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Clint Dempsey started at his customary withdrawn forward role for Tottenham and had his best game of the season so far with his new club.
Dempsey’s hold-up play was excellent, he found space in front of West Ham’s back line and combined well with his teammates—all of which contributed to two of Tottenham’s goals.
It was a much-needed performance for Dempsey who has not seemed his usual self this season since transferring from Fulham.
In the 56th minute, Dempsey hit a cracker of a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and less than 90 seconds later produced one of the best assists of the season. Dempsey weaved through the West Ham midfield and provided Gareth Bale with a gorgeous chipped pass that Bale took down and put away.
Less than five minutes later, Dempsey was again involved as Tottenham scored their third goal to put the game away. With some nifty footwork in traffic, Dempsey was able to find a streaking Aaron Lennon behind the Hammers' defense. Lennon, after drawing out West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, laid the ball across the six to Jermaine Defoe for the empty netter.
This was exactly the game Dempsey needed, to prove himself to the Tottenham faithful and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas and because attacking midfielder Mousa Dembele is returning to full fitness.
Spurs won the game 3-1.
Brad Friedel did not feature again after being dropped from the team last week. Although last week Arsenal put five goals past Friedel’s replacement, Hugo Lloris, Lloris’ midweek performance in the Europe League was top-notch, and he rightfully kept his place in the lineup over Friedel.