Andriy Yarmolenko the unsung hero, Ogbonna “assist” for Lanzini stunner & more- Talking Points from Tottenham 3-3 West Ham

Manuel Lanzini scored a fantastic 94th minute goal of the season contender as West Ham produced a stunning comeback at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs on Sunday evening. Here are our talking points from this GW5 clash.

Andriy Yarmolenko the unsung hero:

Yarmolenko had a massive impact off the bench- it was he who set up Vladimir Coufal with a lovely pass in the move that eventually saw Davinson Sanchez score an own goal to make it 3-2.

We’ve often criticised the Ukrainian for his lack of defensive work, but his tracking back for Gareth Bale’s 91st minute chance was fanastic. Aaron Cresswell seemed to have given up, and Bale was one on one with Lukasz Fabianski after having got past Angelo Ogbonna with ease, but in came Yarmolenko, who had sprinted past Cresswell, and he put Bale off balance just enough for the Welsh star to squander his chance.

Ogbonna “assist” helps West Ham

Another moment, perhaps as important as Yarmolenko’s defensive intervention, came from Angelo Ogbonna. He effectively blocked the onrushing Harry Winks just as Lanzini was about to take his 94th minute shot, and gave the Argentine just that extra bit of space and time. It will not go down as an assist in the books, but it was as good as one.

WH vs TO

Balbuena recovers after early Son nightmare

Fabian Balbuena kept his spot in West Ham’s back three, but had a nightmare start to this game. In the very first minute, his lack of pace and agility was exposed as Harry Kane’s long ball found Son, and he also made the mistake of showing the striker onto his right, for which the Hammers were duly punished as the Korean star put Spurs ahead after just 45 seconds.

A couple of minutes later, Balbuena’s poor back pass nearly gifted Son his second too, but Fabianski got there in the nick of time with a sliding clearance to save the Paraguayan’s blushes.

However the defender redeemed himself later in the game as he scored West Ham’s first- a lovely header from a set piece in the 82nd minute.

Spurs imperious in the opening fifteen minutes:

Spurs completely dominated the opening 15 minutes of this game as Kane and Heung-Min Son tore the visitors apart. Kane’s long pass to Son in the first minute set up Spurs’ opener, and the England skipper himself scored twice as the home side raced to a 3-0 lead within no time at all. His first goal saw him nutmeg Declan Rice (and Ogbonna as well) with a precise finish, and the second was a fine header as he exploited his aerial superiority over Cresswell.

West Ham were impressive in their win over Leicester before the international break, but had no answers to Spurs, who continued from where they had left off against Manchester United. There were gaps aplenty in the centre of the park, especially between the duo of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice in midfield and the back three of Cresswell, Ogbonna and Balbeuna, which Spurs ruthlessly exploited.

But fall apart in the final fifteen

However the hosts bizarrely lost the plot in the last fifteen, conceding three goals in the space of 12 minutes as the Hammers came from behind to snatch an unlikely looking point. When Lanzini’s stunner went in, West Ham celebrated as if they had won the game while the Spurs players stood shell shocked, unable to come to terms with what had just happened.

West Ham had threatened the same in Mourinho’s first game as Spurs manager last year- they went 3-0 down on that occasion, and eventually lost 3-2, but finished the job here. It’s a game that neither Spurs or West Ham fans will forget, but for different reasons obviously.

In the words of Mourinho (when asked to describe what happened at the end), “football” happened!

Tottenham 3 (Son 1; Kane 8, 16) West Ham 3 (Balbuena 82, Sanchez OG 85, Lanzini 90+4′)


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