Michail Antonio – back in the Hammers’ starting line-up after a two-game absence – gave the hosts the perfect start, poking home after Hugo Lloris had failed to deal with Jarrod Bowen’s cross. West Ham moved into the top four of the Premier League with a narrow victory over Tottenham that increases the pressure on Spurs manager Jose Mourinho.
Jesse Lingard’s third goal in four league games was initially disallowed for offside against Pablo Fornals. But VAR ruled that the Spaniard was not interfering with play when the former Manchester United man skipped through the visiting defence before powerfully finding the far corner to make it 2-0.
Half-time substitute Gareth Bale, who registered a goal and an assist in Tottenham’s Europa League win at Wolfsberger on Thursday, set up Lucas Moura to give Spurs hope, before hitting the top of the crossbar with a fierce strike 10 minutes later. Son Heung-min also struck the woodwork in stoppage time. The win – David Moyes’ first over Jose Mourinho in 16 attempts – lifts West Ham two points clear of Chelsea in fifth, while Spurs remain in ninth.
In-form Hammers grind out win
Moyes recently admitted to feeling “uneasy” when discussing the Hammers’ place near the top of the table, but that is unlikely to die down following their seventh win in nine league matches.
West Ham looked much sharper from the off and deservedly took an early lead through Antonio, whose pace and physicality caused the Spurs defence all sorts of problems in the opening exchanges.
Moyes’ side limited Tottenham to just two shots on target before the break – both of which came in the final minutes of the half – and they made the perfect start to the second period when Lingard combined with Fornals before lashing beyond Lloris to continue his recent revival having swapped red for claret and blue.
However, the hosts had their backs to the wall for the rest of the game as Spurs increased the urgency, with Moura’s header from Bale’s cross setting up a nervy finish. They rode their luck when Vladimir Coufal’s clearance struck Son before looping over Fabianski and onto the outside of the post, but few could begrudge Moyes’s team all three points.
West Ham face both Manchester clubs, Leeds and Arsenal in their next four league matches. If they can emerge from those fixtures relatively unscathed, it could set the platform for an exciting end to the campaign for Hammers fans.
Sluggish start costs Spurs
Reports on Sunday suggested Mourinho’s job could be at risk if Spurs failed to beat West Ham, and the Portuguese’s team could hardly have made a worse start at London Stadium.
Mourinho will have been furious at the manner of the Hammers’ opener, as Eric Dier failed to clear Bowen’s in-swinging delivery before Lloris’ fumble allowed Antonio to prod home. The goal seemed to drain the confidence out of Spurs’ players, who looked desperately short of ideas until Kane tested Fabianski’s reflexes late in the first half.
Lingard’s strike left the visitors with a huge task but the introduction of Bale – a half-time replacement for Lamela – soon paid dividends. The Welshman’s corner was flicked in off the post by Moura to reduce the arrears, before the Real Madrid loanee skimmed the top of the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Kane – left out of Thursday’s win in Budapest for fitness reasons – also went close from the edge of the box and Son almost salvaged a draw in bizarre circumstances, but it was not to be for Tottenham. The result leaves Spurs nine points behind the fourth-placed Hammers, although they do have a game in hand on their London rivals.
Antonio, West Ham’s fox in the box – the stats
- Tottenham Hotspur have lost five of their last six league games (W1), only picking up points in a 2-0 home victory against West Brom in this time. Their eight league defeats this season are Jose Mourinho’s most since 2015-16 with Chelsea, when he was sacked after nine league defeats.
- Mourinho took charge of his 50th Premier League game with Tottenham today (W23 D12 L15). The 81 points Spurs have picked up under the Portuguese is 14 fewer than he’s managed with any other side throughout his first 50 league games in charge (Man Utd, 95).
- West Ham will spend a night in the top four places in a top-flight campaign after at least 25 matches have been played, for the first time since 1985-86, when they finished the season in third.
- West Ham’s Michail Antonio has scored 42 Premier League goals and they have all come from inside the box – in the competition’s history, only Tim Cahill (56), Javier Hernandez (53) and Gabriel Jesus (45) have scored more with all of them coming from inside the box.
- Antonio has scored five Premier League goals against Tottenham Hotspur, his best return against any single side in the competition.
- Jesse Lingard has scored three goals in four league games under David Moyes for West Ham, as many as he netted in his 36 total league appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Man Utd.