our ability to create that atmosphere. West Ham actually chanted "You're not Tottenham any more" at one stage.
After good work by Dele and Davinson Sanchez, Lucas Moura had a shot on goal which passed just wide of the post. Snodgrass got the first of only two bookings in the game for a foul on Lucas Moura.
Sanchez was to the fore in defence as Antonio threatened the Spurs goal. At the other end Fabianksi saved from Eriksen and his defence cleared after Lucas Moura and Son had been involved in the attack. Son was caught offside after a good move featuring Eriksen, Lucas Moura and Foyth.
Lloris had to field a cross/shot close to goal by Masuaku. Spurs made a break, but Son was closed down. Son then fed a ball to Dele, who went down but no free kick was given. In the follow-up Foyth had a shot go wide of Fabianski's right post - just!
Lloris got down well to save and hold a deflected shot by Anderson as the first half drew to a close.
Glenn Hoddle was interviewed in the pitch at half-time and of course received great acclaim.
West Ham started the second half brightly. Dele lost the ball in the West Ham half and after a ball forward Arnautovic fed Fredericks whose shot was saved and won a corner. Arnautovic then had a shot on goal deflected for another corner, and had a subsequent effort on target effort held by Lloris.
Spurs were after a penalty when Son seemed to be barged over in the West Ham box after 56 minutes, but referee Anthony Taylor showed no interest. Danny Rose was fouled 22 yards out, but Eriksen's free kick was blocked. West Ham countered and won a corner.
Lucas Moura was replaced by Llorente, but West Ham took the lead in the 67th minute when Arnautovic passed inside from the right and Antonio was free, scoring with a low right footed shot across Lloris. Antonio celebrated with bunny jumps in front of the West Ham fans, only too happy to have ruined our day, as they have on one or two previous occasions.
Ben Davies had a shot after a ball by Dele, but Fabianski and his defence dealt with that. Danny Rose was replaced by Vincent Janssen.
West Ham captain Mark Noble, surely the driving force behind the visitors' desire, passed to Arnautovic, who got a shot but Lloris held, diving low to his left. Why couldn't we test their keeper to the same extent?
Lloris had to save again as Antonio won a race for the ball with Ben Davies.
Dele crossed from the left at the other end, but Llorente could just not reach the ball. Dele was replaced by Wanyama. Lloris was called into action yet again as West Ham defender Diop was allowed a run through the middle after a Spurs attack broke down.
Time was running out and Spurs were getting desperate, and it was showing. A Llorente cross from the left passed everybody. Janssen had a low cross/shot wide. In added time Janssen had another effort saved after a header by Llorente and a pass by Son. Finally, Janssen had a close range header blocked after a good run and a cross by Foyth.
So, it looks as if Spurs are going to make us sweat until the last day of the season to see if we can finish in the top four. In the meantime, perhaps we need to cheer on Man Utd in their game against Chelsea tomorrow, and, of course, Leicester against Arsenal. If we do get over that line, we will certainly have limped in.
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