Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
West Ham pulled off the shock of the weekend, beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 at White Hart Lane Sunday.
Spurs dominated the game for long periods, but the Hammers stood steady and took a surprise lead in the second half when Winston Reid bundled an effort home from a corner.
Ricardo Vaz Te doubled the lead minutes later after a left-sided counterattack, and Ravel Morrison sealed the three-point haul after running clear of the Spurs defence.
The match started very slowly, with West Ham producing a curious defensive shape that took Tottenham a good 10 minutes to suss out.
Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Hugo Lloris saw a lot of the ball early on as they recycled it across the back line. Eventually Andros Townsend came to the fore as the major, creative weapon.
He dominated the right-hand side, causing Razvan Rat all sorts of first-half woes, and fired in a number of crosses that had the Hammers' defensive line worried.
Paulinho was on the receiving end of several created chances. But he failed to find his shooting boots and stuck every single effort wide.
West Ham had the best chance of the first half, and it occurred just before the halftime whistle, with Mark Noble's quick-chipped free-kick volleyed wide by Kevin Nolan.
Sam Allardyce came with a defensive plan, and it was working. His instructions at the break would likely have been "more of the same, lads."
What he didn't expect to see, consequently, was Jussi Jaaskelainen called into action after just 25 seconds, diving at the feet of ex-Hammer Jermain Defoe to stifle a goal-bound shot.
That set the tone for the second half, as Spurs continued to pile on pressure and West Ham defended and countered expertly. A small spell of pressure for the visitors resulted in James Tomkins forcing a great save out of Lloris from a corner, and 10 minutes later the deadlock was broken.
Stewart Downing delivered a peach of a corner to the back post. After Nolan blocked Winston Reid's initial goal-bound effort by accident, the New Zealander stuffed it home with his follow-up.
Joe Cole had been set to come on but promptly sat back down, and the need for him lessened further, as the Hammers doubled their lead just six minutes later.
After a quick break down the left, Ricardo Vaz Te saw his original shot on goal parried by Lloris, but the Frenchman could only direct it back into the attacker's body, and it rebounded into the back of the net.
Roberto Soldado replaced the ineffectual Christian Eriksen immediately as the Lilywhites attempted to salvage something, but West Ham struck a third time to kill the game off.
Ravel Morrison waltzed through the defensive line with ease and poked home a messy effort, with Michael Dawson beaten for pace and Lloris unable to help.
It crowned a miserable afternoon for the home side, but a glorious, rare away victory for the visitors and their fans.
Key Player Grades
Andros Townsend, Spurs: B-
Townsend was a constant thorn on West Ham's side, terrifying Rat on the right flank and swinging in dangerous crosses. Unfortunately, an end product was lacking on the day.
Winston Reid, West Ham: A
Reid was an immovable force in central defence, blocking and tackling doggedly before opening the scoring with an effort from a corner. He goes from strength to strength.
Full Player Grades
|Ricardo Vaz Te||FWD||B|
Both teams face an international break, with plenty of players departing for key World Cup qualifiers. When they return, West Ham host Manchester City on Oct. 19, and Tottenham travel to Villa Park the following day.
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