David Hautzig's Match Report
NOTE FROM IAIN: Congratulations to MoanerMe who topped the Spurs Predictor League with 77 points. You can see the table "HERE"https://new.westhamtillidie.com/matches/spurs-2020-10-18. The Predictor League for Manchester City on Saturday is now open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 10am on Saturday.*
(Quick shout out to my best mate Jon who suggested the title of this report)
It’s ironic that the player I would have been most curious about going into today’s match at Spuds was unavailable because of a ridiculous deadline on registrations. Why on earth should any club not be allowed to use players that are registered to the club because of a five hour discrepancy? My newest pet peeve. Anyway, the announcement that Haller didn’t even make the bench due to a knock brought into question the decision not to get another striker. Yes, with Haller there it could have been an issue possibly relegating him to third choice. But Antonio’s hamstrings are always on a knife’s edge…metaphorically that is…and thus a worry. Overall, with Spuds on a roll and The Hammers coming off two very solid results, it had the potential to be a very interesting 90 minutes. It was waaaaay more than that.
The second Son got on the end of the long pass from Kane, a combination that has been fairly lethal this season so far for the home side, it looked bad. He flew by Balbuena, and as soon as he cut inside the goal literally looked like it was empty on TV. Might as well have been with Son’s quality. One minute in, one goal down.
West Ham 0
Considering the shock of such an early goal conceded, West Ham looked to answer. They won a free kick that Cresswell sent wide, and then a corner that Antonio tried to direct behind Lloris but sent it wide as well. An equalizer would have been huge considering what happened moments later. Kane got on the ball near the top of the eighteen yard box in the 8th minute, nutmegged Rice, and then with Fabianski standing still drove a low shot past Ogbonna and into the net.
West Ham 0
It got uglier in the 16th minute when Son returned the favor to Kane with a terrific cross to Kane in the box. Kane out-jumped Cresswell….not that hard…and headed it past Fabianski to seemingly end the match by the time it was quarter of an hour old. That yard work I need to do was looking a decent alternative to this pretty early on. Nigel told me I couldn’t go outside and play, unfortunately I thought, so I was stuck. Thanks, Nigel.
West Ham 0
It came close to 4-0 in the 35th minute when Aurier slid a pass into the box for the onrushing Son, but Fabianski slid out to meet the ball before the salt could be rubbed into the wound. Seconds later West Ham won another corner but couldn’t put a ball on target. Yet to the visitors credit, they did keep moving the ball forward and didn’t really look like a side that was being totally dominated. Even though they were where it counted because they have guys named Kane and Son and we don’t.
The final seconds of first half added time saw a scramble inside the Tottenham box, and it was the attacking Kane making a defensive stop against the defender Coufal to end the half.
West Ham 0
Like some of the stretches in the opening half, West Ham looked to attack at the start of the second. They moved the ball around the Spurs end, and at times looked like they spent too much time on the ball instead of looking for a shot. Masuaku tried a volley that went high over the bar, and then Antonio crossed for Fornals but the Spaniard couldn’t put his header on target. From a quality of play perspective, again, West Ham didn’t look awful.
The Hammers won a corner in the 53rd minute when Masuaku and Cresswell combined on the left. The delivery found nothing in particular, but despite Spurs best efforts to clear West Ham drove it back and won another corner. Kane cleared the set piece, but Bowen brought it back and tried to find Soucek in the box but his cross was too high. In the first ten minutes of the second half, West Ham had five attempts to Spurs one, so if “how we looked” was something to consider, it was better than the scoreline dictated.
Spurs won their first corner of the day in the 62nd minute when Kane let go with a 30 yard shot that Fabianski had to dive low to his right to push around the post. West Ham dealt with the set piece, but Spurs won a second corner when Balbuena had to direct a Son cross over the bar. But the visitors back line did their job, something they had done well since the 17th minute.
The 70th minute saw another West Ham corner, and all it led to was another West Ham corner. A minute later Ogbonna was booked for a challenge on Aurier, giving Spurs a free kick 35 yards from goal. It also gave Spurs the opportunity to insert their newest loan signing, a guy named Bale, to take the free kick. Thankfully karma didn’t allow anything highly annoying to happen and the delivery bounced harmlessly to Fabianski.
Kane came an inch away from a hat trick in the 79th minute when Son cut to his right after a run near the West Ham eighteen yard box and rolled a pass to Kane, who one timed his shot off the post. Fabianski didn’t even bother to move.
Then, it started.
Three minutes after Kane almost put the dagger in us, Cresswell lined up to take a free kick and whipped in a very good ball that Balbuena rose high to meet and put it behind Lloris.
West Ham 1
Two minutes later, the entire narrative of the day changed when Coufal drove towards the box and sent a cross that Sanchez for some reason decided to try to head clear from close range. He headed it alright. Past Lloris and into the net.
West Ham 2
Lanzini won a free kick in the 89th minute, and after taking it short Cresswell found Bowen in the box but his quick attempt was blocked. In the second minute of added time none other than Bale went in alone on Fabianski, but instead of finishing it off he sent his shot wide.
West Ham kept pressing for an unlikely equalizer deep into stoppage time, with Cresswell taking a free kick on the left. His delivery was cleared, but as West Ham had done all day they kept going. They kept pressing. When Spurs couldn’t clear, Lanzini showed that he still has something deep in his locker when he sent a 35 yard blast off the outside of his right foot and into the top corner past a stunned Lloris.
West Ham 3
At the final whistle, I had expected to write about my frustration on the day. We were the better side in the second half even before we scored, and roughly level with them from the 20th minute on. Instead, I thought back to another late equalizer at Spurs from 15 years or so ago when Anton Ferdinand headed home a corner to give West Ham a 1-1 draw. Only this one was even better.
The sight of a middle aged Scot dancing would be the highlight of my week.