Spurs 1-1 West Ham - report from Wembley
04 January 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
The fireworks came in the form of goals as we shared the spoils with West Ham in our first home game of the New Year on Thursday night.
In a London derby that always throws up plenty of drama, Pedro Obiang's long-range thunderbolt looked to have been the latest twist in our storied rivalry with the Hammers - a strike all the more noteworthy as it represented their first attempt at goal, despite coming as late as the 70th minute.
But Obiang found himself upstaged by the in-form Heung-Min Son, who went one better as he picked out the top corner from fully 30 yards with six minutes to go, sending Wembley into raptures.
With both sides playing their second game in 48 hours, it was all to play for and, with the crowd behind us, you sensed a winner might come.
Hugo Lloris made a crucial block with his legs to prevent substitute Andre Ayew from snatching the points for West Ham but, despite a late volley of shots in a manic 30-second spell that saw us try to force the issue, it ended 1-1, making for something of a subdued feeling at full-time.
Three changes were made to the team that won at Swansea City on Tuesday night, with Harry Kane coming back in up front for Fernando Llorente, Serge Aurier - sent off in the reverse fixture earlier this season - replacing Kieran Trippier and Moussa Sissoko taking the place of Erik Lamela. Mousa Dembele shook off the hip problem that kept him out of the trip to the Liberty Stadium to return to the bench.
Chance: early pressure from corner - 4mins
Kane turned the ball across the face of goal but nobody in Lilywhite was there to convert and the Hammers conceded a corner. Christian Eriksen's set-piece was flicked on, Hammers goalkeeper Adrian fumbled it and the ball fell to Davinson Sanchez to try his luck in pursuit of his first Spurs goal, but Declan Rice got the block in.
Chance: Kane can't quite reach Aurier's header - 34mins
Lloris was a spectator as we kept knocking the ball around in search of an opening in the first period. Kane's effort deflected in off Winston Reid but the off-side flag was up early, the same player saw his long-ranger palmed out by Adrian low to his left and Eriksen drilled just wide before our best opportunity yet arrived on 34 minutes. Jan Vertonghen's pinpoint long ball forward saw the excellent Aurier get in behind and nod back across the box for the onrushing Kane, but it landed just beyond the striker and, after getting an initial toe on it, the ball ran behind.
Above: Dele goes up for an aerial challenge with West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.
Save: Adrian helps Eriksen's deflected shot over - 45mins
On the stroke of half-time, Dele set up Eriksen to strike one from 20 yards but his attempt looped up off Reid as he slid in and Adrian got a touch to guide the ball over the bar as it spun dangerously towards the top corner.
Chances: Son, Eriksen and Kane shots blocked - 58-67mins
Reid and Angelo Ogbonna were getting plenty of blocks in as the one-sided nature of the game continued into the second period. Ogbonna was in the way of Son's drive following Dele's cut-back, Dele couldn't quite get Davies' cross under control, Dele and Eriksen saw drives blocked by Ogbonna and Reid in the same attack after quick thinking down the right by Aurier before the best opportunity of the bunch midway through the half. Dele picked out Kane in the box, he turned inside Reid and looked destined to score - only for Pablo Zabaleta to slide in and make a goal-saving block.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 West Ham - Pedro Obiang - 70mins
As is so often the case in these derbies, our rivals scored against the form book. West Ham had had zero attempts at goal until Obiang picked up possession in our half, advanced towards goal, had a go from 25 yards and found the top corner, beating Lloris at his near post.
Goal: Spurs 1-1 West Ham - Heung-Min Son - 84mins
As the saying goes: 'Anything you can do...' We brought on fresh legs in the form of Erik Lamela and Victor Wanyama and it was the former who played a short pass to Son in a pocket of space 30 yards from goal. The attacker took a touch and arrowed a right-footed shot into the top corner from 30 yards, giving us the breakthrough we'd deserved.
Save: Lloris thwarts Ayew - 86mins
Buoyed by the cauldron of noise ringing around the stadium, we stayed on the front foot, but had to remain alert at the back as substitute Syew skipped away from Eriksen and evaded Sanchez in the box before pulling a shot across goal from the left side. Thankfully, Lloris blocked with his outstretched legs. We tried to force a winner late on, with several players pulling the trigger from the outskirts of the Hammers' area, but a mass of bodies ensured it remained level at full-time.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"We had 31 attempts, created a lot of chances, we tried to score goals in different ways and sometimes this can happen if you are not clinical in front of goal. We conceded a goal with their first shot and in the end the result is good for us because we shouldn't lose this game. Of course, (we're) disappointed because this was a game we deserved to win and the effort from the team was amazing. That is why we're so disappointed and frustrated."
Heung-Min Son said
"I'm really upset not to get the three points, everyone is. We deserved more. Sometimes football is like this. Their goal was a great strike, Hugo could do nothing about that. After that we showed good mentality, came back strong and created chances. We fought until the last moment. I just feel sorry for my team-mates and the fans who came to support us."
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies (Llorente 82), Dier (Wanyama 74), Sissoko (Lamela 74), Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Dembele, Winks.
West Ham United (5-3-2): Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Rice, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Kouyate, Noble (c), Obiang, Lanzini (Carroll 85), Chicharito (Ayew 65). Substitutes (nout used): Hart, Makasi, Haksabanovic, Quina, Martinez.
Goals: Spurs - Son 84; West Ham - Obiang 70.
Yellow cards: West Ham - Carroll 87, Noble 90.
Referee: Mike Dean.
We're back at Wembley on Sunday afternoon to take on League One side AFC Wimbledon in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup.
We've never played the Dons in their current guise, apart from when our Under-23s lost 4-3 to them in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier this term, but have enjoyed many battles with the original Wimbledon over the years. Kick-off is at 3pm.