Tottenham’s title challenge all but ended on Friday night as a combative performance from the Hammers sent Spurs home with food for thought after Manuel Lanzini swept in a scrappy goal to make it 1-0.
Earlier this week 90MAAT asked the question if Spurs had the potential to become a great side. Today we saw why it’s likely they’ll never quite make the grade.
Spurs looked tired and clumsy. Kyle Walker started the game after a brief period out of the team – despite being surrounded by a cloud of transfer rumours Pochettino gave him a chance to prove his quality, but Walker looked more like a giraffe in stilettos in the first half than the electric wing back from earlier this season.
Hugo Lloris was lucky to stay on the pitch after a kamikaze attack on Lanzini just outside the box left the experienced keeper red in the face.
Whispers of doubt have begun to creep through the stands at the Lane about whether Lloris has seen his best days. Today was not the first time this season he’s been caught out, but he’s a major asset to this developing Spurs team.
Mark Noble was industrious in midfield as the Hammers made it difficult for Spurs to get into their natural rhythm.
The Hammers showed their metal getting back in numbers in the second half to repel any last ditched attacks from an underwhelming Spurs front line.
Lanzini’s 65th minute winner came from some uncharacteristically shaky defending from Spurs who failed to effectively clear their lines. Vertonghen preferring to knee the ball about half a meter into the Hammers attack instead of belting it into row z.
All in all it was a characteristically ‘Spursy’ night, the type of night that reminds us why Spurs haven’t won anything under Pochettino and why they continue to be consistently inconsistent when it matters.
For West Ham, they showed tonight that the cloud around Dimitri Payet’s exit has long passed. It’s been a tough season for the East London club but they’ve undoubtedly improved since the new year.
Tonight’s win over Spurs is a big scalp, ending a 9 game winning streak that has showcased some of the best football seen this year. If they can finish the season strong, Hammers fans can potentially look forward to a more productive campaign in 17/18.
Man of the match: Manuel Lanzini scored the only goal of the game but also showed real quality and tenacity throughout. The Argentinian might not have the world class consistency of Payet, but he’s got speed and skill and when he’s on, he’s on.
Written by Chris Wyles.
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