Michail Antonio’s fifth-minute strike sent West Ham on their way to a 2-1 win over Tottenham and doomed Spurs to a fifth loss in six league appearances.
The 30-year-old jumped after Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga failed to manage Jarrod Bowen’s excellent cross. He initially failed to make contact but a touch off from Hugo Lloris saw the ball drop inviting the striker.
He hid it to give David Moyes’ team a perfect start.
Spurs had Sergio Reguilon back in their ranks and he had started well. But the goal rocked Spurs and the hosts exerted early dominance.
In the 13th minute, Harry Kane shot wide from inside the box after a great job from Lamela. Tomas Soucek and Tanganga clashed in the 17th minute as Lucas Moura tipped into a corner.
The West Ham midfielder deteriorated and, with the blood flowing, had to be treated by the local medical team.
Jose Mourinho was less than impressed with his team, cutting through a frustrated figure. And referee Craig Pawson spoke to the Portuguese coach in the 34th minute as his mood boiled.
West Ham’s best chance came from a corner seven minutes into the half. Aaron Cresswell’s delivery was met with a strong header from Craig Dawson which required a decent save from Hugo Lloris.
Spurs’ best effort came in the first half stoppage time as Kane forced Fabianski to make a smart save. Neither team created too much in the opening 45 minutes and West Ham’s compact defense dominated.
Mourinho brought Gareth Bale and Matt Doherty for Lamela and Tanganga, but they were soon two goals behind. Jesse Lingard had a superb score in the 47th minute after being put onside by Pablo Fornals.
This finish, @JesseLingard 😳
– West Ham United (@WestHam) February 21, 2021
The goal was initially ruled out but VAR overturned the offside decision much to Lingard’s delight. It seemed to blow the wind out of the sails of Spurs seeking a lift from Bale.
Kane did his best to reduce the deficit just before the hour. His free kick scrambled Fabianski but he flew right off.
The visitors came more into the game as the half progressed. And they were rewarded with a goal in 64 minutes.
Moura arrived after Bale’s corner and his header didn’t give Fabianski a chance. The Spurs began to dominate as the Hammers struggled to hold onto their lead.
Antonio and Fornals were both reserved as the North Londoners continued to advance.
Once again, Kane got closer with a shot from afar before throwing a dangerous bullet through the box.
West Ham’s ambitious attack was limited to counterattacks and Bale nearly leveled the game in 79 minutes. The Welshman’s shot crashed into the bar after a good job from Kane.
The last 10 minutes were end to end stuff. The Spurs nearly equalized once again in stoppage time when Son’s shot hit the post. Everything was in the hands of Moyes’ men.
Mourinho will undoubtedly feel his side deserve something from the game and Bale’s return to form was a huge bonus. But they still came away empty-handed as West Ham took fourth place.
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