Hammers Spurred on to Tottenham Victory
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 28 Apr 2019 17:30:00
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West Ham United finally picked up their first away win of 2019 on Saturday and what a place to clinch it, as they became the first team to notch up an away goal which helped them secure a 1-0 triumph at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the day's early kick-off.

Manuel Pellegrini made two changes to the side that drew with Leicester City in Stratford last weekend, as Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop came in for Pablo Zabaleta and Angelo Ogbonna, who both dropped to the bench.

Javier Hernández had recovered from the problem with his ear which prevented him from playing against the Foxes last weekend and he was also back amongst the substitutes.

A terrific atmosphere provided the backdrop for a terrific game. Spurs went into the contest obviously trying to preserve their unbeaten record at their new home, while the Irons were really up for this derby and were keen to claim their first triumph on the road since the 2-1 win at Southampton on 27 December.

Both teams had chances in what was an open start to the game with visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski the first to be tested. Fortunately, the Pole reacted brilliantly to deny Son Heung-min.

Fredericks was a constant threat throughout and he forced Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris into action. However, the Frenchman made a great save as the visitors showed their intent with a first effort on target with only eighteen minutes gone.

West Ham were still ramping up the pressure and seconds later, Felipe Anderson tried his luck but could only shoot straight at Lloris.

Even when the hosts came on strong the Hammers stood firm. Evidence of this was shown when Lucas Moura sent an effort into the area but to the relief of the travelling support, it went wide of the far post.

The danger wasn't yet over for Pellegrini's men but Fabianski dealt with the threat of Christian Eriksen by producing a great block to prevent him from putting his side in front.

The game was swinging from end to end and West Ham could have easily grabbed the advantage going into the break. Anderson's effort deflected off Toby Alderweireld but his goalkeeper saved his blushes as he made a superb save.

With the deadlock still to be broken, the visitors must have gone into the dressing rooms for half-time pleased with their efforts as they were performing well at both ends of the pitch.

The tempo of the game showed no signs of slowing down after the break. Both teams were still creating opportunities in the early stages of the second-half. With an hour gone, Referee Anthony Taylor awarded Mauricio Pochettino's side a free-kick but fortunately for the visitors, Eriksen could only send the effort into the wall.

Michail Antonio is often the man for the big occasion and he was at it again seven minutes later, as he scored the first goal for a visiting team since Spurs arrived in their new surroundings. Marko Arnautovic played the ball into the path of the former Nottingham Forest man and he kept his composure to thump the ball past Lloris and send those in the away end ballistic.

As you can imagine by this point, West Ham were determined to hold onto what they had and minutes later, a superb block from Fredericks denied Fernando Llorente.

Pellegrini decided to introduce his first substitution on 77 minutes, as Pedro Obiang entered the fray in place of the excellent Robert Snodgrass. Obiang's introduction was followed three minutes later by an appearance from Lucas Pérez who took the place of Arnautovic.

West Ham almost made sure the points when Diop produced a surging run but Lloris just managed to reach his efort and push it to safety at full-stretch.

As soon as Pochettino threw on Victor Wanyama for Dele Alli, Pellegrini went on the defensive and introduced an extra defender, as Ogbonna replaced skipper Mark Noble.

The hosts had one more great chance to equalise as four minutes of added time were signalled. Substitute Vincent Jansen looked certain to equalise but Fabián Balbuena produced a magnificent block to clear the Dutchman's header off the line.

There were more cheers from the large contingent of East Londoners when the allotted time had elapsed as they had stopped Spurs in their tracks.

Pochettino's men are now left to look ahead to the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against AFC Ajax on Tuesday night, while next up for the Irons is a visit from Southampton for their final home match of the campaign. 

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