London Stadium stalemate

Brian Jeeves

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur shared the Premier League spoils after playing out a scrappy derby encounter at the London Stadium.

Booking a European berth remains high on the adjenda of both clubs, but with consistancy an issue, some already suggested this was a must-win encounter.

“Our attacking players have been very good in recent weeks, and that was the case again against Newcastle at the weekend,” Hammers chief, David Moyes enthused.

“I thought some of the individual performances were excellent, and Michail Antonio, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen all got on the scoresheet.

“Mick getting another goal is very important, and he took his chance very well. All round I think our forward play is very good, and hopefully it is again on Tuesday night.”

Moyes has come under constant criticism from sections of the London Stadium crowd. Spurs chief, Ange Postecoglou, was having none of it: “I think he’s an outstanding manager,” the Australian explained. 

“I rate him so highly. He is one of the ones I have always rated highly. Longevity in the game means something, especially at this level.

“Whether it was at Everton or the difficult job he had at Man United, he went abroad and has never stopped coaching. I think he has done a brilliant job at West Ham and anyone that thinks otherwise, the team they are today, the players they’ve got there, they have some high-quality footballers in that team, and I think they’re going to get better.”

Nevertheless, the knives were once again out for the Hammers’ boss following a capitulation in the North-East four days previous. It didn’t get any easier. Within five minutes, Timo Werner centred for Brennan Johnson to tap home from close range. Spurs ahead. The home crowd was anxious.

Pedro Porro fizzed an attempt just wide, while Lukasz Fabianski clung on to Heung-min Son’s strike as Spurs dominated the early stages. But the nature of the derby is its unpredictability. Jarrod Bown’s corner was met by Kurt Zouma and the Hammers were back on terms.

Kurt Zouma celebrates his goal with West Ham United teammates (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport)

While there was little doubting the passion, exchanges were frenetic and somewhat ugly. James Ward-Prowse tried to enject some quality. However, his dead-ball attempt was rebuffed by Guglielmo Vicario in the Spurs goal. 

Vicario palmed our Michail Antonio’s snap-shot immedietely after the restart, while Lucas Paqueta was a whisker away after turning on the proverbial sixpence. Meanwhile, Johnson’s driven centre eluded a clutch of potential takers as Spurs responded.

Both the tempo and temprature had risen. The latter, perhaps more to do with the crowds collective frustrations, which from ahome perspective grew when Antonio scuffed directly at Vicario after finding himself clean through on goal.   

Son’s effort was uncharicteristically wayward, while the busy Johnson drilled into Fabianski’s midriff as West Ham were forced deeper and deeper. 

Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-min Son is challenged by West Ham United’s Konstantinos Mavropanos and Jarrod Bowen (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport)

Destiny Udogie passed up a glorious chance in stoppage time, while Paqueta and Antonio got their wires crossed as the contest became stretched and scrappy.

Tottenham’s possession-based football bore little fruit against a West Ham side keen not to capitulate for a second successive match. Indeed, the draw was both the best and least deserved from an otherwise uninspiring contest.

West Ham United returns to Premier League action on Saturday, April 6 when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux (3pm). Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur are next in league action a day later on Sunday 7, when Nottingham Forest visits N17 (6pm).

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Mavropanos, Zouma (Capt), Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Souček, Paquetá, Kudus, Bowen, Antonio Subs not used: Anang (GK), Johnson, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Phillips, Earthy, Cornet, Ings, Mubama

Booked: Antonio (foul)

Goals: Zouma 19′

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario, Porro, Romero, Van der Ven, Udogie, Bissouma (Højbjerg 82′), Bentancur (Sarr 70′), Johnson (Lo Celso 90′), Maddison (Kulusevski 70′), Son (Capt), Werner (Richarlison 82′) Subs not used: Austin (GK), Drăgușin, Davies, Emerson Royal

Booked: Van der Ven (time-wasting), Bentancur (foul), Johnson (foul)

Goals: Johnson 5′

Referee: John Brooks

Assistants: Simon Bennett and Dan Robathan

Fourth Official: Tim Robinson

VAR: Andy Madley

Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk