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Spurs survive classic derby encounter to take 3 points away from home

Spurs beat off a resurgent West Ham 2-3 after Serge Aurier saw red for his reach around tackle on Andy Carroll.

West Ham started the game strong, as they stopped Spurs from buildng any momentum with a combatitive game plan, led by tenacious captain Mark Noble.

Hernandez and Arnautovic looked sharp up front, causing Spurs plenty of problems at the back, the Tottenham players were slow in possession and slower out of it in the opening half an hour.

However the dynamic of the match changed when, in the 34th minute, West Ham’s Andy Carroll expertly played  Spurs’ Christian Eriksen into space in the middle of the park. Eriksen picked out Dele Alli who squared a fizzed cross into the path of Harry Kane, who netted a gliding header into the far corner, leaving Joe Hart helpless.

Kane then converted again in the 38th minute as he slotted home a rebound after Dele Alli failed to convert a one-on-one chance against Joe Hart.

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Spurs had been poor throughout, particularly Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko, who both looked miles off the pace. Meanhwile Serge Aurier looked energetic on Spurs’ right flank, limiting Arnautovic’s forward prowess.

The Hammers did well to hold off an onslaught from Spurs late in the 1st Half, and would have been dissapointed to go in 0-2 down considering their start to the game.

West Ham also had reason to be disgruntled with official Michael Oliver, they had two reasonable penalty appeals turned down.

The first was a fantastic last ditch Aurier tackle on Arnautovic, which Oliver probaby called correctly. However, the second claim came from an Aurier headed clearance, in which slow motion replay showed the Ivorian had used his arm. A difficult one to call, but probably should have been a penalty.

The second half began with Spurs piling on the pressure, and in general looking much sharper then they had in the opening 45.

Passess started to stick and, on the hour mark, Eriksen calmly converted a Spurs set piece, after a bit of pin ball, into the bottom right hand corner.

At 3-0 the game seemed all but over, however football is a mysterious beast. On the 65th minute Chicharito scored what seemed at the time a mere consolation as he headed home in classic poacher fashion.

But West Ham were giving a glimmer of hope when Aurier, who had been excellent so far, saw his second yellow for a poor challenge on Andy Carroll.

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The Hammers began bombarding the Spurs defence with attack after attack, and they broke through on the 87th minute as Cheickhou Koyate rose like a salmon leaping upstream to head home Masuaku’s delightful cross from the left flank.

From here on St John’s ambulance was on high readiness as Spurs fans slumped back into their seats with visions of Spursy doom infiltrating their tortured minds.

Fortunately for them, West Ham were unable find an equaliser, and after handbags in added time, Oliver evnetually blew the final whistle.

A classic London derby, goals, scraps and cards. A great game to watch for all involved. In the end, the result was probably justified only due to Tottenham’s slightly more clinical edge in the final third. Although, a draw may have felt more deserving of the games dynamics.

Despite winning, Spurs are unlikly to be happy with their performance. Aurier was excellent until his sending off, but key players Eriksen and Alli were largely poor, part from single moment of quality, while Ben Davies had a rough day down the left as Zabaleta ate him up for breakfast.

MOM: With another 2 goals to add to his prolific derby record, Harry Kane takes the man of the match award. However, Hammers stars Chicharito and Zabaleta were excellent as well.

 

 

 

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