Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tottenham pegged back by West Ham as Kurt Zouma nets equaliser

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2024

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Tottenham lost more ground in the battle for a top-four finish after they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Ange Postecoglou’s side could have leapfrogged fourth-placed Aston Villa with a win and made the perfect start when Brennan Johnson tapped home early on for his fifth goal of the season.

West Ham, who let a 3-1 lead slip to lose 4-3 at Newcastle last weekend, were able to respond in the 19th minute when Kurt Zouma scored from Jarrod Bowen’s corner and they could have claimed all three points.

While Spurs dominated possession throughout in east London, David Moyes watched Michail Antonio race through on the hour mark but fire straight at Guglielmo Vicario as the capital rivals could not be separated.

A light show followed by a firework display greeted the players onto a soaked London Stadium pitch and Moyes should have seen his team start with a bang.

Only four minutes were on the clock when Mohammed Kudus crossed in for Bowen, but the Hammers’ leading marksman fluffed his lines from a matter of yards.

It would prove costly as Spurs went ahead with their first attack of the match. A neat move ended with Timo Werner bursting past Vladimir Coufal before he squared for the recalled Johnson to tap home in the fifth minute.

It continued Johnson’s purple patch, after his brace of assists against Luton, but also ended a run of six first halves without a goal for Tottenham.

The visitors went close again when a Pedro Porro effort whistled past the post before Son Heung-min curled straight at Lukasz Fabianski, in for the injured Alphonse Areola.

West Ham remained a threat at set-pieces though, after Kudus had an early shot deflected over, and levelled after 19 minutes.

Bowen’s inswinging corner was diverted beyond Vicario by the back of home captain Zouma, who was inexplicably unmarked in the six-yard area.

It got the West Ham fans up on their feet and they almost had another goal to celebrate eight minutes before half-time, but James Ward-Prowse’s 25-yard free-kick was parried away by Vicario.

Spurs had responded well to the hosts’ equaliser. However, they had to survive a set-piece barrage to ensure they came in level at the break.

A sloppy pass by Rodrigo Bentancur gifted West Ham a chance at the start of the second half, but Vicario saved Antonio’s shot before the Italian made an even better stop to keep out Konstantinos Mavropanos’ header.

Antonio’s blushes were spared after he air-kicked the loose ball when the offside flag was raised.

Lucas Paqueta was next to go close for the home side when he spun away from Bentancur and curled wide from 20 yards.

Tottenham did regroup but should have gone 2-1 down on the hour mark.

Maddison wanted a free-kick after he tangled with Paqueta. Referee John Brooks waved play on and Ward-Prowse played through to Antonio, who benefited from a slip by Micky van de Ven but fired straight at Vicario.

It was a gilt-edged chance and Postecoglou reacted by bringing on Pape Sarr and Dejan Kulusevski, which gave the visitors a second wind.

Werner had an effort deflected over before both teams threatened to produce stoppage-time breakaway goals, but Destiny Udogie fired straight at Fabianski and Bowen lobbed off target as the points were shared.

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