Kane strikes as Tottenham’s European hopes handed boost vs floundering West Ham

Tottenham vs West Ham

Tuesday’s more high-profile Premier League tie saw capital rivals Tottenham and West Ham face off.

Both sides headed into the clash in desperate need of all three points for very different reasons.

Spurs began proceedings on Tuesday sat two points adrift of 7th place and four points off 5th, which is currently set to be a Champions League spot due to Manchester City’s European ban.

As for West Ham, after falling to defeat last weekend, the Hammers are still teetering above the relegation zone due to goal difference.

The teams

Unfortunately for West Ham, for the first time since he took the reins at Spurs, Mourinho had all of his main front-six attacking options to call upon.

The quartet the Tottenham boss opted to start from the get-got vs David Moyes’ side consisted of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Lucas.


As for West Ham, they were once again without the services of Sebastien Haller. Angelo Ogbonna would also only make the bench after his recent fitness troubles.

Hammers hold firm

Tottenham started the tie the brighter of the two sides with a Son effort inside three minutes nearly spilling into the Hammers’ net from a Lukasz Fabianski parry.

After said opportunity, though, the tie settled into a bit of a lull, with neither outfit carving out any real chances.

This was something of a surprise from a Spurs perspective as they had a very attack-minded setup, which saw Serge Aurier often positioned as right-winger with Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez forming a back-three. A similar setup to the one we saw in Mourinho’s first game in charge of Spurs earlier this campaign at the London Stadium.

But with the Lilywhites really failing to get a grip on the game, David Moyes’ side slowly began to grow into the tie – with Michail Antonio forcing a solid save out of Hugo Lloris.

A scintillating pass from Kane nearly put Lucas in on goal just short of the half-hour mark, but Fabianski dealt with it in his usual clam fashion.

Son would then have the ball in the West Ham net moments before the break, but it was ruled out by VAR for offside.

The first 45 drew to a close with the score at 0-0 and Moyes likely the more pleased of the two bosses.

West Ham sat very deep for the majority of the first-half and Tottenham were simply unable to muster up the creative spark needed to break them down – limiting the north Londoners to a few half-chances on the edge of the area.

Spurs back to winning ways

The second 45 once again saw the home side dominating the ball with West Ham sat very deep.

It became quite clear Tottenham would need a moment of magic to penetrate their opponents’ goal, but who would provide it?

A long-range Dier effort and a cheeky flick from Kane were amongst Spurs’ early efforts in the second half.

Kane came agonisingly close to opening the scoring inside 60 minutes, but the skipper dragged his effort wide.

Erik Lamela, who had just come on for Alli, then hit the side netting in the 61st minute.

But for all Spurs’ efforts, it would be a West Ham player who eventually broke the deadlock for Mourinho’s men.

Sanchez flicked an incoming corner down into the path of Tomas Soucek, who inadvertently deflected the ball into his own net.

The goal was checked by VAR for handball and despite appearing to graze Sanchez’s arm on the way, it was still given.

This spelled bad news for the Hammers as in the 14 PL games prior to Tuesday when they have conceded first this term, they have gone on to lose every single one.

That unfortunate record looked set to be extended to 15 games after Kane burst through with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining to lot past Fabianski.

Kane’s strike will no doubt have pleased Mourinho, who has come under a fair bit of criticism of late for the slightly deeper role the Englishman has taken up under him.

But the Tottenham hitman certainly proved he is still one of Spurs’ key danger men this evening.

The final whistle blew with the score at 2-0, handing Spurs their first victory in eight outings across all competitions.

Said win has, temporarily at least, moved Tottenham up to 7th in the table, which is likely to be a Europa League spot this campaign – should one of the top-six lift the FA Cup.

More importantly, though, it has moved Spurs to within just a point of 5th place. Granted, Man United do have a game in hand, but that just happens to be against now 8th-place Sheffield United on Wednesday.

So, Spurs will no doubt be paying keen attention to that tie and hoping for a draw between the pair. Tottenham will then take on the Blades in the following game week, a tie which could well play a pivotal role in where the Lilywhites end up finishing the campaign.

As for West Ham, they are now only above the drop by one goal difference with a tough run-in on the horizon, commencing against Chelsea next week.

 

Watch highlights of Tottenham 2 – West Ham 0

See also: Manchester United vs Sheffield United live streaming & betting tips

Liverpool FC vs Crystal Palace live streaming & betting tips

Norwich City vs Everton FC live streaming & betting tips


This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.

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Harry Kane15/815/821/20
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