Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 West Ham United
Sunday, 6th October 2013
by Trevor Twohig
One of the most anticipated fixtures of the West Ham calendar went off with a bang as the Irons ran out 3-0 winners over their North London rivals.The West Ham fans started proceedings with the chant, "We'll sing what we want", but on the whole there was little naughtiness from the travelling contingent as a bright start kept the eyes firmly focused on the football.
Ricardo Vaz Te came in for the beleagured Modibo Maiga and James Tomkins kept his place ahead of James Collins. However, it was the midfield that dominated the show from the off and kept the Spurs players at bay and hunting for the ball for most of the opening exchanges.
It would be wrong of me not to mention the fact that the West Ham team that took the field cost a mere ??13million. That would be half a Saldado, or a third of a Paulinho. This must be a shoo-in for in-form Spurs, against a West Ham side with a woeful away record, right?
In fact, the last time the Hammers won here was 14 years ago when Messrs Ian Wright and Marc Keller provided the goals, so not a great deal of hope then for even the most optimistic members of the Claret and Blue army.
It wasn't long before Tottenham began to get a hold on the game and they had a string of good chances in the first half - but West Ham were resilient and set up quite brilliantly by the old master Sam Allardyce. Spurs found themselves frustrated by a switched on Irons defence.
It was the Hammers who had the best chance of the half when Mark Noble chipped a free kick over the Tottenham wall and into the path of a waiting Kevin Nolan, who saw his shot drift agonisingly wide. He should really have done better.
The second half started brighter for the home side and Defoe missed a gilt-edged chance when he was set up by livewire Christian Eriksen. It makes a change because the little so and so normally scores against us, but this was not to be his or Spurs day at all.
West Ham found their feet and had some periods of excellent pressure. We knocked the ball around well and Vaz Te up front revitalised the team to say the least. However it was from a Mark Noble corner that West Ham took the lead; Winston Reid needing two bites of the cherry to put West Ham 1-0 up.
Spurs went on the attack but to no avail, as the Irons defensive set-up left them wanting and allowed us to break with pace. It was Ricardo Vaz Te, who was put through and broke well for the second goal. He only had Hugo Lloris to beat which he did with aplomb, despite the despairing goalkeeper getting a hand to the ball. 2 - 0 West Ham and cue a lot of eye-rubbing and clock watching from the Claret and Blue Army.
The third and final goal of the afternoon was an absolute delight to watch. Ravel Morrison picked the ball up in our half and broke with venom through the centre. He skipped past Dawson and then Vertonghen like they weren't even there and placed the ball deftly in to the bottom left hand corner to finish off proceedings.
It was a wonderful goal from a startlingly-promising talent. I must say I have not been this excited about a West Ham youngster since Joe Cole burst onto the scene. The lad has serious talent and rightfully deserves his England Under 21 call up.
So a potential banana skin for Tottenham well and truly slipped on. Speaking of slipping, they are down to sixth in the table and hopefully this result will bring an air of reality back to Arsenal's noisy neighbours.
They can't blame the lasagna this time, the big spenders of North London were truly outplayed by a better side on the day. Morrison's creativity and West Ham's unending work-rate were just too much for them in a game that could have put Spurs on top of the Premier League. Oh well, it wasn't to be.
So where does this leave West Ham going into the international break? Perhaps we will win the league? Who knows but we are certainly in a far better place than before the game started.
Noble took a knock and came off late, so we will need to see how bad the injury is. Downing started and Joe Cole made a welcome return from the bench. Vaz Te had a point to prove and did it rather well and a normally toothless attack, played with gusto and confidence today; long may it continue.
Did I mention that this game was against Spurs? And they were at home? Great result for West Ham, bring on Man City on October 19th.
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Player RatingsJussi Jaaskelainen
Did all he needed to do.
A solid game.
Looking threatening going forward.
Fabulous as usual. Scored the opener.
Handled a tricky Tottenham attack well
Classy as usual.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Brought a spark back to the team.
A good display from the captain.
Outstanding game - sublime goal.
Not his best game but was solid in defence.
Helped shore up the defence for the final few minutes.
A welcome return for Joe, who managed a couple of bursts in his short showing.
Joey O Brien
Took to the field with a huge grin on his face.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Razvan Rat, Winston Reid, James Tomkins, Mark Noble, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te, Kevin Nolan, Ravel Morrison, Mo Diame.
Goals: Winston Reid 66 Ricardo Vaz Te 72 Ravel Morrison 79 .
Booked: None booked. .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Tottenham Hotspur: .
Subs not used: .
Goals: None. At all..
Booked: None booked..
Sent off: None.
Referee: Lee Probert.
Man of the Match: Ravel Morrison.