West Ham slip up against Tottenham despite battling comeback
PUBLISHED: 14:45 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:45 23 September 2017
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Mistakes cost West Ham dear as Spurs take the points in lunchtime London derby
West Ham United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Sadly, it did not happen again for the Hammers, who failed to make it a hat-trick of home victories over Tottenham Hotspur, as they finally lost out in this lively London derby.
Harry Kane bagged his fourth double of the season with two quick-fire goals just before the break to send Spurs on their way, before Christian Eriksen looked to have put Spurs out of sight on the hour.
But a close range-header from Javier Hernández gave Slaven Bilić’s boys the merest glimmer of hope, before Serge Aurier’s dismissal saw the visitors reduced to ten men and, although, Cheikhou Kouyaté netted a late header, the Hammers just could not prevent Spurs from maintaining their 100% away record with this third win on the road.
Kicking off fourth from bottom, with four points and a quartet of goals, only Kouyaté, Angelo Ogbonna, Mark Noble and Marko Arnautović retained their claret and blue jerseys following Tuesday’s Carabao Cup victory over Bolton Wanders.
That meant Andy Carroll was left on the bench, while Hernández was asked to go it alone up front with support from Arnautović and Michail Antonio and, indeed, the mercurial Mexican posed the first threat of the afternoon with a 20-yarder that cleared Hugo Lloris before pitching on the roof of the Tottenham net.
On 10 minutes, the accelerating Arnautović was foiled by the out-rushing Spurs keeper as he looked to break clear, while at the other end, Eriksen’s 20-yarder looped awkwardly off Winston Reid before being shepherded over the bar by Joe Hart as the visitors forced the first corner of the match.
Fifth-placed Tottenham had also enjoyed midweek cup success with a win over Barnsley that, ironically, set up a fourth-round Wembley date with the Hammers next month, but Mauricio Pochettino also made wholesale changes with only Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Sissoko preserving their starting places.
With a quarter-hour on the clock, Arnautović broke once again, but the Austrian’s advance was thwarted by a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Aurier on the six-yard line and, shortly afterwards he curiously ignored a trio of team-mates to attempt an ambitious angled 20-yarder that wastefully cleared the far post.
Yet again, Lloris raced from goal to tackle Antonio, while at the other end, the resolute Reid defended for his life winning every challenge that came his way and, when Aurier did find some space down the right his low cross into the goalmouth was scuffed wide by Kane.
But Antonio had damaged his groin in that earlier clash with Lloris and, as the half-hour mark neared, he hobbled away to be replaced by Carroll, who soon saw José Fonte brilliantly block Kane and, as the temperature rose, Hernández was bumped and baulked in midfield before Noble and Sissoko squared up to one another.
Ten minutes before the break, though, Spurs broke the deadlock, when Carroll lost possession on the halfway line and that allowed Alli to charge down the right and cross towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Kane got behind the retreating Fonte to nod home.
Then, on 38 minutes, Eriksen won possession before playing in Vertonghen, who released Alli into the left-hand channel and, although Hart foiled the England midfielder’s low shot with his legs, that man Kane was there to stroke the loose ball into the unguarded net from 15 yards.
It got yet worse for West Ham on the hour, when Kane’s free-kick from the left-hand edge of the area, curled across the goal and off the base of Hart’s far post but still the Hammers were not out of the woods. Picking up the loose ball, Aurier’s attempted cross was charged down by Ogbonna but Eriksen was in the right place at the right time to sweep home from 15 yards.
As some of the heartbroken home fans in the crowd of 56,988 made for the exits, though, the ‘Little Pea’ finally gave those remaining in the London Stadium a little cheer, when Arnautović sent over a 65th-minute corner that Fonte nodded on at the near post for Hernández to head home.
Having got one, the Mexican then sent another header powering into the gloves of Lloris and then Aurier – who had been booked a few minutes earlier for a foul on Carroll- repeated the offence on the angry Big Man to collect a second yellow card.
With André Ayew having replaced Arnuatović, Arthur Masuaku came on for Fonte, while Pochettino introduced Kieran Trippier and Harry Winks at the expense of Sissoko and Eriksen.
The lively Hernández – who had been booked for felling Eric Dier - thumped a 15-yarder into the clutches of Lloris as the Hammers desperately tried to make their numerical advantage count and, with four minutes remaining, Reid’s perfect crossfield pass was gathered by Aaron Cresswell, who sent over a well-flighted, left-wing cross for Kouyaté, who outjumped Ben Davies to head home at the far post.
That set up a furious, frantic finale in which Ayew was booked before Reid, Carroll, Toby Alderweireld and substitute Fernando Llorente all saw yellow, too, following an ill-tempered scuffle but in the end the final whistle came too soon for West Ham to rescue a point.
HAMMERS: Hart, Zabaleta, Cresswell, Fonte (Masuaku 73), Reid, Ogbonna, Kouyaté, Noble, Antonio, (Carroll 28), Arnautovic (Ayew 66), Hernández. Unused subs: Adrián, Sakho, Byram, Rice.
SPURS: Lloris, Aurier, Davies, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sánchez, Dier, Sissoko (Trippier 77), Eriksen (Winks 73), Alli, Kane (Llorente 89). Unused subs: Vorm, Heung-Min, N’Koudou, Walker-Peters.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Booked: Aurier (64), Hernández (81), Ayew (90+2), Carroll (90+2), Llorente (90+2), Alderweireld (90+2)
Sent-Off: Aurier (69)