Tottenham Hotspur came out of the international break wanting to keep their good form going with some important fixtures coming up. Spurs would do just that in a dominating 4-1 victory today at White Hart Lane over the rival Hammers of West Ham United.
The match opened up with not much action. Spurs and West Ham spent the first fifteen minutes trading possessions back and forth with little to show for it . At about the fifteen minute mark, Spurs possession started to take over as the attack managed to send multiple crosses into the box, though all were cleared out to force Spurs to reset their attack.
Spurs' first real chance came in the 20th minute when Christian Eriksen found himself just outside the box with some space, allowing him to send a left footed shot towards the corner, but his effort was parried away by Adrian harmlessly for a corner that Spurs would ultimately do nothing with.
Spurs didn't have to wait much longer to break the scoreless draw, though. In the 23rd minute, Dele Alli managed to put a shot on target that was deflected by West Ham, but the ball fell at the feet of Harry Kane, who turned and slammed the ball home top shelf past Adrian to make it 1-0 good guys.
Three minutes later, West Ham found themselves knocking at the door as a shot by Andy Carroll from distance was deflected up into the air. Kouyate, who was very offside, put a bicycle effort off the crossbar. Amazingly enough, there was no offside call but Spurs would escape with no damage done.
Spurs would make it 2-0 in the 33rd minute as Spurs forced a corner kick off of another turnover created by the press. Christian Eriksen sent his corner kick towards the near post. Toby Alderweireld came off of a run, used Sakho as a screener to rub off of his man, and put a textbook header into the net that Adrian had no chance to save.
Two minutes after the second goal, Spurs almost made it three as Heung-Min Son would found a yard of space, switched to his left foot, and took a crack. His shot was saved by Adrian, who parried it away right to Dele Alli. Alli put a high header towards the net, only to find the top of the crossbar and the threat would end without another goal.
Spurs controlled the ball for most of the remaining time in the first half but were unable to find the net again, content to go into the break leading by two goals.
The second half opened up like the first one ended with Tottenham controlling the pace of the match and holding onto possession. Five minutes into the second stanza, the press caused yet another poor pass from West Ham. Christian Eriksen intercepted a pass and fed it to Kane. Harry gave a couple of touches and blasted a low shot from 20 yards out that would bend bent underneath Adrian's outstretched arm to make it 3-0.
With West Ham on their heels, Tottenham continued to press and regain possession. Two minutes after Kane's brace, Heung-Min Son took a shot that would be saved by Adrian. Spurs threatened with a few passes into the box, but never got a true chance back.
In the 65th minute, a challenge on the touch line resulted in Mark Noble giving a hip check to Harry Kane. Dele Alli came over to stand up for the striker and ended up getting into a shoving match with the West Ham captain. While everyone appreciates the 19-year-old sticking up for Kane, this resulted in yellow cards for both Noble and Alli, meaning Alli will miss the next match against Chelsea. That chippy behavior would carry over a few minutes later as Sakho and Kyle Walker would get tied up with each other and come to a shoving match, resulting in yellow cards for both.
The match calmed down and Spurs would take over again, looking to play it out and be content with the scoreline. However, in the 83rd minute, another press resulting in a turnover turned into a counter attack and Son would find the ball at the top of the box. A little touch to Kyle Walker ensued, and Walker would outside foot a shot into the far corner to make it 4-0 Tottenham.
The clean sheet would disappear in the 87th minute as a rare turnover in the back by Spurs would free up Manuel Lanzini on the left flank, who would manage to beat Hugo high into the corner with a fantastic finish and get West Ham on the scoresheet.
Spurs would get a late chance at the end as Mousa Dembele cut in towards the end line and attempted to find Josh Onomah, but the ball would be deflected away. This would be the final chance of the match as the match came to an end.
Tottenham Hotspur remain fifth in the table on 24 points, two points behind Manchester City and Arsenal and just four points off the league leaders, Leicester City.
- While the first fifteen minutes were somewhat uneventful, this match was dominated by Spurs. Possession was 56% in favor of the good guys.
- If you notice a theme in the match report, it was the press. There were so many forced turnovers and bad passes because of the relentless press by the attackers and midfield. West Ham rarely had a chance to breathe.
- Harry Kane is really good and is back in the form he was at last season. (We'll forget about that one shot. You know which one. We are not to discuss that.)
- I could watch that Toby Alderweireld goal over and over. His movement, timing, and power on that header should be used as an instructional video on how to head in a goal.
- With Lamela out on yellow card suspension, it was next man up as Son returned to the lineup and showed that his rust is gone. Sonny was fantastic today.
- Kyle Walker is really good, and that goal was awesome.
- Dele Alli will miss Chelsea, and that sucks because he is in great form.
- Even with the late blunder that led to the lone West Ham goal, this was our most complete performance of the season. The press forced so many turnovers and Spurs made West Ham pay.
- Our goal differential is currently +13, second best in the league behind Manchester City, who is at +14. This time last season we were seventh in the table and had a GD of 0.
- This team is really good and really fun to watch.