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Tottenham top four hopes dented with draw at West Ham



Tottenham's Postecoglou said he was still in the early stages of implementing his plan at the club

Tottenham Hotspur wasted an opportunity to move into the top four when they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Tuesday, with Brennan Johnson’s early goal cancelled out by Kurt Zouma.

Spurs are now in fifth place with 57 points, two points and one slot below Aston Villa, who have also played 30 games and will travel to Manchester City on Wednesday. West Ham remains in seventh place in the rankings, with 45 points from 31 games.

“I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty well,” Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou told reporters, with his side having 68% possession. “It’s a tough place to come and they’re a big strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you.

“I thought we handled it OK. Disappointed not to get a better outcome but a tough game,” he added.

Spurs made three changes with Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur and