- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Football is a game of thousands of individual actions but it is so often one moment and one player’s single movement which determines the outcome of a match. Or, in this case, one player’s lack of movement.
When Aaron Cresswell’s corner dropped in the Tottenham Hotspur penalty box, Michail Antonio reacted sharply while his marker, Harry Kane, stood motionless alongside him. One flick of the leg, one split-second of hesitation, and one goal for West Ham United.
For it to be Antonio scoring, while in the clutches of Kane, felt symbolic on an afternoon that had been viewed by many through the prism of the two strikers at the front of their teams. Antonio the muscly striker, running in behind and looking for battles, up against Kane the technician, dropping deep and attempting to create chances for others.
Of course, this match was far more than a simple duel between Antonio and Kane. This was a London derby, after all, and there were intriguing contests all over the pitch. But the image of Antonio wheeling away to the corner flag in delight, and Kane looking to the skies in anguish, felt like the defining snapshot on another exhilarating occasion at the London Stadium.
The David Moyes revolution continues to gain momentum, with West Ham flying in Europe and now climbing the league table at pace. This victory, their sixth in seven matches in all competitions, took them up to fourth in the Premier League.
They are showing that last season was no fluke, as well as providing a strong riposte to all those who had suggested they were benefitting from the absence of their supporters in the recent behind-closed-doors past.
“We are growing characters,” said Moyes. “If you look at where these boys were two or three years ago, they have all blossomed. The club is blossoming. That comes from the team and it comes from inside the building. The players are all improving together.”
The West Ham fans were in predictably fine voice at the end here, urging their team across the line against a Tottenham side which once again seemed uncertain of what they wanted to be and how they wanted to play.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s first season in north London has been nothing if not erratic so far, and it says so much about the mood around Tottenham that this defeat could easily send them spiralling into another mini-crisis.
If Thursday’s Europa Conference League defeat by Vitesse Arnhem was humiliating, then this was another deeply concerning showing from Nuno’s team. Tottenham did not take a single shot in the second half, which was a reflection of their lack of creativity and Kane’s own struggles against the West Ham backline.
Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna were immovable for the home side, defending with an intensity and aggression which left Tottenham cowed. For West Ham’s opponents, there will always be danger from set pieces.
They did not reach their highest levels in open play, and struggled at times to control the flow of the match, but they are a constant threat from corners and free-kicks. Antonio’s goal was their fourth from set pieces in the last week, with Cresswell once again providing superb delivery.
How Tottenham must wish they could also conjure a goal out of nothing. It was another afternoon in which it felt like everything had to fall their way for even a chance to be fashioned, and the best efforts of Tanguy Ndombele were not enough alongside the more defensive-minded Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp.
Nuno said he felt the game was under control, and reacted waspishly to suggestions of a lack of creativity, but there was a clear lack of spark in his team. Only Ndombele, a curious player with his unpredictable movements and passes, looked likely to unbalance the West Ham defence.
That is not to say West Ham were dominant throughout. It was a typically intense and competitive game between these two rivals from the start, with both teams trading jabs in the first half without ever landing significant blows.
The best of the home side’s opportunities in the early stages fell to Tomas Soucek, who headed a few inches wide after Pablo Fornals had picked him out at the back post.
As for Tottenham, they had glimpses of goal through Son Heung-min, running on to Ndombele’s pass, and Kane, who was found at the back post, but Lukasz Fabianksi was alert between the posts on both occasions.
For much of the second half it felt as if both sides were too afraid of losing the game to really try to win. It was becoming a match of fine margins, and such games are often settled on the smallest of details.
Antonio stuck out his leg for Cresswell’s corner, Kane stood still, and the London Stadium bounced with the joy of it all.
From there, Nuno’s side never looked likely to come back into the match, and they could have no legitimate complaints about a result which will leave them asking yet more questions of themselves and their overall direction as a team.
