Wonderful Night At Wembley
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 26 Oct 2017 17:13:00
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In recent seasons, Slaven Bilic's record at Tottenham Hotspur hasn't been one to shout about and that record seemed set to continue at Wembley on Wednesday night, but an unbelievable second-half comeback saw West Ham United win 3-2 and book their place in the Carabao Cup fifth-round.

Cheikhou Kouyaté and Manuel Lanzini were the only two players to retain their places from Friday's disappointment against newly-promoted Brighton and Hove Albion as the manager made nine changes.

Bilic came under increasing pressure after the match six days ago and he was looking for a response from his team and to be fair, it didn't look like coming early on.

Within five minutes, Mauricio Pochettino's men continued from where they had left off against Liverpool on Sunday. 

Fernando Llorente found Son Heung-Min in space with a slick pass and the striker raced past Angelo Ogbonna and put the chance on a plate for Moussa Sissoko, who beat Adrián with ease.

Spurs were in the mood to rub more salt into West Ham's wounds and had the chance to increase their advantage twelve minutes later but a brilliant save from Adrián denied the home side. It was an important intervention however, as Dele Alli's header would have gone in.

Even when the Hammers ventured towards the Spurs' goal, the danger was easily cleared. This was in evidence when Lanzini's freekick set Kouyaté away.

There was more misery for the Irons on 37 minutes. This time Alli found the net when a great move involving him and his strike partner ended with a curling effort which deflected in off the head of the unfortunate Declan Rice, leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb.

The referee's whistle was again greeted by boos from those of a West Ham persuasion but little did they know what was to come in the second-half.

Whatever Bilic said in the break clearly had an impact, as they returned from the dressing room reinvigorated.

They gave themselves hope when Lanzini's corner was not dealt with, giving Edimilson Fernandes the chance to shoot at goal. However, his effort was only pushed away by Michel Vorm and André Ayew was in the right place to pull one back.

Within four minutes of the first goal going in, the East Londoners had levelled, as Ayew grabbed his second of the night when he side-footed past Vorm, following great play from both Ogbonna and Lanzini.

When that ball hit the net, oh how the mood amongst the travelling support changed.

In my preview to this game, I suggested that after the events of last year against Chelsea that the East Londoners could cause another upset. Few would have believed it, but when another Lanzini corner was powerfully headed home by Ogbonna, the Irons' contingent really started to believe.

On 77 minutes, Bilic made his first change replacing Fernandes with Pedro Obiang.

In the last ten minutes, the home side laid siege to their opponents' goal.
Adrián did well to block Alli's effort with his legs before getting a strong hand to Sissoko's well-struck effort.

With two minutes of normal time to play, Marko Arnautovic entered the fray in place of the exceptional Lanzini.

Spurs then resorted to the high ball into the box tactic but a combination of Kouyaté, Rice and Ogbonna dealt with the danger.

In contrast to half-time, Mike Dean's final whistle was cheered by the Hammers' fans and they can now look forward to a quarter-final tie against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium.

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