Our unbeaten home record this season came to end with a 3-0 defeat to West Ham United at the Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors scored three unanswered goals in 13 second half minutes to become the first side to beat us this term in N17, goals from Winston Reid, Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison giving the Hammers all three points.
Andre made just the one change from the side which drew with Chelsea last weekend, Jermain Defoe being rewarded for his goalscoring exploits in cup competitions with a place in the team, Roberto Soldado dropping to the bench.
Again it was a cracking derby atmosphere post-match but in truth the first half failed to live up to expectations and chances were at a premium throughout.
Indeed it was 15 minutes before either goalkeeper was called into action, Gylfi Sigurdsson testing Jussi Jaaskelainen with an effort which the Hammers keeper saved low down to his right.
Townsend was at the centre of most of our attacking intent during the first period, fizzing a 25-yarder just past the far post before flying down the right wing again on 32 minutes. This time he delivered a cross which was headed clear by Mark Noble, only as far as Paulinho on the edge of the box but the Brazilian sent his shot wide.
The game wasn’t helped by a three minute delay as Jaaskelainen endured a wardrobe malfunction, needing to replace a boot after appearing to lose a stud and neither side could gain an upperhand, although there were brighter moments in the closing stages.
Reid should have done better with his header from a Noble corner but glanced wide from six yards, and at the other end Defoe just couldn’t reach a low teasing Townsend cross.
Perhaps the best chance of the half fell to the visitors in the 44th minute with a well-worked set-piece routine after Morrison was upended by Sigurdsson 25 yards from goal. Noble shaped to shoot but lofted the ball over the wall for Kevin Nolan, who volleyed on the turn but fired just past Lloris’ far post.
Just seconds after the restart we had our clearest sight of goal so far, Paulinho threading a delightful ball into Defoe in the inside right channel but his right-foot poke goalwards was saved by Jaaskelainen.
And the Finnish stopper produced an even better stop in the 53rd minute, tipping Defoe’s fierce rising drive over the bar as we began the half with real vigour.
Not that it was one-way traffic though, as the visitors also started to pose more of a threat and Lloris needed to be alert to keep out James Tomkins’ header from a corner, with Mousa Dembele blocking the rebound from the same player.
That was just a warning because in the 66th minute West Ham went ahead from a corner. Noble sent over the cross, Reid climbed highest to head goalwards and although his effort was stopped by team-mate Nolan on the line, the rebound fell kindly for the defender who drilled home from six yards out.
And just five minutes later it was 2-0. This time Vaz Te broke clear of our defence, his first shot was well-saved by the onrushing Lloris but the ball bounced back off the Hammers’ striker and trickled over the line.
We made three changes with Erik Lamela, Soldado and Lewis Holtby coming on for Sigurdsson, Eriksen and Kyle Naughton respectively and we were almost back in it in the 78th minute, Townsend’s cross met by the head of Paulinho but straight at Jaaskelainen.
Sixty seconds later though, Morrison picked the ball up inside his own half and drove forward, going past the challenge of Michael Dawson before clipping the ball over Lloris for 3-0 and that was game over.