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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
October 6, 2013
• White Hart Lane, London
Referee: L. Probert
• Attendance: 35977
West Ham United
W. Reid 66'
Ricardo Vaz Té 72'
R. Morrison 79'
Anyway, that'll be all from me, Sam Wells, today. Thanks for following today's game with me and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Until next time, farewell!
Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, will be absolutely and unequivocally delighted with both the performance and the threat. Though it's fair to say that they got a bit lucky with a couple of the goals, they defended with aplomb, barely affording their opposition any clear-cut chances, even after that opening goal. Whether that says more about the Hammers' defensive strength or Tottenham's attacking frailities remains to be seen, but there is definitely cause for optimism in West Ham's performance today.
Andres Vilas-Boas will be wondering quite went wrong in the aftermath of that game. They didn't look in too much danger throughout the opening 60 minutes and, despite not enjoying all that many chances themselves, a 3-0 defeat looked, quite frankly, inconceivable! Still, they conceded a sloppy goal at a set piece and then they simply capitulated, barely forging a worthwhile attack and allowing their opposition to net another fortuitious goal, before falling foul of a Ravel Morrison wondergoal. One suspects that Vilas-Boas will have to write that off as a bad day at the office and move on, though there is cause for concern in the way in which Spurs fell apart, even putting aside their inability to break their opposition down.
90' + 4'
And that is indeed that! The referee calls time on what has been a fantastic day for the Hammers, they have almost equalled their goal tally for the season with an emphatic 3-0 win at White Hart Lane!
90' + 3'
With twenty seconds remaining on the clock, Reid fouls Holtby about 25 yards from goal. Holtby strikes goalwards but his effort flies wide after receiving a deflection, and that should be that.
90' + 2'
O'Brien's pass for Downing goes awry, allowing Spurs a throw in as their half as this contest winds down. I shouldn't think it's all that presumptious to posit that not many would have anticipated this result at the start of play!
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Joe Cole forages into the Spurs half after receiving a throw-in, turning adeptly and forcing Dawson into a smart challenge, his tackle earning the Hammers a corner as they look to run down the clock.
As four minutes injury time are called, Joey O'Brien replaces Mark Noble, who put in a typically energetic performance in the middle of the park today.
Tottenham really have fallen apart somewhat since that Winston Reid opener. Holtby misplaces an easy pass as Spurs appear ready for the final whistle approaching the last minute of normal time.
Downing takes a pop from distance after cutting in from the right because, well, why not? Predictably, however, his shot flies both well wide and well over.
Joe Cole's first contribution of the game is to foul Walker as he harries the right back in his own half - clearly his remit upon entering the pitch, given that there is little need for his brand of creativity in the latter stages of this particular contest.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Spurs have a free kick just inside the West Ham half after Lamela is upended by Noble. They work it across the pitch, eventually ending with the man who won the free kick proving unable to find Soldado with a searching through ball.
Joe Cole is primed to come on for the Hammers now. Incidentally, he was supposed to come on just before West Ham opened the scoring but, clearly, Allardyce opted to shut up shop after the first goal and, somewhat inadvertently one must presume, managed to conjure up two more goals!
Soldado almost gives Spurs a glimmer of hope after taking down a long ball majestically with his first touch, before firing an effort goalwards. The strike gets a deflection, however, and it's behind for a corner.
Walker, playing practically as a right winger now, attempts to find a man in the box but the Hammers simply have too many in there. Diame, one of eight West Ham players in the box, intervenes and hoofs clear.
Spurs look resigned to their fate here; they attempt to get something going down the left but Lamela can only find the head of Winston Reid who, in turn, finds the gloves of Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Holtby replaces Naughton after that goal as Tottenham, somewhat nominally, one must think, throw caution to the wind as they find themselves three goals adrift with eight minutes remaining.
Tottenham had thrown men forward in search of a goal to initiate a fightback and they paid the price. To be fair, they wouldn't have anticipated any West Ham player taking advantage, especially not in such style!
GOAL! And it's fantastic from Ravel Morrison! The youngster finally delivers on his promise and in some style, running half the length of the pitch, beating Dawson and outmuscling Vertonghen before dinking the ball over the onrushing Lloris. An excellent run and a fine finish - West Ham are 3-0 up!
