|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (2)||WEST HAM UNITED LONDON 1 (1)|
|Date : – Sunday 20th March 2022||Kick off : – 16.30|
|Competition : – Premier League||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 58,685|
|Referee : – Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester)||Linesmen : – Mr. Gary Beswick; Mr. Adam Nunn|
|Fourth official : – David Coote|
|VAR official : – Paul Tierney||VAR Assistant : – Harry Lennard|
|Weather : – Sunny, mild|
|Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Paxton Road end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 9 minutes
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||WEST HAM UNITED LONDON|
|Zouma (o.g.) 08m 09s||Benrahma 34m 44s|
|Son 23m 41s|
|Son 87m 53s|
|Dawson (foul on Son) 23|
|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR||WEST HAM UNITED LONDON|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS (c)||1.||Lukasz FABIANSKI|
|4.||Cristian ROMERO||4.||Kurt ZOUMA|
|15.||Eric DIER||15.||Craig DAWSON|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||3.||Aaron CRESSWELL|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY ( 12. Emerson ROYAL 88)||31.||Ben JOHNSON|
|30.||Rodrigo BENTACUR||28.||Tomas SOUCEK|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||41.||Declan RICE (c)|
|3.||Sergio REGUILON||26.||Arthur MASUAKA ( 8. Pablo FORNALS 56)|
|21.||Dejan KULUSEVSKI ( 23. Steven BERGWIJN 90+2)||22.||Said BENRAHMA|
|7.||Heung-Min SON ( 27. Lucas MOURA 90+2)||10.||Manuel LANZINI ( 11. Nikola LANZINI 84)|
|10.||Harry KANE||9.||Mikael ANTONIO ( 7. Andriy YARNOLENKO 56)|
|22.||Pierluigi GOLLINI||13.||Alphonse AREOLA|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||23.||Issa DIOP|
|14.||Joe RODON||24.||Ryan FREDERICKS|
|8.||Harry WINKS||33.||Alex KRAL|
|42.||Harvey WHITE||16.||Mark NOBLE|
|44.||Dane SCARLETT||64.||Sonny PERKINS|
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Manager : – David Moyes|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Umbro|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – Betway
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Scope
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|Much as it pains me to say it, you have to admire the West Ham United London fans. The couple of hundred who stayed to the end to see their heroes humiliated in a 3-1 win for Spurs in the Irons’ Cup Final, pushing them down to seventh, as Spurs rose to fifth place in the Premier League.
The empty seats spoke volumes, as West Ham were systematically taken apart apart from a fifteen minute spell when they had a lot of possession but failed to test Hugo Lloris with an attempt on target. The remainder of the time, Spurs coolly controlled the game passing the ball around the claret shirts and generally running them ragged, with three goals scant reward for the chances created, but with only four shots on target, a return of three goals wasn’t bad.
The cat-kicking villain of the piece, Kurt Zouma, was visibly rattle throughout the match with the booing he was getting and the inflatable cat waving and started the game in shocking fashion, which was something he carried through to the end. When Matt Doherty won the ball from Musuaka on the West Ham left touchline, he knocked it forward five yards to Harry Kane. Turning in space five yards outside the box, he ran through three Irons’ defenders inside the right edge of the area and played the ball towards Heung-Min Son at the near post, but he missed the ball and Zouma did the rest. Getting a knee to the ball that took it into the ground and then up out of Fabianski’s reach, Spurs were ahead with just eight minutes on the clock. It was a great start and for a player who was to have an undistinguished game, he had a very shaky start.
Having established a lead, Spurs almost threw it away within a minute. Kane played a ball back towards his own penalty area when trapped on our left wing 25 yards out, but it was intercepted by Mikael Antonio. He knocked Ben Davies to the ground in the box and fired a low shot a couple of feet wide of Hugo’s goal. It was a moment of poor play that could have been expensive, but on the day, this Antonio wasn’t the one that anyone was singing about, being well marked out of the game mainly by Romero, but with Hojbjerg and Dier chipping in when needed. In contrast Tottenham were pretty rampant going forward, with little the opposition could offer to stop them. It was 11 minutes in and could have been 2-0, as Son hit the outside of Fabianski’s left post. Dejan Kulusevski took a pass from Rodrigo Bentancur 10 yards inside his own half and ran off, outpacing the trailing Masuaka, then exchanging passes with Kane coming in off the right, he moved into the area, shrugging off a weak challenge from Rice and pulling the ball back for Sonny, but it was a bit behind him, so he did well to get a shot that hit the post away from about eight yards out.
