Slick Spurs steam through Hammers
Written By: Robert Halter
French and Spurs team captain, Hugo Lloris lined up with players from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United for the France national anthem before White Hart Lane hosted an eagerly awaited London derby, late November. On ten minutes from a Victor Moses corner and a snap shot by Aaron Creswell, the ball was comfortably picked up by Spurs shot stopper, Lloris. In the twentieth minute, a wonder shot by Christian Eriksen produced an acrobatic tip over by Adrian, following a square pass from Mousa Dembele. But two minutes later, the Lilywhites struck first as Dembele and Heung-Min Son combined, before Dele Alli’s right footed shot deflected off Winston Reid and fell into the path of Harry Kane, who swivelled and turned before sending an unstoppable strike crashing into the right side of the net. But the Hammers went close on twenty five minutes when from a Manuel Lanzini cross and a headed pass from Andy Carroll, the ball was met with an acrobatic scissors kick by Cheikhou Kouyate, which cannoned against the top of the upright. However it was Spurs that doubled their advantage on thirty two minutes when from an Eriksen corner, the ball was timed perfectly with a cushioned header by Toby Alderweireld, which rocketed into the back of the goal. Three minutes later, it was Tottenham’s turn to be denied by the woodwork, as after Son’s delivery was saved by Adrian, a header by Alli rebounded against the crossbar. The Irons tried to assert some pressure when from an assist by Creswell, a low drive by Diafro Sakho from the left, fell into the reaches of Lloris, in the thirty seventh minute. In the following minute, Alli provided the space for Kane to charge through on goal but with just Adrian to beat, Kane sliced his shot wide of the right post. But four minutes into the second half, the game was out of reach for the Hammers when James Tomkins gave the ball away to Eriksen and the mistake was capitalised upon by Kane, who drove the ball into the net. There was no let off for the Irons as first Son tested the Hammers keeper, Adrian and as the ball rebounded back to Eriksen, it took another save by Adrian, to prevent the ball going in, after fifty one minutes of play. The Hammers made a double change of Mauro Zarate for Victor Moses and Nikica Jelavic on for Carroll. On sixty six minutes, Alli clashed with the Irons captain, Mark Noble, and after being surrounded, it took the intervention of Alli’s manager, Mauricio Pochettino, to pull him a part before both Noble and Alli received a yellow card from referee, Anthony Taylor. In the seventieth minute, Alli spread the ball out wide to Kyle Walker, whose cross from the right was too far over for Kane, who was lurking at the left post, before Spurs replaced Alli with Ryan Mason. Two minutes later from a Zarate corner, a cushioned header by Reid was caught by Lloris. There was another clash as Walker was booked for an infringement on Sakho before Zarate’s fee kick was cleared by Lloris, in the seventy fifth minute. In a final change by the claret and blue, Noble was taken off for Alex Song. On eighty minutes from a poor headed clearance by Cresswell, the ball was met with a low footed volley by Mason that was kept out by Adrian’s outstretched foot before Mason put the rebound back into the Irons goalkeeper. Three minutes later, a neat one two with Son and Walker, ended with a curling strike bending into the left side of the net for a memorable goal by Walker, before Son was taken off for Josh Onomah. But a mistake by Walker gifted the ball to Jelavic and in spectacular fashion, Lanzini, rammed the ball into the roof of the net, on eighty six minutes for a Hammers consolation goal. Within two minutes, from an Eriksen pass, a long range drive by Mason, clipped the bottom of the right post, before Kane made way for Tom Carroll. At the end, Dembele cut the ball back from the left and a hooked clearance by Reid protected his keeper Adrian but it was Spurs that ran out 4-1 winners to extend their unbeaten run to twelve matches.