Townsend provides another opportunity after some sterling work down the right, getting beyond Rat before cutting back on his left and whipping a dangerous ball in. Paulinho meets it but his header can only find the grateful arms of Jaaskelainen.
West Ham have a free kick in a dangerous area as they go in search of a third (who would've though I'd be saying that at the half-time break?!) but Downing's effort floats harmlessly over the bar.
West Ham continue to cause Spurs problems as Diame's cross is cleared behind by Dawson. Vilas-Boas will be wondering how his team found themselves in this position; they've played some nice football but have lacked the penetrative touch to break down the Hammers and, ultimately, it looks as though they've paid the price.
GoalRicardo Vaz Te
GOAL! And, against all odds, it's a West Ham second! As with before, it's a decidedly scrappy goal, involving another fortuitious rebound. After being threaded through nicely by Noble, Vaz Te struck goalwards, only to find his shot saved by Lloris. The save rebounds into the legs of the falling Vaz Te, however, and the strike (if you can call it that) finds it way into the net! 2-0 at White Hart Lane!
Townsend causes Rat some problems down the right but Vaz Te, anticipating the issues the English winger can cause, doubles up on him and wins the ball, putting it out for a throw. Good defensive work from the Hammers winger there.
West Ham are now, as one might expect, operating even more defensively. One also senses that Spurs are facing a thankless task in trying to break down this well-drilled Hammers outfit as we approach the final twenty minutes of this contest.
It'll be interesting to see how Spurs respond to going behind - they've played some nice football thus far but have lacked any real urgency, that goal could be the catalyst that they needed to go and win this game. Or, perhaps not. It'll also be interesting to see whether Allardyce decides to introduce Cole, as planned prior to the opening goal.
GOAL! And it's Winston Reid! In a manner entirely befitting of a fairly scrappy game, the Hammers centre back has opened the scoring from a set piece. He headed Downing's cross goalwards, only to find himself denied by Nolan. The ball, quite fortuitiously, fell back to the New Zealander's feet, however, and he duly struck into an empty net. Scrappy but the Hammers won't mind - it's 1-0!
Joe Cole gets ready to make his return from injury as he limbers up on the touchline, Sam Allardyce clearly deeming it an apropos time to introduce the creative midfielder.
There is a brief interval in play as Rat goes down following a collision with Townsend. It is, in fact, very brief as the left back is up and fine within no time. He's dealt better with the threat of Townsend since that opening 45 minutes; the England international has been quiet in this second period.
Lamela does indeed come on and it's, perhaps unsurprisingly, Sigurdsson who makes way. The Icelandic midfielder has been on form recently but nothing has really gone his way today.
Lamela appears primed to come on for Spurs as Vilas-Boas appears intent on injecting his side with some much-needed creativity.
Spurs engage in some neat interplay in the middle of the park but there are simply too many numbers up against them. Diame eventually dispossesses Eriksen as Tottenham continue to struggle to break their opposition down.
Sigurdsson gets forward down the left as Spurs appear to have resumed their strangehold on the game. His cross is cleared by the hitherto impressive Tomkins, however, and Tottenham have to build from the back once again.
Spurs, after enduring some rare West Ham pressure, launch an attack of their own but Townsend puts a halt to any potential danger with a misplaced pass.
Diame goes down under the challenge of Diame in the Spurs area but the referee deems it unworthy of a penalty. To be fair, the Tottenham midfielder appeared to get the ball as the Hammers midfielder went down very easily.
After the ensuing corner comes to nothing, Walker, quite bewilderingly, decides to give them another one, despite Downing's cross clearly being goal kick bound. From that corner, Tomkins goes incredibly close! He headed Downing's delivery into the ground and almost managed to beat Lloris, though the Frenchman did just about succeed in palming the ball away, albeit with some difficulty. A good chance that!
In response to Tottenham's increasing pressure, West Ham attempt to launch a counter as Morrison threats Vaz Te through down the left. The winger, in turn, feeds the rapidly advancing Nolan, who plays off Dawson for a corner.
Spurs go close and, once again, its Jermain Defoe! He forces Jaaskelainen into another save, this time from the edge of the area after some lovely interplay between Eriksen, Sigurdsson and Paulinho. The goalkeeper tips over adeptly and Tottenham have yet another corner.
