Tottenham Hotspur failed to deliver in their biggest game of the season. Perhaps showing a lack of maturity and a big lack of ideas on the final third, the Spurs could not capitalise their chances and ended regretting for it. West Ham played a very intelligent game, and ended escaping with a huge 1-0 win in front of their fans. The lone goal of the contest came in the second half, and was scored by Manuel Lanzini.
Spurs suffered a lack of ideas during the first half
Tottenham had the majority of the possession early on, but they could not move near Adrian’s goal. West Ham attacked mostly through crosses into the box, but the strategy was pretty effective. In fact, their first chance to score came through a header from Cheikhou Kouyate, but Hugo Lloris saved it with ease.
Tottenham’s first dangerous chance came in the 21st minute. Harry Kane tested Adrian with a long-range shot, and following a few rebounds, the England international shot on target once again, this time from inside the box. However, the Spanish goalkeeper was magnificent to parry the shot away. The Spurs kept pushing the ball forward and established themselves as the dominating side midway into the first half.
Tony Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen tried their luck with long-range shots, but they lacked accuracy. And even though the Spurs found a way to control the pace of the game, they lacked ideas in the final third. Kane and Dele Alli were isolated upfront, and the Hammers’ defensive line did a good job to contain them. As a result, the first half ended with a scoreless draw.
Things did not change much after the break
West Ham showed a more positive attitude after the break. Constantly attacking through the flanks, The Hammers’ wingers unsettled the Spurs’ fullbacks and even had a chance when Andre Ayew shot from the edge of the box, but his effort sailed over the crossbar.
That positive attitude only lasted around 10 minutes, because West Ham reverted to a counter-attacking stance as soon as the Spurs recovered possession.
West Ham took advantage of Tottenham’s missed chances
Eriksen tested Adrian once again in the 59th minute, but could not strike the ball cleanly and his effort from close range went sraight to the keeper’s hands. Son had a good chance with a shot from the right side of the box, but Adrian once again came up big to save the attempt. Those wasted chances, however, would bite Tottenham in the back later on.
In the 64th minute, Manuel Lanzini started a play on the left wing and following a cross into the far post, the Argentinian playmaker grabbed a rebound near the six-yard box and placed the ball into the back of the net. It is worth noting Lanzini had four Tottenham players around him and Lloris in front of him. No one reacted quick enough, and the talented midfielder came through to score his eighth goal of the season.
Spurs failed to turn things around in the final minutes
Mauricio Pochettino decided to spark things up following Lanzini’s goal, and sent both Moussa Dembele and Vincent Janssen into the pitch. However, neither player managed to make a big impact, and Tottenham continued to struggle in the final third. In fact, West Ham came inches away from netting their second goal. A big mistake from Alderweireld in the 76th minute allowed Calleri to strike from close range, but Lloris made an impressive save to keep the Spurs in the game.
Janssen couldn’t thrive upfront next to Kane, and the West Ham defence kept Alli in check all game long. Tottenham’s final chance to score came on another long-range shot from Eriksen, but once again the Danish playmaker couldn’t hit the target. Despite their late attempts of crosses into the box, West Ham stand pat and escaped with a huge 1-0 win at home that qualifies as one of the biggest upsets of the Premier League this season.
Tottenham needed to win, but failed to react in their biggest game of the season. West Ham, on the other hand, pulled a gigantic upset and this result can decide the Premier League title. If Chelsea beat both Middlesbrough and West Brom, then the Blues will win and the Spurs will have to settle for the second place.
West Ham: Adrian; Collins, Reid, Fonte; Byram, Noble, Kouyate, Cresswell; Lanzini (Fernandes 93′), Ayew (Snodgrass 84′); Calleri (Fletcher 89′)
Subs not used: Randolph (GK), Nordveit, Rice, Feghouli
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker (Trippier 80′), Alderweireld, Vertonghen 5 (Dembele 67′), Davies; Dier, Wanyama (Janssen 73′); Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane
Subs not used: Vorm (GK), Wimmer, Sissoko, N’Koudou
Goals: Lanzini (65′)
Referee: Anthony Taylor. He booked Walker, Noble, Reid, Lanzini, Byram, and Trippier.
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