The game went from end to end a bit, with neither side being able to find the telling final ball. Dawson picked up a yellow card for late tackle on Son as he looked to get away from the centre-half, with it being a little surprising that bit was the only one of the match, with both Antonio and Reguilon throwing themselves to the ground at various stages of the match. With the Bentancur-Hojbjerg pairing enjoying playing short passes between themselves and others, it was no surprise when Davies received the ball from Pierre and moved it inside to Rodrigo. Looking up his pass right to Kane in the centre circle allowed him to turn onto it and play a perfectly weighted ball to his left for Son to run in behind Zouma, who was caught on his heels watching the ball and not his man. Taking the ball just outside the area to the left of the D, Son shaped to come inside, before stepping over the ball and drilling in a left footed shot that took a flick off the hapless defender to take it over Fabianski and into the far top corner of the net. It was a fine finish and one that left the Iron’s supporters (are they called Brackets ?) with their heads in their hands and with good reason. This was looking as though it could be a rout.
Fabianski had to be quick out of his box to beat Doherty to a through pass, then Reguilon seized on a cleared free-kick to lift a shot over the bar before West Ham moved the ball up their left wing and in trying to play the ball away, Matt Doherty let the ball run off for a corner. Having been on the end of set-pieces against them for the last few seasons, it was a tight near post to prevent Antonio getting to it, but a longer cross came off the top of Dawson’s head and Benrahma was onto the ball when it came down with a controlled volley past Lloris to his left from just outside the six yard box. It was a bit of a defensive mix-up by Spurs, as Son was on Dawson. but lost him as he ran into the middle and then failed to spot Benrahma behind him in space when the ball went to the far post. It was the first threat on the Tottenham goal and the sloppy way the corner had been conceded had given them the opportunity rather than them earning it.
Following the goal, you thought West Ham might have tried to capitalise on their good fortune, but Spurs came again and Kane tried an effort from range, forcing the West Ham keeper to save at the foot of his right-hand post with five minutes to half-time, but that was about the only action before the half-time whistle went. West Ham did have a corner, but Zouma bundled Hojbjerg over and there was a cross into the box that aimed for Soucek, but was a little too long and went off for a goal-kick.
The Spurs subs were not warming up outside as has been the way recently, but the return of Paul Coyte after the Covid-19 restrictions had been lifted brought a great ovation, as he interviewed Ledley King about his mural on the Tottenham Sports Centre on the High Road.
With the second half underway, Spurs made straight for goal with Son’s run down the left, although he was offside. The next attack saw Kane down the left and his cross in the box was intended for Doherty, who went to duck his head to the ball from a standing position and nearly got kicked in the face by Masuaka, but him momentum carried him into Fabianski who went down like a sack of spuds. The keeper was called into action again shortly after when Son free Kane in the left side of the area, but he took a heavy touch and was closed down, with the ball coming off Zouma for a corner. As the players moved into the box, Zouma kicked the ball at Son, not very hard and certainly not hard enough for our forward to go down the way eh did, but then perhaps he had been learning from Mikael Antonio. This started a bit of a melee, which the referee failed to manage very well and while this was going on two people ran out of the crowd as part of the “Say No To Oil” campaign, where they try to attach themselves ot the goalpost by the neck, but they didn’t get that far, as the Spurs stewards got to them first. Still West Ham players refused to go to the referee, who wanted to speak to them, so another protestor cam eon at the other end without success in his mission. The game restarted, the ball was cleared and when West Ham broke they got a corner, which was recycled when cleared and Cresswell drove the ball across the box for Antonio to volley well over from a good position. It was the final straw for Moyes who hooked the striker who had been nullified quite easily by the Spurs defence. Yarmolenko came on with Fornals replacing the equally anonymous Masuaka.
It was during this period that West ham had most of their possession, but apart from a Yarmolenko back-heel that looked for Benrahma in the box that Lloris smothered and a shot from the Ukrainian that went wide at the near post as he came in from the right, they couldn’t fashion a shot for Hugo to save. Spurs were much more effective going forward. Kane played in Reguilon, as he ahs been doing in the last couple of games, but running with Johnson into the area, he threw himself to the floor when his touch took the ball away from goal. It was poor from Sergio and he is getting a reputation for trying to win free-kicks that aren’t there. Still pressing, Spurs were winning the ball back high up the pitch when we lost possession and Kane won a throw off Rice that led to Doherty crossing to the far post where Reguilon won the header but put it off target.