Spurs earn a corner and, after Eriksen and Defoe work it short, the former attempts to whip in a cross. Tomkins deflects it behind, however, meaning the Dane is tasked with putting in another delivery, his third in as many minutes.
It's a fantastic delivery from the Dane, causing the West Ham defence all kinds of problems as they all leave it for fear of diverting into their own net. Unfortunately for Spurs, their players can't quite make any meaningful contact either, Vertonghen just about reaching it at the far post but proving unable to do anything with it. That really was a great ball in.
Spurs continue with their strong start to the half as Paulinho is fouled by Reid about 35 yards from goal, giving Spurs a decent opportunity to whip a cross into the box. Eriksen looks as though he's primed to do just that.
Diame, still operating further forward than usual, puts a cross into the area but it's dealt with adeptly by Vertonghen, the Belgian centre back duly heading clear.
Tottenham almost get off to a cracking start to the half as Defoe almost finds the net within the opening 30 seconds! The England international, after being threaded through nicely by Paulinho, is denied by Jaaskelainen, however, as he spurns the best chance of the game thus far.
Spurs get us underway in this second period as, with their close rivals Arsenal currently losing against West Brom, they look for a win that may just take them top of the league.
The teams are just coming back onto the pitch now as we await the beginning of the second half at White Hart Lane - let's hope for a more entertaining spectacle than the first!
Sam Allardyce, meanwhile, will probably be quite pleased with that half. They had the best chance of the half through Noble's ingenuity and Nolan's acrobatics as a set piece came closest to breaking the deadlock towards the end of a chance bereft of any gilt-edged opportunities. They have looked, Rat's Townsend-induced frailities aside, fairly confident defensively, though they must be aware that the worst is yet to come from a Spurs side rife with attacking potential. The Hammers will be hoping for more of the same in the second period as they look to stay stoic at the back and capitalise on any set-piece opportunities that come their way.
Vilas-Boas will, despite West Ham barely threatening their back four, be disappointed by that first half; they have found themselves unable to break through the densely packed Hammers ranks as chances have been few and far between in this opening period. Still, there is cause for optimism in the form of Townsend's performance down the right wing - he has looked more than capable of making something happen as Rat has struggled to contain the England international. Nonetheless, the Spurs boss will be looking for more invention from a side that has struggled to get going in the opening 45 minutes.
45' + 3'
The referee's whistle brings an end to a first half that, frankly, will not live long in the memory! It's 0-0 at the interval here at White Hart Lane.
45' + 2'
Townsend, as has been the story of this first half, causes West Ham problems down the right side, this time cutting inside before feeding the advancing Walker down the right. The England international's cross is deflected behind by Reid as Spurs have a corner with a minute remaining in the half.
45' + 1'
Three minutes of injury time are called, just as the half appears to be getting going. Let's see if either team can get what would undoubtedly be a vital goal just before the half-time interval.
Defoe almost works a shooting opportunity in the Hammers' box but finds himself crowded out. Dembele finds himself subject to the same fate thirty seconds later after Demel got back well to halt a typically marauding run.
Instead of shooting, as perhaps everyone expected, Noble dinked the ball over the wall, finding Kevin Nolan, who had peeled off the wall. The midfielder attempted a volley on the turn and almost pulled it off! He gets, if anything, too much on it, however, and the effort flies wide of the far post. Probably the best opportunity of the half!
Sigurdsson brings Morrison down quite cynically on the edge of the Spurs area, giving West Ham a free kick in a dangerous position.
Reid does well to dispossess the ever-bright Christian Eriksen as the latter looks for the pass that will unlock the Hammers defence. West Ham work the ball down the other end and, after Morrison forces a mistake from Dawson, the former Manchester United man attempts to cut back to the edge of the area but his pass is deflected behind for a corner by the same man he just robbed of the ball.
Townsend continues to cause Rat problems down that right flank as the Romanian left back is pulled up for getting too tight to the Spurs winger. It'll be interesting to see whether Spurs can reap the rewards from that battle - it appears as though the England international has the beating of his opponent all day long.
West Ham attempt to get in behind Spurs but, as with Morrison minutes before, Downing is caught offside. That was much more clear-cut, the former Liverpool winger's run was never going to come to anything there.
