SATURDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER, 2017
WEST HAM UNITED 2(0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(2)
West Ham scorers:-
Kane, 34, 38
Referee:- Michael Oliver
Assistants:- Simon Bennett, Stuart Burt
Fourth official:- Andre Marriner
West Ham (3-4-2-1):- Hart; Fonte (sub Masuaku, 74), Reid, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Noble (Capt.), Kouyate, Cresswell; Antonio (sub Carroll, 28), Arnautovic (sub Ayew, 66); Hernandez
Subs not used:- Adrian; Sakho, Byram; Rice
Booked:- Hernandez (foul on Dier), Ayew (foul on Davies), Reid (foul on Llorente), Carroll
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Alderweirld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Aurier, Sissoko (sub Trippier, 78), Dier, Davies; Dele, Eriksen (sub Winks, 73); Kane (sub Llorente, 89)
Subs not used:- Vorm; Walker-Peters; Nkoudou; Son
Booked:- Aurier (foul on Carroll), Llorente, Dier
Sent off:- Aurier (second yellow - foul on Carroll)
Spurs made to sweat after Aurier red card.
In West Ham's "Cup Final", Spurs were looking convincing winners, with a 3-0 lead after an hour of play. Summer signing and former Manchester United man Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez got a goal back, and then over-enthusiastic Serge Aurier was sent off for a second yellow card, leaving 10-man Spurs to battle it out to secure a precious fifth consecutive away win. Kouyate got a second headed goal for "The Hammers" to whip up a home atmosphere for almost the first time in the game. They huffed and puffed, but could not blow the Spurs house down,and as a result, "The Irons" are back in the bottom three, and Spurs have moved into the top four - at least until Newcastle play at Brighton tomorrow.
West Ham matched the Spurs 3-4-2-1 formation, but for most of the first half, the home side looked more of a 5-4-1 defensive side against a Spurs side keen to express their Premier League title credentials.
Mauricio Pochettino had said this week that he needed to protect Mousa Dembele, due to a persistent foot injury, and he did not feature in the squad today. In front of the back three it was Serge Aurier who got the nod ahead of Kieran Trippier, with Sissoko playing beside Dier in the midfield. Sissoko had another decent game too, and was probably only substituted due to the need for a full back to replace Aurier after his second yellow card.
Somewhat surprisingly, Slaven Bilic left both Ayew and Carroll out of the starting line-up, but they were both on on the field by the second half, when the "Hammers" pulled the stops out in an effort to get something out of the game. Bilic will be hoping his team can show the same level of commitment they showed in the latter stages today in the season to come.
Spurs kicked off attacking the Bobby Moore stand away from the travelling fans. I noticed that there was a band around part of the London Stadium in the same style as seen at Old Trafford and The Emirates, but unfortunately they didn't have enough honours to complete even half the circuit around the ground. After fillers regarding the foundation of Thames Ironworks and West Ham United, their three FA Cup wins and the 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup were itemised. They have plenty of space to fill!
Arnautovic did hit a dangerous cross from the left into the Spurs area, which was cleared after 4 minutes. After Sissoko over-ran a ball in the middle, West Ham had another attack, with Hernandez hitting a shot from outside the box, which landed on top of Hugo Lloris's net.
Sissoko turned provider at the other end, giving Eriksen a chance with a right footed shot pushed over the bar by Joe Hart at the expense of a corner. Eriksen took the corner, which was met by Kane, but headed to the keeper. After another Eriksen corner, Ben Davies hit a shot wide.
Aurier won a great challenge in the Spurs area to take the ball off Arnautovic. Soon after that referee Michael Oliver had words with Aurier over another challenge, calling on-field vice captain Harry Kane over to witness the comments. Mr. Oliver was doing his best to keep his cards in his pocket for as long as he could.
West Ham had a break, and Cresswell tried a shot from the left which passed over the target. At the other end, Toby Alderweireld also tried a shot from a good 28 yards, which was well off target. Aurier tried a cross to Kane after Sissoko's ball, but Harry was offside.
Antonio was injured in a midfield challenge and Andy Carroll made an early appearance off the bench within the first half-hour. Harry Kane had a shot blocked after an Eriksen cross before Mr. Oliver was having more words - this time with Sissoko and Noble after a midfield skirmish.
Spurs took a 34th minute lead after Eriksen spread the play out to Dele Alli on the right. From our end of the athletics stadium it looked as if Dele had scored from 30 yards out on the right, but that man Harry Kane had finished off Dele's cross with a header from close range.
Harry made it 2-0 with his eleventh goal in four and a half away games, only four minutes later. This time, Jan Vertonghen had provoked the move with a run down the left channel. He passed to Dele, who was again the provider, this time from the left hitting a shot which Hart could only push to the feet of Kane, who finished off from the right side of the box. Kane might have had a hat-trick soon after but hit his shot wide across goal after Dele, Sissoko and Eriksen had been involved in the build-up.
In first-half added time Toby Alderweireld cleared with panache from Hernandez.
During the interval Carlton Cole was interviewed on the pitch in the role of "legend". "Hammers" fans I know do not have such high regard for him!
Spurs had good opportunities early in the second half. One in particular fell to Dele, who just could not get a shot in. The lead was 3-0 in the 60th minute. Dele was fouled outside the area towards the left, and Harry took the kick, which had Hart beaten but rebounded off the far post. In the follow-up play, Aurier passed inside and Eriksen scored inside Hart's left post. Vacant white seats began to appear in the home section, as "Hammers'" fans started to drift away.
Another pass from Alli gave Kane another shot, this time from the left of goal. I thought Hart saved but the ball might also have hit the post on his right. Spurs could have had this game out of sight by now.
Aurier got his first card after a foul on Carroll, but the referee indicated that it was also a "totting up" offence.
West Ham gave their fans hope after a corner on the right and a header across the defence by Fonte. Little "Chicharito" scored at the back post with a header.
Arnautovic was replaced by Ayew, and after another cross, Hernandez had another chance, this time held by Hugo Lloris. Aurier's second yellow card followed, and Spurs switched Sissoko to right back.
Eriksen was replaced by the more defensive Winks, whilst West Ham replaced defender Fonte with left sided attacker Masuaku. Whether it was against Sissoko or his replacement Trippier, Masuaku was impactive, and caused Spurs plenty of problems.
Lloris saved well from Hernandez, after the striker had wanted a handball from short range in the box, and then Dele and Kane were thwarted by the West Ham defence. After a foul on Ayew outside the Spurs area Noble hit the free kick off target, but the "Hammers" made it 3-2 with three minutes to go when Kouyate rose at the back post to head home Masuaku's cross from the left.
In added time there was a melee in midfield when both Reid, and substitute Llorente were booked, but Spurs saw out the four minutes of added time to run out deserved winners.
Next up is a trip to Cyprus, when Vertonghen and Dele Alli have to be left at home. I assume Dembele will travel for this game.
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