Last time West Ham played at Wembley, they beat Blackpool 2-1 in 2012 to earn promotion back to the Premier League. The stakes were not as great here, but the East Londoners had another enjoyable day at the home of English football.
Tottenham led 2-0 at halftime, but collapsed in the second half to fall 3-2 to the Hammers. It’s a win that books West Ham’s place in the Quarterfinals of the League Cup, and also relieves a bit of the pressure that has been mounting on Slaven Bilić.
Spurs dominated the first half, and looked poised to see out their lead, but something changed at halftime. Both teams looked exactly the opposite of how they had in the first half, and the game was swung on its head.
But initially, it was all working for Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s incredibly tough to predict Mauricio Pochettino’s lineups in the League Cup, and he surprised us again today. Danny Rose made his first start since January, but there was still room for Ben Davies at LCB. Juan Foyth made his second appearance for the club, Michel Vorm came in for Hugo Lloris, and Harry Kane was rested in favor of Fernando Llorente. Mousa Dembele notably returned to the bench.
In the first half Spurs put in a much better performance than they did against Barnsley. Foyth looked more comfortable, Llorente was getting involved, and the team just generally looked bright.
Tottenham got off to a great start, as Moussa Sissoko opened the scoring just a few minutes into the match. Llorente had a nice touch in midfield to spring Son Heung-min down the left for a counter-attack. Sonny found Sissoko in the middle, who tucked the ball past Adrian. It was a second goal of the season for Moussa, who is increasingly coming good at Tottenham.
Dele Alli almost added another just before 20 minutes, but was denied superbly by Adrian from point-blank range.
But then Dele did get that second goal. West Ham’s defenders gave him too much space, and he was able to curl one into the net via a deflection.
Spurs threatened for the rest of the half, but couldn’t find a third goal. The 2-0 lead hadn’t killed the visitors off yet, and they made the Lilywhites pay for keeping them around.
West Ham started the second half well and got one back within 10 minutes.
A corner fell to Edemilson Fernandes who had a blast from outside the box. Vorm parried, but the ball fell perfectly into the path of Andre Ayew, who finished with an easy tap-in.
Then, just a few minutes later, they had the equalizer. Foyth lost Manuel Lanzini, who was able to poke a pass across the area for Ayew, who finished again.
The third goal came from yet another corner kick. Angelo Ogbonna was strongest at the near post, and headed home the winner in the 70th minute.
Spurs re-gained control for the final few minutes, but the late substitutions and increased pressure came to nothing.
It was an impressive comeback from West Ham, but Spurs were the architects of their own downfall. The set-piece defending was really bad all night, which makes sense when Kane, Jan Vertonghen, and Davinson Sanchez are all missing from the lineup.
But this competition is definitely not a priority for Tottenham. Poch and company are flying high in the Premier League and the Champions League. As long as this loss doesn’t creep in and effect Spurs’ form in more important competitions, then it’s really not a big deal.