It wasn’t just the passing higher up the field that was impressive, but in tight areas in our own corners saw the ball played out with a calm confidence and that helped build moves at the other end of the pitch. Kane played a pass to Kulusevski on the right and he cut inside to hit a shot with his stronger left foot that curled too high of the far top corner and Regi got forward again, but hit his shot at Fabianski from a narrow angle. With West Ham having to defend the edge of their box, Pierre played a pass through the away shirts in front of him by scooping the ball past them, putting Harry Kane into space inside the box with only the keeper to beat. Unfortunately, the first touch didn’t kill the ball and as it bounced up, Harry could only try to lift it over Fabianski, but he also lifted it over the goal. It was all Spurs with Doherty having a shot blocked that came out to Bentancur, who dinked it up and hit a low half-volley that went a yard wide.
The last throw of the dice for the Irons came when Vlasic came on for Lanzini and they won a corner that Romero won after it was flicked on and then Hugo came for it, needing two attempts to get the ball safe in his hands. Emerson Royal took Reguilon’s place coming off the bench, with Doherty switching to left wing back and it proved to be an inspired change by Conte, although Emerson had nothing to do with the resulting third Spurs goal. Surprisingly, it was a route one goal. Lloris launched the ball with a long kick forward out of his hands with Kane winning the ball ten yards inside the West Ham half against Zouma and Dawson. The ball went from Harry’s head through for Son to run onto it from 25 yards out and as he got to the penalty area, he shot to beat Fabianski to the keeper’s right with the claret shirts nowhere near him. It was a cold-blooded finish from Heung-Min and rounded off the win with a score-line that went some way to reflecting the dominance Tottenham had in the game.
Spurs could have had a late fourth into added time when substitute Steven Bergwijn made a yard inside the left of the box and dinked a cross towards the far post, where Emerson Royal had gone forward and his glancing header took the ball away from Harry Kane right behind him, who had a better angle to come onto the ball and might have got it on target, as Emerson’s effort slid wide.
With a 3-1 win, Spurs are still in with a slim chance of pushing into the top four, but they will need to maintain the sort of consistency they have shown in the last two matches. West Ham offered very little this afternoon, although lots of people put that down to an extra time win on Thursday. However, some of their players were just plain shocking, not tired. No tactical positioning, no pattern of passing that would threaten to overtake Tottenham in the match. Rice was chasing Son like a runner in the final throes of an 1800m race with his head lolling back and he trod water, with it seemingly forgotten that Spurs played a match on Wednesday and may have also been suffering a reaction from that game. Too many of the visiting team were well below average to live with Spurs today. Tottenham were sharp, struck their passes with purpose (sometimes with too fast a delivery), players ran off their markers finding space with ease and with the chances created could have inflicted a much heavier defeat.
Bentancur and Hojbjerg ran the midfield with little resistance from the Irons, with little forward movement from West Ham, they were able to play their own game and provide a supply of passes to the Spurs forwards. The Tottenham defence were aggressive without fouling and Antonio didn’t like that and effectively vanished from the game for long periods, as did Lanzini. Fornals also couldn’t handle it when he came on either. With the wing-backs pushing on, the duo of Masuaka and Cresswell only had sparse opportunity to get forward themselves, spending most of their time having to defend and not doing it very well.
Kane and Son linked telepathically, as they usually do, but with a few better touches from Harry and Reguilon we could have really put West Ham to the sword. But as it was, the three goals was enough and the three points were what we were after. More than that, the confidence of back-to-back wins for a change and the way that the team are playing will give them a boost with the remaining nine games crucial for the club. It is just a shame that the international break has come now.
John Lacy’s Love Child
|Tottenham wore black armbands in honour of Tony Marchi, the Spurs midfielder of the late 1950s and 1960s, who died on Tuesday, while both teams wore black armbands to mark the death of Peter Barnes, who was Club Secretary of both clubs. There was a minute’s applause for both of them before the match.|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||2||Leeds United||3|
|Aston Villa||0||Woolwich Wanderers||1|
Premier League Table 2021-22
|7||West Ham United London||0||0||0||0||0||0
|11||South Coast Big Club
|13||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|