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West Ham v Spurs, 31.08.22

PREMIER LEAGUE
WEDNESDAY 31ST AUGUST, 2022
(7.45pm)
WEST HAM UNITED 1(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(1)

West Ham scorer:-
Soucek, 55

Spurs scorer:-
Kehrer (o.g.), 34

Attendance:- 62,450

Referee:- Peter Bankes
Assistants:- Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh
Fourth official:- Michael Salisbury
VAR:- Stuart Attwell
Assistant VAR:- Constantine Hatzidakis

Teams:-
West Ham (4-2-3-1):- Fabianski; Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Cresswell (sub Ogbonna, 72); Rice (Capt.), Soucek; Bowen, Benrahma (sub Paqueta, 67), Fornals (sub Emerson, 85); Antonio

Subs not used:- Areola, Randolph (GKs); Downes, Coventry, Lanzini; Cornet

Booked:-Paqueta (foul on Emerson Royal), Emerson (Unsporting conduct)

Spurs (3-4-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Sanchez, Dier, Davies; Emerson Royal, Hojbjerg, Bissouma,Perisic; Kulusevski (sub Richarlison, 76), Kane, Son

Subs not used:- Forster; Doherty, Sessegnon, Spence, Tanganga, Lenglet; Skipp, Sarr

Booked:- Bissouma (dissent after alleged foul on Bowen), Sanchez (foul), Emerson Royal (foul on Bowen), Richarlison (foul), Perisic (foul)

Never mind bubbles. Spurs nearly blew it!

West Ham - 31.08.22

Thanks to Andy Park for the picture

Let’s accentuate the positive first. Spurs remain unbeaten in the five games they’ve played this season, and in six further games played at the end of last season. We are in third place. In four of those five games played we have improved upon every result against the same team last season. That statistic does not include promoted Nottingham Forest. Last season we lost this corresponding fixture at the London Stadium, so this draw is another improvement. I am sure Antonio Conte will be happy with these facts.

Now for the downside. This game was rarely pleasant to watch for a Spurs fan. I can’t even truly say if only we could pass forward as well as we pass back, because we didn’t do the latter well at times. Most of the game was a hard watch for a Spurs fan, and we have to be honest and say West Ham had the better chances to win. I personally am grateful for the point.

For all the money they have spent, West Ham had two goalkeepers on the bench and their starting line-up was very familiar except for defender Thilo Kehrer, who they signed from PSG. Record signing Paqueta was on the bench and did get some game time in the second half. Scamacca was out due to illness. Antonio was starting his 200th Premier League game for “The Hammers” in a fixture where he has scored in the last three home games for his side. He has a habit of scoring away against Tottenham too.

Conte made just one change with Bissouma making a first Spurs start in place of Bentancur who was slightly concussed on Sunday at Nottingham. Oliver Skipp was one of eight unused substitutes, with Richarlison the only one to get off the bench. Richarlison immediately added a touch of skill and flair which we surely have to see from the start of a game soon.

Spurs had the chance of a best five-game start since 1965 but needed to win.

There was a slight delay to the start of the game as the officials needed to sort out their communication equipment, after which Spurs kicked off playing away from their fans. I don’t think West Ham touched the ball for the first minute or so. Bissouma and Hojbjerg combined in the middle before the latter passed to Emerson towards the right. Emerson went for goal, and Fabianski could only parry his shot. Dier hit a pass to Son who continued the move to Perisic, whose cross was cleared.

Spurs had looked in control, but then Bowen surprised us with a right foot shot which passed just wide across Lloris’s goal. Hugo then parried a shot by Fornals at the expense of a corner, which when it arrived, he slapped away. At the other end Hojbjerg fed a ballot Ben Davies whose cross was cleared for a Spurs throw. Spurs remain efficient at surrendering attacking positions by throwing and passing backwards.

After 10 minutes referee Peter Bankes awarded Spurs a penalty when Kane met a Perisic cross with a goal-bound header which seemed to be handled by Cresswell. VAR took a full four minutes reviewing the situation before calling Mr. Bankes to the monitor. He reversed his decision, and the thinking was that the ball had hit Cresswell’s head before hitting his arm, which had been in an unnatural position. That process took five minutes out of the game, and at the end of the first half, only four minutes were added!

Lloris made a reaction save from a Declan Rice right foot shot from the edge of the area. Bissouma got a mysterious yellow card for what looked like a no contact foul on Bowen. Antonio took a short pass from Benrahma and hit the outside of the post with a powerful right-footed shot. At the other end, Kulusevski passed inside to Hojbjerg, whose deflected shot was held by Fabianski. Kane found Kulusevski with a great ball towards the left side of the box. His cross, intended for Son, ran behind last season’s Golden Boot winner and away from danger.

The Spurs front three broke effectively after West Ham had been on the attack. Kane exchanged passes with Kulusevski before “one of our own” crossed inside the 6-yard box for Son and Kehrer diverted the ball into his own net. “Own goal” has already scored two for us this season!

Lloris held a deflected Benrahma shot at the other end. The ball was cleared to Kane kin the middle who sent Son away with a good headed pass. “Sonny” came in from the left side to a shooting position, but overhit the ball before he could take his shot. Lloris punched out another cross at the other end. Hugo has been marking the tenth anniversary of his signing for Spurs this week, and tonight made his 421st club appearance, thus overtaking Phil Beal. Hugo now stands ninth in our list of club appearances.

Spurs made another good break in added time through Hojbjerg, Kulusevski and Son, but that fizzled out and Declan Rice might have been lucky with a challenge upon Hojbjerg who was nursing his leg, even going into the second half.

Kulusevski had the better of Cresswell early in the second half and Soucek had to clear from the feet of Son when the cross came in. West Ham started buzzing and Spurs were not clearing their lines well, conceding a throw in their final third. Unlike Spurs, “The Hammers made good use of an attacking throw with Antonio making a clever touch to fins Soucek in enough space to beat Lloris with a low right-footed finish.

From there onwards, my gut feeling told me the home side would grab a winner, and they certainly had the chances. Soucek deflected a shot by Rice out of play for a goal kick. Son and Perisic advanced down the left side and Perisic’s cross was held by Fabianski. A Perisic ball after a cut-back by Davies won a corner. After more shaky Spurs defending and a pass by Soucek, Benrahma fired wide. He was then replaced by new boy Paqueta.

Son won a corner after chasing a ball down the left flank, and after this corner, Sanchez tried an overhead kick which passed wide. Fornals fired wide at the other end when presented with a good chance by Coufal’s cross.

Richarlison came on for Kulusevski and immediately displayed skill down the right wing, sending an excellent pass forward for Kane, whose shot was blocked by Kehrer for a corner. A good cross by Perisic passed through the danger zone and Emerson did well to return the ball. Zouma’s headed clearance fell to Kane, whose shot was saved. Perisic had been playing well, but Spurs were nearly caught out after he over-committed closing down Fabianski for the ball. In return, West Ham found space down Perisic’s flank and both Paqueta and West Ham’s Emerson fluffed good chances to score. There was even a good chance for Bowen deep into added time after Emerson Palmieri’s cross, but the ball passed across gal less than a yard in front of the goal line and Antonio could not quite reach.

Both clubs have London derby matches on Saturday. Spurs host Fulham, while West Ham go to Chelsea.

· Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches

· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
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