West Ham 2-3 Tottenham | Thoughts and Opinions

This was a game that West Ham started and finished well, and lost in the middle. That’s about as succinct a summary as it gets.

With Pedro Obiang picking up a knock against West Brom, in came Mark Noble to the starting lineup, and with Carroll benched, Chicharito reverted to a more familiar central position, with Antonio and Arnautovic supporting the Mexican from the wings. James Collins, also injured against Albion, was replaced in the back three by Angelo Ogbonna.

The first twenty five odd minutes saw Spurs produce little of note, with West Ham’s strong, compact structure keeping the Lilywhites quiet. The Hammers, who had won three of their last four at home against Spurs, had a great early chance through Marko Arnautovic, but Serge Aurier produced a fantastic last ditch tackle to deny the Austrian after initially having been shrugged off in the middle of the park.

Then came the moment, that in the eyes of many West Ham fans, changed the complexion of the game. Antonio went off injured, and instead of maintaining the existing shape by perhaps bringing Andre Ayew on, Bilic opted to replace him with Carroll, and to accommodate the lanky forward, Hernandez had to again move to the wing.

Six minutes later, Spurs scored their first, with Angelo Ogbonna caught napping defensively. Christian Eriksen released Dele Alli with a superb pass, and the latter’s cross into the area, was met with a thumping header by Harry Kane, who seems to be scoring goals for fun this month after having struggled in August.

Kane Header

Four minutes later, it was more “Kane” pain for West Ham, with Eriksen and Alli again playing pivotal roles in the buildup. Alli’s first time effort was denied by Joe Hart, but there was no one to stop Kane from slotting in the rebound.

On the hour mark, Kane’s thunderous free kick hit the woodwork, but the ball eventually found its way to Eriksen, whose low drilled effort made it 3-0.

Five minutes later, Hernandez pulled one back for West Ham. Cresswell’s corner was flicked on by Fonte, with Hernandez turning poacher at the far post.

Then Serge Aurier turned villain for the visitors by accumulating two yellows in the space of four minutes, and with Spurs down to ten, and with a 57,000 strong crowd egging the home side on, West Ham turned on the pressure. Arthur Masuaku’s crossing was causing Spurs all kinds of problems on the left wing and his pinpoint cross was met with a thumping header by Kouyate, making it 3-2 in the 87th minute. However some poor decision making towards the end (see Noble and Reid’s efforts going into the stands for example) allowed Spurs to come away with three points.

West Ham had 1 shot and 0 corners at the end of the first half. By full time, that figure changed to 10 and 4 respectively, but perhaps there was no denying that the better team on the day won.

West Ham starting XI: Hart, Ogbonna, Reid, Reid, Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble, Cresswell, Arnautovic, Antonio, Hernandez

Subs used: Carroll, Ayew, Masuaku

Goal scorers: Hernandez 65, Kouyate 87

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