Spurs Take Glory from Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Wednesday 24 Jun 2020 13:27:00
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West Ham United have had a decent record against Tottenham Hotspur in recent years but on Tuesday night, that unfortunately came to an end as they lost 2-0.

David Moyes made two changes to the side that went down by the same scoreline at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers three days earlier. Fabián Balbuena started for the first time since the 1-0 defeat at newly-promoted Sheffield United on 10 January, as he was preferred to Jeremy Ngakia, while Ryan Fredericks regained his place in defence with Declan Rice dropping back into midfield to take the place of Felipe Anderson who dropped to the bench along with the fit again Angelo Ogbonna.

With neither team in desperately good form since the resumption of the top-flight, they were both searching for a much-needed three points and there were chances at both ends in the first few minutes.

West Ham won here last season and seemed as if they would grab an early advantage but a great team move involving Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio and Captain Mark Noble ended when Davison Sanchez took the ball off the skipper.

Seconds later, Spurs nearly went in front. A swerving cross from Son Heung-min almost caught Łukasz Fabiański out but thankfully, the Pole was alert to the danger and kept it out.

West Ham continued to surge forward and Antonio was causing more and more problems for José Mourinho's side. Moyes has once again employed the former Nottingham Forest man as a lone striker and he was in the right place to meet Noble's free-kick before almost beating goalkeeper Hugo Lloris but the ball then found its way out to Jarrod Bowen but his effort was blocked by Eric Dier before any chance of a goal was finally ended when the linesman raised his flag for offside.

It wasn't too long before Fabianski made a fabulous save, thwarting Lucas Moura as the hosts started to get a foothold on proceedings.

Issa Diop could have put the visitors ahead but he headed wide from Cresswell's corner. To be fair to the Frenchman he was under considerable pressure from Dele Alli.

The Hammers haven't had the best of the VAR decisions this season but they were given a huge let off just before the break. Son Heung-min thought he had grabbed the advantage for his team going into the break as he lashed the ball past Fabiański, giving him no chance. Thankfully after a lengthy check it was ruled out for offside.

The home side still could have been in the ascendancy before half-time, had Moura kept taken his time and slotted past Fabianski but instead he blazed over.

Mourinho's men had two great chances at the start of the second-half. Fortunately though, the West Ham defence denied both Dier and Harry Kane.

The hosts had enjoyed the majority of possession in the game but West Ham had a period of time on the ball and fashioned an opening but for the second time this week, Pablo Fornals failed to take advantage. Bowen's low cross set the Spaniard up but unfortunately he miscued and sent his effort wide of the far post.

There should have been goals in this game a lot earlier than the first one arrived. Kane should have found the net before a great ball from Rice set Antonio clear but unlike in the corresponding fixture in April 2019, he failed to beat Lloris and instead fired over.

The Hammers were made to rue that miss when the deadlock was finally broken just minutes later. Tomáš Souček got the final touch to an inswinging corner following confusion in the Tottenham box. Fortunately there were no supporters inside the ground for the banter to start.

Both teams made substitutions on seventy one minutes. Mourinho introduced Steven Bergwijn for Moura, while Fornals and the skipper made way for Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson.

To be brutally honest, Anderson had not shown much in the early stages of his appearance but did create a decent looking effort sending in a cross but unfortunately West Ham couldn't make anything from that chance.

West Ham could have equalised on two occasions. Antonio went close to meeting a curling free-kick from Cresswell and moments later, they had an even better chance when Bowen hit the post, following a good pass from Anderson.

Once again Moyes was left to regret that missed opportunity as Kane had the last word and his effort clinched the points, as he ran into the box and slotted the ball past Fabianski.

The Hammers now have a full week to prepare for a another London derby in Stratford as Chelsea provide the opposition for the late kick-off next Wednesday.

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