Eriksen jinks in his inimitable style on the edge of the area, before feeding Paulinho with a smart pass. The Brazilian takes a pop from the edge of the area but doesn't get his left foot around it, skewing his effort well wide of the goal.
Ravel Morrison, hitherto quiet in this first period, almost breaks through the Spurs defence but is caught offside. He went marginally too early as, but for the linesman's flag, he would've been through on goal from Diame's pass.
West Ham, as has oft been the case in this first half, hoof a long ball towards no-one in particular, affording Spurs possession before getting men behind the ball.
Townsend, who continues to look dangerous, outpaces Rat down the right wing before putting in a dangerous delivery. Defoe attempts to meet it but can't quite make contact and the opportunity goes begging.
A lovely turn from Eriksen completely bamboozles Nolan as he brings the Dane down quite cynically. That was lovely skill from the Spurs summer signing.
West Ham have a corner which, given their first-half showing thus far, could be their best chance to score. Reid gets his head on the delivery but can't get quite enough on it, flicking the ball well wide of the post.
Paulinho spurns probably the best chance of the half! Townsend, who's looked the most dangerous of the Spurs attacking quartet thus far, gets forward down the right before cutting back to the Brazilian. The midfielder attempts to volley goalwards from just inside the area but his effort fails to find the target.
The Hammers attempt to work something offensively through Diame and Nolan but, in all honesty, they look fairly impotent in attack without the threat of an orthodox striker.
Paulinho threads Defoe through on goal but the offside flag thwarts the England international and rightly so, he made his run way too early there.
Stewart Downing whips in a dangerous cross from the right flank and Diame meets it, only to get too much on his header as his effort flies well over the bar.
Tottenham have threatened in fits and starts but, having just passed the halfway mark in this first period, Vilas-Boas will have wanted more from his team. Though, to be fair, the Hammers have been resolute defensively, despite not posing any real problems going forward (as one might expect, given their goalscoring record this season).
Tottenham are close to forging their first real opportunity but, again, Tomkins is there to step in and clear the danger. Once again, it was Sigurdsson who caused the problems after he attempted to put Defoe through on goal, only to find his pass intercepted by the Hammers centre back.
Townsend goes close from distance! After receiving the ball from Dembele on the right, he cuts inside and absolutely leathers a ball from distance. The strike swerves this way and that but ends up whistling a few inches over the bar.
Spurs do almost manage to do just that through a nifty chipped ball in from the right foot of Eriksen. Paulinho can't quite make contact, however, and Tomkins is there to avert any potential danger.
Tottenham are enjoying the better of the possession since that brief stoppage, they're stroking the ball around nicely but can't get work a way through the densely-packed West Ham ranks.
Jaaskelainen, whose every touch is now greeted with a chorus of boo's from the home support after that boot incident, hoofs the ball clear as West Ham attempt to gather some momentum.
Jaaskelainen has a new boot (he only changed one, oddly) and the game can now resume. Exhilarating stuff here at White Hart Lane.
It soon becomes evident, however, that Jaaskelainen is, in fact, swapping his boots as his current choice of footwear appear to be causing him some problems. It says a lot about this game thus far that this is probably the most noteworthy incident of the first 20 minutes.
There's a stoppage in play as Jaaskelainan appears to be having some sort of problems, though it's not clear what exactly is wrong with the Hammers goalkeeper.
Dembele sidesteps Nolan with some style in West Ham's half but his pass goes astray, finding the feet of Diame. The ball rebounds off of the Hammers player into the stride of Paulinho, who takes a hopeful pop from distance. His effort flies well over the bar, however, and it's a West Ham goal kick.
The slow tempo start persists in this encounter as West Ham retain possession in their own half before pumping a hopeful long ball forward, aimed in the general direction of Diame. Dawson is there, however, and it's Spurs' turn to indulge in a spot of aimless possession.
West Ham attempt to go to long to Diame, who appears to be playing the nominal role of lone striker today. The stand-in forward attempts to make something of it but can't quite make contact with the ball, allowing it to run through to Lloris in the Spurs goal.