West Ham vs Tottenham: as it happened
Michail Antonio’s goal celebrations are the best thing about watching West Ham pic.twitter.com/LjVyKh7QB0
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) October 24, 2021
Full time: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
That's it! A close match, West Ham probably deserve that I would say. They kept Son quiet and Kane was simply ineffective, anonymous. More headaches for Nuno. Moyes will be well satisfied: defended solidly, nicked one from a set piece. Hammers are back into the top four! Spurs are sixth.
Souness: "Some people will say I am digging him out, but is that where Harry Kane is right now? Not concentrating [at a corner]. He should have been defending."
I'm going to leave you and get over to the Man United match. Manchester United vs Liverpool, Premier League: live team news and latest updates
90+ mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Son tries a hail mary into the West Ham box. Fabianski, a reliable fellow these days, comes out gamely and claims it.
Bowen, who has put in a shift, comes off for Dawson.
90 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
The 90 is up, three minutes will be added. Spurs can have no complaints. They have not been terrible, but they have been very leaden.
87 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Ndombele is one who came off for Spurs. Dunno why. He was at least asking a few questions.
84 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Some changes for both sides. Lanzini coming on. Giovani Lo Celso an Gil on for Spurs.
83 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Dozy from Skipp. He thinks the ball is out, it isn't, Antonio barges in and nicks it. Schoolboy stuff. He gives it to Benrahma, who is denied by Lloris.
80 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
A bit of pressure being applied now. Moura, Dier, looking to play balls in. Hammers dig in. They are compact, well organised.
James Maddison has put Leicester back ahead against Brentford.
Here's the teams for the Man U v Liv big one
Man Utd: de Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Ronaldo. Subs: Bailly, Pogba, Lingard, Dalot, Cavani, Sancho, Henderson, Matic, van de Beek.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson, Keita, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Firmino, Jota. Subs: Mane, Gomez, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Minamino, Tsimikas, Origi, Matip.
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)
77 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Lucas Moura is looking like Tottenham's most likely source of salvation, but it's a pretty flat response I have to tell you, since the goal.
73 mins: West Ham 1 Spurs 0
Have Spurs got something up their sleeve? They haven't been exactly crackling with life and invention.
GOAL! West Ham 1 Spurs 0 (Antonio 72)
There he is! What a man. I love this lad. It's a corner for West Ham, Antonio with the tap in. Kane is the man who was marking him, not very well.
Super delivery from Cresswell.
Super Matrix-inspired celebration from Antonio as well.
67 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Antonio, bravely chasing through, gets a whack from the out-rushing Lloris. Looked sore, but Michail is up and back in business without fuss.
Harry Kane looks so tired. Could genuinely do with a hamstring twinge keeping him out for 6 weeks.
— David Hartrick (@DavidHartrick) October 24, 2021
65 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
West Ham have a good record in the second half, Spurs not so much, and it does look like West Ham are the more likely right now.
Jorgensen has equalised for Brentford.
60 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
So a few little bits of spice into the mix. Hammers have a freekick, it is half cleared. Bowen, I think it is, tries to bring it back in and slip it to Zouma. Zouma takes a touch but Hojbjerg nips in and clears.
59 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Creswell up, bravely, for a header over the top of L Moura. Does himself a mischief when he hits the deck, landing on his back and winding himself.
58 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Fornals and Romero battling for the ball. Romero wins it and then, for whatever reason, leans over his horizontal opponent for a few choice words and, perhaps, a wee bit of afters. Booking for the Tottingham man.
56 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
End to end stuff! Both sides having a bit of a go. Slightly lacking in quality, to be honest. Bowen down the right, crosses, Antonio cannot apply the headed finish.
Spurs up the other end, Son crosses for Kane, but Fabianski is equal to the challenge.
54 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Good attacking spell from West Ham, Rice and Antonio are both making their presences felt, in their contrasting ways.
50 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Skipp is having an impactful start to the half, interventions in both boxes, and now he is driving onwards and trying a shot at (or, more accurately, vaguley near) the hosts' goal.
47 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Ndombele released down the right, he crosses low. A poor decision, Kane the only man in the area and multiple WHU players back defending.
Jermain Defoe is on pundit duty - Rangers were playing about five minutes ago. That can't be right can it?
