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Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United: Final score 1-0, an incredible escape

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Julian Finney

Tottenham Hotspur's season started with disaster, they looked headed for a lucky point, but out of nowhere, they conjured up a 93rd minute winner. West Ham failed to do anything with their man advantage, played for the draw when they got a man of their own sent off, and were ultimately made to pay for it in a 1-0 Spurs win.

Spurs started brightly, but had been on the back foot for about five minutes when disaster struck. Kyle Naughton was caught putting his arms up to block a shot in the 29th minute and was shown a straight red card for denial of a clear goal-scoring opportunity. But, thankfully for Spurs, Mark Noble missed his penalty wide left, despite forcing Hugo Lloris to dive the wrong way.

Between then and the hour mark, very little happened except some threatening balls into the box for Carlton Cole, which he was unable to do anything with. Neither keeper had to do much work, with West Ham hardly looking like they were up a man. And they weren't for long -- James Collins picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor in the 63rd minute, evening the numbers.

Shortly before that, Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend had entered the game, and the latter was Spurs' most lively attacker by a mile during the final 30 minutes of the game. He forced Adrian into multiple saves, but the West Ham keeper was repeatedly up to the task.

It looked like the sides were crawling to a scoreless draw until the 93rd minute, when West Ham's defense fell asleep. Guy Demel was caught lagging back and ball-watching far away from the play, keeping Eric Dier onside off a through ball by Harry Kane. He was completely clear in and rounded Adrian, then passed the ball into the back of the net. It was a striker's finish.

The goal was a perfect microcosm of what we hoped we'd see from a Mauricio Pochettino team. Fluidity, directness, through balls. It was awesome. And it was to beat West Ham at the end of an otherwise bland performance. The best.