Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report
Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 West Ham United
Heung-Min Son’s double helped Tottenham Hotspur hone in on the Premier League’s top four with a 3-1 victory over a tired-looking West Ham United outfit.
The Hammers’ unforgettable European adventure against Sevilla had undoubtedly taken its toll. Nevertheless, boss David Moyes played down talk of fatigue affecting the group: “That’s the way it is in football. It feels like the games are being fitted in too fast, but there’s nothing we can do about that,” the Scotsman explained.
“An extra day would help anybody, whether that would be Spurs or any club. If we’d have had the extra day it would help us, but that’s the way it is.
“We’re really pleased we’re in Europe, we’re pleased that we’ve qualified. It took us 120 minutes to do it, but I’d have taken that any day and now we get ready for the Tottenham game.”
Spurs chief, Antonio Conte recognised the task facing his side: “West Ham is a team that is improving a lot,” the Italian said
“They have a very good manager, he’s doing great work, last season to take a place in the Europa League, now they have beaten Sevilla, don’t forget they are second in Spain. That means we’re talking about a strong team.
“We have the same points in the table. This will be a tough game for both teams, for sure, we will do our best and try to get three points because with only ten games to go, every game is vital for us to get three points and to stay close to the top positions.”
It was a swift start from the home side. It was a swift start from the home side. Harry Kane probed before drilling in low from the right – Son on hand, but in an attempt to retrieve the situation, Kurt Zouma diverted past Lukasz Fabianski from six yards.
The North Londoners already looked set for the quick kill. Son hit the post from a similar position after Dejan Kusulevski and Kane had fashioned an opening. Meanwhile, Michael Antonio – so often a thorn in Tottenham’s side – drove narrowly wide as the Hammers’ searched for a foothold.
But Son was in the mood. Kane unlocked the West Ham rearguard with a pearl of a pass. The South Korean superstar beat Fabianski with a crisp, left-footed attempt that looped in. The game already appearing up for the visitors.
The East Londoners desperately needed a lifeline. Said Benrahma gave them hope, arriving at the far post to volley home after Aaron Cresswell’s flag-kick had found its way through.
Fabianski saved from Kane at the foot of an upright, then raced from his goal to save at the England skippers’ feet as Spurs threatened either side of the interval. Meanwhile, Antonio passed up a glorious opportunity -p firing over from ten yards after Cresswell had picked him out.
The contest was now on a knife-edge. David Moyes shuffled the pack, changing Antonio and Arthur Masuaku for Andriy Yarmolenko and Pablo Fornals. The Ukrainian was unable to find the target when provided with a half-chance by Fornals. Spurs responded. Kulusevski was too high with an attempt from just outside the box, while Fabianski smothered a low drive from Son.
Kane lifted over with just Fabianski to beat after Pierre-Emile Højbjerg had sent him clear. Rodrigo Bentancur also went close. Fabianski was relieved to see the ball drift past a post as Spurs turned the screw.
But with two minutes remaining, Spurs were out of sight. Kane flicked on a huge kick from Hugo Lloris. Son raced onto the loose ball and remained composed before dispatching beyond the advancing Fabianski with aplomb.
The result saw Spurs leapfrog their capital rivals and move into fifth place.
Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action on Sunday, April 3 when Newcastle United are the visitors to N17 (4:30pm)
West Ham United return to Premier League action on the same day, hosting Everton at the London Stadium (2pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (Capt), Romero, Dier, Davies, Doherty, Betancur, Højbjerg, Reguilón (Royal 88′), Kulusevski, Son (Lucas Moura 90+2′), Kane Subs not used: Gollini (GK), Sánchez, Rodon, Winks, White, Bergwijn, Scarlett
Goals: Kurt Zouma (own-goal) 9′, Heung-Min Son 24′, 88′
West Ham United: Fabiański, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Masuaku (Fornals 57′), Souček, Rice (Capt), Lanzini (Vlašić 84′), Benrahma, Antonio (Yarmolenko 57′) Subs not used: Areola, Fredericks, Diop, Noble, Král, Perkins
Booked: Craig Dawson (foul)
Goals: Said Benrahma 35′
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn
Fourth Official: David Coote
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard