Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 West Ham United
West Ham United scored three times in a sensational finale to recover a 3-0 deficit and claim an unlikely share of the Premier League spoils on a dramatic afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
There was little to suggest such a dramatic outcome. With both sides in a bit of form, as well as fairly satisfied with their pre-window purchases, the big question was who would feature – namely, Gareth Bale?
Jose Mourinho hadn’t offered too many clues ahead of the game – this game or the next one – the extent of the Spurs’ chiefs indication. As it transpired, a place on the bench handed to the Lilywhites returning hero.
Bale or no Bale, Spurs were keen to pick up where they left off at Old Trafford. Less than a minute had passed – Harry Kane sent Heung Min Son away – the South Korean steadying himself, shifting onto his right foot before firing beyond Lukasz Fabianski and into the corner of the net.
Aaron Cresswell’s dead-ball effort wasn’t far away as the shellshocked Hammers looked to respond. However, their troubles were to deepen in double-quick time. Kane showed great footwork before sending a fizzing effort passed the motionless Fabianski – Son this time the architect – the doubters of Mourinho, his methods, and most importantly, his charges, at this stage, diminishing by the minute.
It was ruthless stuff from Spurs and with just over quarter of an hour on the clock, they added a third. Kane arrived at the far post to firmly nod home – Sergio Reguilón picking the England skipper out with an inch-perfect centre.
Fabianski smothered at the feet of Son as Spurs sort out a fourth. In fairness to the visitors, they hadn’t done an awful lot wrong, but simply found Tottenham’s pace and power too much as they sprung out with maximum effect, particularly from wide positions.
West Ham was offering the hosts a little more to think about, though without providing a viable goal threat. Pablo Fornals passed up an easy opportunity to reduce the arrears shortly after the restart – heading over from close range after Michail Antonio’s shot had deflected into his path.
With little under twenty-minutes remaining, Mourinho introduced Bale for his second Spurs debut. Meanwhile, Kane was denied the match ball – hos strike coming back off the post after a neat exchange with Son.
But then an incredible turn of events. Fabian Balbuena heading home from a Cresswell free-kick – Surely no more than a consolation?
Tottenham resembled the boxer that had just taken the big punch. West Ham tails were up. Davinson Sanchez diverted into his own net after Andriy Yarmolenko and Vladimir Coufal had combined – The game, very much now on!
Bale missed an opportunity to seal the deal, prodding wide after tip-toeing through the Hammers backline. Then incredibly, the Hammers salvaged the contest with the last action of stoppage-time. Cresswell’s troublesome free-kick half-cleared – substitute Manuel Lanzini taking the leather off the ball sending it in off the underside of the bar. Hammers ecstatic – Tottenham on the canvas.
Tottenham Hotspur now turns their attention to the UEFA Europa League, facing LASK at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday, October 22 (8pm). TheLilywhites return to Premier League action on Monday 26 when they visit Burnley (8pm).
West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday, October 24 when Manchester City are the visitors to the London Stadium (12:30pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Serge Aurier, Davinson Sánchez, Toby Alderweireld, Sergio Reguilón, Moussa Sissoko, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Tanguy Ndombele (Harry Winks 72’), Steven Bergwijn (Gareth Bale 72’), Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son (Lucas Moura 80’) Subs not used: Matt Doherty, Joe Hart (GK), Ben Davies, Carlos Vinicius
Goals: Heung-Min Son 1’, Harry Kane 8’, 16’
West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Vladimir Coufal, Fabian Balbuena, Anglo Ogbonna, Aaron Creswell, Arthur Masuaku, Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice, Pablo Fornals (Manuel Lanzini 77’), Michail Antonio (Andriy Yarmolenko 77’) Subs not used: Robert Snodgrass, Mark Noble, Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks, Darren Randolph (GK)
Booked: Anglo Ogbonna (foul), Tomas Soucek (foul), Manuel Lanzini (foul), Arthur Masuaku (foul), Michail Antonio (foul)
Goals: Fabian Balbuena 82’, Davinson Sánchez (own-goal) 85’, Manuel Lanzini 90+4’
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Daniel Cook and Ian Hussin
Fourth official: Simon Hooper
VAR: Peter Bankes
Assistant VAR: Adam Nunn.