Townsend does well to beat a couple of men before allowing Sigurdsson to take over on the edge of the area. In characteristically opportunistic fashion, the Icelandic midfielder takes a touch before striking it goalwards. Nothing doing though as Jaaskelainan proves more than equal to it, claiming it with a fair amount of ease.
Spurs then have their first half-chance of the game, coming courtesy of a smart Sigurdsson through ball. The midfielder finds Paulinho breaking through the Hammers ranks but Reid is there, the centre back doing enough to put the Brazilian off as he strikes off-target.
The first half-chance of the game as Downing crosses a ball in from the right, finding Nolan in the area. The ever-dangerous midfielder attempts to head goalwards but gets it slightly wrong, instead heading harmlessly wide of the far post.
Townsend attempts to get in behind the West Ham defence but Rat intervenes, tackling adeptly and getting the ball clear as we await the first real opportunity here at White Hart Lane.
West Ham attempt to probe down Spurs' left but come up against a white wall. Diame therefore passes the ball all the way back to his own defenders.
West Ham are actually in the ascendancy here; while Spurs struggle to find a foothold in this contest, the Hammers are pushing forward, though they are yet to forge a real opportunity.
From the ensuing throw-in, Rat tries to launch one into the box but it only succeeds in finding a Spurs defender. It's headed out to the edge of the area and Noble attempts to dink one towards the far post. He sees his effort fly harmlessly wide but the Hammers have made a decent start here.
It's Dawson's turn to intervene after Rat does well, getting forward down the left. The Romanian drives in a dangerous cross but the Spurs captain is there to divert the ball away, clearing for a throw.
It looks like Spurs are going to have to be patient today; West Ham are certainly getting numbers behind the ball. That notion is illustrated by Reid adeptly stepping in to prevent a Sigurdsson through ball from finding Defoe.
It's got off to a slow start as White Hart Lane as West Ham are packing the midfield and constantly rotating their frontman, in the absence of an Andy Carroll-like figure.
Hugo Lloris gets Spurs off to an unconvincing start as an early clearance ricochets against the rapidly advancing Ricardo Vaz Te. Nothing comes off it though, much to the relief of the French goalkeeper.
And we're underway! West Ham kick off proceedings as they look for a win that would take them out of the relegation zone.
Both teams are coming out on the pitch now as we're minutes away from kick off at White Hart Lane!
West Ham, meanwhile, make three changes from the side that fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Hull last weekend, with Guy Demel, Stuart Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te all starting at the expense of Joey O'Brien, Matt Jarvis and Modibo Maiga.
Andre Vilas-Boas makes just one change from the side that drew 1-1 against Chelsea last Saturday, with Roberto Soldado dropped as Jermain Defoe comes in upfront after scoring in their 2-0 win against Anzhi in midweek.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat, Noble, Morrison, Nolan, Downing, Diame, Vaz Te. Subs: Adrian, O'Brien, Collins, Cole, Jarvis, Petric, Maiga.
Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele, Paulinho; Townsend, Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Defoe. Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Sandro, Holtby, Chadli, Lamela, Soldado.
And here come the team line-ups:
Their lack of a goal threat in the continued absence of Andy Carroll is perhaps the main concern, as they have managed a paltry return of four goals in six games; a record that goes some way to explaining their poor position in the league. As the cliche goes, however, anything can happen in the Premier League and, though a trip to White Hart Lane won't fill Hammers fans with optimism, Allardyce will fancy his chances of causing an upset. This could be a cracker!
Sam Allardyce and his men, however, might have something to say about that. Although, given their recent form, it is likely that words are as far as it'll go; the Hammers currently sit 18th in the table, having fallen into the relegation zone following Fulham's fairly fortuitious 1-0 win against Stoke yesterday.
So everything appears to be rosy for Spurs and, with eminently winnable league fixtures against Aston Villa and Hull completing their fixture list for October, they could be a force to be reckoned with come the end of the month. However, first thing's first – Vilas-Boas will be expecting to take a fairly comfortable win into the international break as they come up against struggling opposition today.
Tottenham come into this game appearing in fine fettle, Andre Vilas-Boas' men haven't lost a game since the 1st of September and have only dropped points against Arsenal and Chelsea thus far this season. Their new signings appear to be gelling with each and every game and their form means that they could feasibly go top of the league today, should other results go their way.
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Tottenham and West Ham, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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