Jermaine Defoe is currently a pundit on Sky Sports for Spurs v West Ham whilst the team that pays his wages are playing on another channel.
Vive le Cinch. pic.twitter.com/fDG2fn5YKu
— Ray Bradshaw (@comedyray) October 24, 2021
46 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Nuno looking typically splendid with a fashionable, no doubt expensive sort of parka thing, and an impeccable beard. Can Spurs produce a similarly attractive second half?
Players are back out
Bubbles are a blowin'. Here's Moyes.
Half time: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Not a bad game, bit of a low-key affair in all honesty. Fornals had a couple of decent chances for the Hammers, Kane and Son had one opportunity apiece against Moyeseh's men. Could see either side scoring, hard to predict the winner. A game generally tight, but both defences guilty of occasional moments where they got isolated/flat.
42 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Reguilon out on the left flank, has time to measure out his cross. He stands it up for Kane, who has a good amount of runway to really get a good leap, and he's too much for Creswell to handle at that far post. Fabianksi is able to turn it behind. Harry will feel he should have done better there, having as he did a free run at that.
40 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Antonio again using all his strength on Romero, shoving him aside like a 12-year-old in an under-9s game. That done, he cuts inside and tries to curl it, but cannot bring the ball back enough.
38 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Here is Kane, dropping deep to send Moura away down the flank, the cross comes in and this is an excellent headed chance for Ndombele. Weak effort.
Ndombele too quick for Ogbonna there, and his reward is a sore scrape from the latter's studs. Ogbonna into the book.
34 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Another good chance for West Ham! Pablo Fornals pulls out wide and delivers a cross in. Soucek gets up above all but cannot time the header perfectly, the ball seems to come off the crown of his head and float over.
32 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Ben Johnson, known to all the lads in the West Ham United dressing room as The Alchemist, drives forward and hits a shot not far wide.
30 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
A quiet little period, as the resistable force of Spurs comes to not a lot against the movable object of the WHUFC defence.
27 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Spurs are looking useful now. It's they who are dictating the play and asking questions. West Ham, I should say, seem solid and comfortable in defence.
25 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
This is excellent from Spurs, Son and Ndombele with a direct, rapid attack. Son runs onto it, hits it, scuffed. West Ham keeper Fabianski is equal to that.
Harold Kane, by the way, has been anonymous. Here is Karen Carney on the BBC: "I want to see Harry Kane in the highest point on the pitch, as the number nine. They don't though and that is why he gets frustrated and comes deeper for the ball.
22 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Soucek goes into the book for a foul. Pierre-Emile Hojgberg the man he clatters. A yellow and a bit probs, to be fair. I like T Soucek. He looks a tough customer.
19 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Good moment for Spurs, though. Son with a bit of fancy footwork, setting up a chance for Lucas Moura, and a good chance at that. But he cannot capitalise. Best moment for Spurs so far, though.
15 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
West Ham much the better side so far. Antonio here running for the ball with Romero, Michail just shoves him out the way! Extra gym work for Sr Romero I would suggest, Antonio absolutely outmuscled him there. It's played inside for Fornals, whose technique with the airborne ball is again found wanting. Slices a volley well wide.
13 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Big Mik Antonio has pulled out to the left flank, does well to deliver the ball in. Soucek is free! Skipp has lost hios man. Soucek blooters a tricky chance, on the volley, well over the bar.
Ivan Toney had it in the net for Brentford, but that was ruled out. And now Youri Tielemans has given LCFC the lead with, by all accounts, a thunderbison of a shot.
11 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Delay of game for a penalty check, and an injury. Ndombele the man down. Zouma his assailant. Looked like he trod on his foot, albeit accidentally as the Spurs man raced towards goal.
He's okay to carry on, and there is no pen. On further examination, Ndombele actually trod on the ball.
5 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Bright start from the Hammers, but Spurs are getting into this. Romero, Skipp and now Dier getting time for a touch. Moura plays Ndombele into trouble! Rice nips in but fails to spot Antonio on the break.
