Hammers hold firm in London derby

An overview on an intense London derby: West Ham vs. Tottenham Hotspurs

Mitchell Hall
3rd November 2021
Image: Flickr
It was a tense affair when the high-flying hammers clashed with rivals Tottenham Hotspurs, at the London Stadium on October 23rd, resulting in a cagey one goal victory to the home side courtesy of a finish from the in-form Michail Antonio. The performance flung West Ham from seventh to fourth in the Premier League, now two points above their opponents.

West Ham opened the game as the brighter side, finding success in both their attempts to counter-attack and in breaking down Tottenham’s defence. Pablo Fornals had two of the better chances of the first half, specifically an acrobatic effort forcing a save from Lloris to his low right side. Fornals would come close to contributing again minutes later, sending a dipping cross into the back post which, midfielder, Tomas Soucek could only flick onto the stanchion with his head.

Twitter: @WestHam

Tottenham grew into the game as it went on, with Son in particular proving to be a threat, whilst his teammates attempted to thread the ball through the back line and into his path. These attempts ultimately were stopped in their tracks by the Hammers’ men, notably recent signing Kurt Zouma. Zouma, bar a potential penalty appeal and subsequent VAR check, had a spotless game.

David Moyes’ men found another hero in the dependable hands of Lukasz Fabianski, tipping a thunderous back-post Harry Kane header over the bar.

Tottenham saw significantly more of the ball in the second half as the game settled into a dreary pace, neither team carving out particularly threatening opportunities.

The attacking attempts of both sides were summed up rather well as the ball floated agonisingly behind Oliver Skipp, a certain goal if it had been just a foot closer to the post. The frustrations of both sides came to a boiling point as new Spurs defender Cristian Romero followed through with his tackle on Fornals before leaning over him and shouting down as the man on the ground. Whatever was said certainly offended the Spaniard who shot up as his team and the players on the side-lines rushed into a mob near the corner flag. Ironically the atmosphere from this moment became particularly electric and likely spurred on the West Ham players to their eventual victory.

Not long after, the deadlock was broken by the prolific cult icon Michail Antonio, who flicked in a Cresswell corner after receiving little challenge from his marker, Harry Kane. He then graced the pitch with a signature extravagant celebration, this time a reference to 90's movie The Matrix, performing his best AntoNeo impression amongst his colleagues.

From here the objective was simple, Moyes swapping attacker Jarrod Bowen for central defender Craig Dawson to hold onto the lead. It worked well! Spurs played a toothless final twenty minutes and failing to register a single shot, on or off target, in the entire second half.

Twitter: @SpursOfficial

The celebrations at full time were indicative of West Ham’s week, three wins, three clean sheets, fourth in the Premier League and flawless in their Europa League group. Spurs on the other hand will hope to pick themselves up as they face West Ham United again in the Carabao Cup.

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