West Ham's Slump Continues as Spurs Win Away
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 24 Nov 2019 13:12:00
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Just one point separated West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur before Saturday's early kick-off but unfortunately for the Hammers, new Spurs boss José Mourinho got his reign off to the perfect start with a 3-2 victory in Stratford, leaving Manuel Pellegrini's side sixteenth in the Premier League table.

Captain Mark Noble suffered an ankle injury against Burnley before the international break but it wasn't as bad as first thought and he was available to start meaning Pellegrini only made two changes from the defeat at Turf Moor, as Fabián Balbuena and Pablo Fornals dropped to the bench, while Angelo Ogbonna and Andriy Yarmolenko were drafted into the starting line-up.

Michail Antonio finally returned to the match day squad after suffering a hamstring injury in late August and started on the bench, while there was also something of a surprise amongst the substitutes, as Carlos Sánchez made a rare appearance in the matchday squad.

The hosts desperately wanted to get their season back up and running given their form over the last two months and were thankful to the linesman for spotting an offside after Harry Kane had put the visitors in front with just three minutes gone.

Following that, the Irons found their way into the game and fashioned an opportunity to go ahead when Sébastien Haller headed on a cross from Ryan Fredericks but the Frenchman's effort was blocked by Davinson Sánchez and Paulo Gazzaniga was able to save.

Both sides were really giving it a real go by this point and it was Mourinho's men who eventually broke through on thirty six minutes when Son Heung-min ran into the box to be on the end of a great pass and his shot beat Hammers stopper Roberto Jiménez Gago.

The South Korean was involved again just six minutes later when he set up Lucas Moura who made no mistake and increased the advantage for Spurs.

West Ham were currently on a five-match run without a victory and unless things were to change here after the break, they were about to make it six.

Pellegrini looked to turn things around during the interval, so he introduced Antonio in place of Felipe Anderson.

Although the introduction of the former Nottingham Forest man clearly made an impact, the visitors had a great chance to make the game safe when Moura found himself with only Jiménez Gago to beat but thankfully for the hosts, he wasted the opportunity.

However, just seconds later, Kane got his name on the scoresheet to effectively end the game and make up for his earlier strike being ruled out, as Jiménez Gago was beaten for a third time.

West Ham made another change on fifty five minutes when Yarmolenko was taken off and Fornals entered the fray.

Issa Diop wasn't having the best of games so Pellegrini decided to withdraw him from the action after a further nine minutes and bring on Sánchez.

Having produced very little since Spurs had scored their goals, the home side suddenly sprung into life when Antonio found the net with sixteen minutes of normal time to play. The skipper's pass played him in on the edge of the box and he gave Gazzaniga no chance, thumping the ball into the bottom left corner of the net bringing a loud cheer from the home faithful.

West Ham were then denied a second when VAR spotted an offside after Declan Rice thought he scored but unfortunately, his celebrations were cut short.

In the last of the six added minutes, Ogbonna did grab a second as he poked the ball past Gazzaniga for the easiest of finishes.

Had Rice's earlier effort counted, the home fans would have been delighted as it would have meant that Ogbonna's effort would have brought the equaliser but it wasn't to be.

The East Londoners now move on to the challenge of another derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

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