Bowen trying to wiggle through, denied first time, but gets another chance to play it in. Fornals with an acrobatic effort! Lloris is equal to it.
2 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
Iffy defending from Spurs! Lloris didn't punch that with any conviction. They eventually get it clear.
West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio. Subs: Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Areola, Dawson, Noble, Diop, Masuaku, Ashby.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Emerson, Romero, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Son, Kane. Subs: Sanchez, Gil Salvatierra, Rodon, Lo Celso, Alli, Gollini, Bergwijn, Tanganga, Davies.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)
1 mins: West Ham 0 Spurs 0
West Ham it is who are driving forward as we get underway. Rice, Benrahma build a move, and then out to Cresswell. Decent cross! It leads to a corner.
Kick off coming up
We'll be the judges of that, in about four hours, thanks. https://t.co/KWFJKguEWo
— Danny Kelly (@dannykellywords) October 24, 2021
We will check in with the action
in Brentford, I reckon, throughout. They've going well, aren't they? Beat the Hammers away a couple of games ago.
More team news
There is another match going on in London today, also kicking off at 2pm. Here is the team news for Brentford-Leicester...
Brentford: Raya, Jorgensen, Jansson, Pinnock, Canos, Onyeka, Norgaard, Jensen, Henry, Mbeumo, Toney.
Subs: Goode, Forss, Ghoddos, Ajer, Bidstrup, Roerslev, Maghoma, Stevens, Fernandez.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Evans, Soyuncu, Ricardo Pereira, Tielemans, Soumare, Castagne, Maddison, Iheanacho, Vardy.
Subs: Bertrand, Barnes, Ward, Perez, Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall, Vestergaard, Daka, Lookman.
Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)
West Ham are unchanged from the side that won 1-0 at Everton last Sunday.
West Ham: Fabianski, Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio.
Subs: Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Areola, Dawson, Noble, Diop, Masuaku, Ashby.
Spurs have made 11 changes for their Europa Conference League defeat to Vitesse and revert to the same starting XI that beat Newcastle last weekend.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Emerson, Romero, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Lucas Moura, Ndombele, Son, Kane.
Subs: Sanchez, Gil Salvatierra, Rodon, Lo Celso, Alli, Gollini, Bergwijn, Tanganga, Davies.
Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)
Ndombele and the meeting that got his Spurs career back on track
Tanguy Ndombele's Spurs future was in doubt this summer but the prodigiously talented midfielder might just be finding his feet following a meeting with Daniel Levy.
“If a chairman is seeing something that he is not happy with it’s normal that he wants to speak to the player about that,” Ndombele says. “It was a good meeting, I listened to what he had to say and he listened to me too. Perhaps if I’m still at Tottenham today it’s thanks to that meeting.”
Soucek: My face was so bad my wife joked I am lucky to be married
Tomas Soucek’s face was so badly scratched in his collision with Everton’s Salomon Rondon last weekend that his wife joked he should be happy they have already married.
Soucek was forced to have emergency plastic surgery this week to repair his lip after he was left with severe cuts to his face in the accidental clash with Rondon at Goodison Park.
The Czech midfielder has laughed off the severity of the injury, saying he had been desperate to play on against Everton and revealing: “My wife told me I should be happy I am married now, because I have many scars on my face.”
The West Ham midfielder was able to play in Thursday night’s Europa League victory against Genk and is expected to start in Sunday’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur.
“I wanted to play the last 15 minutes against Everton but the doctor told me I could not because the stitches could take a long time to heal. They did great work and I recovered in three days.
“It is only stitches. Maybe my wife was really scared for me but I am here to play and I am prepared to play.”
West Ham finished one position ahead of Tottenham in last season’s Premier League table, with David Moyes guiding his team to sixth place, but Soucek said the players are not concerned about being considered a “big six” team.
“One year ago we fought off the relegation, then last season was unbelievable for us,” said Soucek. “But we need to keep going for many seasons in a row for this respect of the ‘big six’.
“We are a team that wants to be in the top six, we want to be there. It is not important being called one of the bix six. We want to finish and be in the top six.”