SUNDAY 19TH FEBRUARY, 2023
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0) WEST HAM UNITED 0(0)
Emerson Royal, 56
Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official:- Chris Kavanagh
VAR:- David Coote
Assistant VAR:- Nick Hopton
Spurs (3-4-3):- Forster; Romero, Dier, Lenglet (sub Perisic, 78); Emerson Royal, Skipp (sub Sarr, 89), Hojbjerg, Davies; Kulusevski (sub Lucas Moura, 89), Kane (Capt.), Richarlison (sub Son, 68)
Subs not used:- Austin; Sanchez, Tanganga; Pedro Porro; Danjuma
Booked:- Skipp (foul on Antonio), Perisic (foul on Coufal)
West Ham (5-3-2):- Fabianski; Coufal, Kehrer, Ogbonna (sub Johnson, 81), Aguerd, Emerson (sub Fornals, 82); Downes (sub Benrahma, 72), Soucek, Rice (Capt.); Antonio (sub Ings, 72), Bowen
Subs not used:- Areola; Cresswell, Casey; Lanzini; Scamacca
Booked:- Antonio (foul on Kane)
Itís a double Whammy day!
Thanks to Gary Smith for this picture
Yesterdayís results left West Ham in the bottom three and gave Spurs a chance of regaining a top four place with a win. Neither goalkeeper was bothered in a frustrating first half, but Spurs turned up the energy in the second half and scored two goals to secure both those positions. It was a double whammy day indeed!
Antonio Conte was still at home recuperating, but he apparently was able to reach Cristian Stellini with messages. Stellini said pre-match that the decision to start with Richarlison and leave Son on the bench was a decision agreed by Conte, Stellini and Ryan Mason. The last time Son was left on the bench was in September when he came on and scored a hat-trick against Leicester. This time he managed just one goal, but it was enough to secure the win after an excellent opener by Emerson Royal. Sonís goal was also the 45th which came as a result of the Premier League record-holding Kane/Son combination.
Harry Kane was presented pre-match with a handsome trophy commemorating his record-breaking goals tally of 267 for the club. Jimmy Greavesí widow Irene and other family members were present when Ledley King presented the trophy. Jimmy would have been 83 tomorrow (20th February). The south stand was also adorned with a "HARRY" tifo when the teams walked out before kick-off.
West Ham were missing Paqueta who suffered a shoulder injury in last weekís home draw against half-billion (plus) spenders Chelsea. David Moyes chose to play Flynn Downes in midfield and left Benrahma on the bench. "The Hammers" were essentially set up in a 5-3-2 formation and judging by their playing style they had come for a point and a hope of a breakaway goal.
West Ham nearly scored that breakaway goal only 47 seconds after they bad kicked off playing towards the south stand. An errant Richarlison pass gave the visitors an attacking throw, after which Soucek crossed and Bowen fired just wide of Forsterís left post. "The Hammers" soon had a free kick and a corner despite an offside which had been ignored in their build-up.
Spurs were having something of a shaky start, failing to get their passes together in the West Ham half, where a couple of attacking moves came to nought. Oliver Skipp had been preferred to Sarr to partner the returning Hojbjerg and he took a very early booking for a long sliding tackle on Antonio. Ollie kept his discipline and played a full part in Spursí effective defensive block. In that regard, all of the back three and midfield could hold their heads high. Fraser Forster only had one save to make in the whole game. Emerson Royal enjoyed a running battle up and down the line with Declan Rice and won that battle.
Ben Davies was at left wing-back for the first time in ages and after 10 minutes sent Kulusevski down the bye-line on the left. Kuluís cross was headed out and a shot by Skipp from outside the box passed over the bar. The shot had taken a deflection and after the corner there was an appeal for handball when Kehrer reached down and touched the ball, which would otherwise have run to Kane. West Ham had got away with a similar handball incident last week against Chelsea when the offender had been Soucek.
Soucek nearly got on the end of a pass from Bowen, but thankfully for Spurs, the ball ran safely out of play. Spurs were a bit slow to get forward, whilst West Ham were more direct when they did attack, and seemed to find more space.
Spurs did have West Ham under some pressure after 27 minutes with a shot by Emerson Royal blocked before a Kane pass for Richarlison was cleared. Finally, a cross by Kulusevski passed wide across the area. A shot from outside the area by Hojbjerg was held by Fabianski diving low to his right. In first half added time, Kane found Richarlison towards the left of the area, but his shot from a sharp angle was saved by Fabianski. Kulusevskiís corner from the left was headed over by Lenglet.
Spurs were out first for the second half and kicked off. Kulusevski won the ball near the right touchline and passed inside to Kane who fed it back to the Spurs number 21. If "Kulu" had a decent right foot he could have tested the keeper, but he passed inside to Richarlison and his shot went straight to Fabianski. Kulusevski won another ball Ė against Rice Ė before feeding Kane, whose right foot cross/shot was far too wide across goal.
After a couple of West Ham corners, Richarlison battled and won the ball inside his own half down the left touchline, before passing long to Kulusevski. His cross from the left was just wide of Kane.
Spursí opener was a smashing goal and started in our half when Hojbjerg hit a great pass through the middle which was claimed by Ben Davies. Emerson had also made a great run and was in position to receive Daviesí pass, beating Fabianski all ends up with a cool, well-placed right foot shot. It was his second goal of the season, having scored at The Etihad on the same date last month.
Forster then did have a save to make when Bowen got around Romero and hit a low left-footed shot. That was West Hamís one shot on target. Emerson and Kulusevski combined again at the other end and Fabianski had to punch clear Kulusevski's shot.
Now Son replaced Richarlison to the great relief of his loyal South Korean fans. "Ricky" had not made best use of this opportunity. Antonio had been booked for a foul on Kane but got no second card from Mr Oliver for a second foul on Hojbjerg. Shots by Kulusevski and Hojbjerg were blocked, but it didnít take long for Sonís substitution to pay off. Kane got the better of Ogbonna before passing nicely to Sonís feet. "Sonny" beat Fabianski confidently with a low right-footed shot. Thatís his 98th Premier League goal, and in those terms, he is now second for the club, only behind you-know-who, overtaking Teddy Sheringham.
Ben Davies hit the side netting after Skippís pass, but then reverted to centre-back when Lenglet was replaced by Perisic.
Bowen reached the bye-line and passed inside for substitute Benrahma who fired wide. Perisic was not carded for a challenge on Bowen near the bye-line but was shown yellow when he lunged at Coufal down the right wing. By this time Declan Rice was just one of the opposition players getting upset by Spursí late strong-arm tactics, but the referee settled for a chat with Hojbjerg and the West Ham captain. Many away fans had sloped off by this time.
West Ham are at home to Nottingham Forest next week. Spurs host Chelsea who are mid-table with just one win in their last ten games in all competitions. Newcastle donít play a league game for two weeks now and that game will be away to Manchester City. Hopefully, we can stay in the top four for a while yet, perhaps until the end of the season!
∑ Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches
∑ Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
∑ Read the preview for this game.
∑ All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats
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