West Ham end Spurs’ 100% record at new ground

Saturday 27th April 2019  Tottenham 0-1 West Ham

Spurs were stunned by an outstanding second-half winner from Michail Antonio, with our rivals ending our prized perfect record at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Spurs made four changes in total, and chose to rest Jan Vertonghen in preparation for the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals against Ajax on Tuesday.

Antonio’s superb strike in the 67th minute, assisted brilliantly by Marko Arnautovic, marked the first goal conceded at home and the first loss in five games since Spurs settled into their new stadium. Failure to seal the win means a top-four finish remains in doubt, and with Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal snapping at our heels, we will want to finish strongly to secure Champions League football next season.

West Ham came close to a second goal in the latter stages, with Antonio and defender Issa Diop forcing Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris into a couple of decent saves. A point was almost rescued for Spurs however, with Vincent Janssen’s last-gasp header cleared off the line by Fabian Balbuena in stoppage time.

Spurs face top four fight

Up until now Spurs have enjoyed a formidable start at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, registering 3 league victories and of course a 1-0 win in the epic Champions League quarter-final clash with Manchester City.

The loss leaves us third in the table, four points clear of fifth-place Arsenal, three points ahead of Chelsea and six clear of Manchester United. With our nearest rivals all playing tomorrow, the fight for the top four places is heating up and Spurs will be desperately disappointed to be overtaken at this stage.

Pochettino made four changes to the side that faced Brighton but, after a solid start, his players ran out of steam and found it difficult to create anything of note.

The first half saw West Ham keeper Lucasz Fabianski forced into a near-post save from Son Heung-Min’s low strike, while an effort from Lucas Moura fizzed across the face of goal just before the break.

Christian Eriksen also gave Fabianski something to think about, with his audacious dink denied by the West Ham keeper.

In the end, a fine defensive display from West Ham denied Spurs anything from the game, and our rivals were arguably the better team after the break. The best chance for Spurs came in the last minute of stoppage time, with a rare appearance from substitute Vincent Janssen almost culminating in a goal, but his far-post header was excellently cleared by Balbuena.

Poch’s Verdict

“I am very disappointed, we all feel disappointed.

We did not manage the ball properly. It was a difficult game but in the second half we conceded a lot of space for them to counter-attack.

The first half was good but we lost the ball too easily in the second half.”

“Of course it was tough, we knew it would be tough, it’s a derby. They arrive in a very good, fresh condition to compete, and for us the circumstance was very different.

We wanted to win the three points to be in our position and arrive to the Champions League game in a very good mood and way, but it wasn’t and now we need to move on.”

Spurs v West Ham Man of the Match

Man of the match goes to West Ham frontman Michail Antonio, who provided the only goal of the game and ensured a symbolic defeat at Spurs’ new home.

Semi-final preparations

Pochettino and his team will be disappointed to have lost this one before arguably their biggest game in 20 years on Tuesday. And the result hurts all the more to have the perfect record at Spurs’ new stadium ruined by our bitter rivals, who will no doubt laud it over us for years to come. The boys will be looking to bounce back from this one and display some of the Spurs grit that has characterised the majority of the season so far in the upcoming semi-final first leg against Ajax.


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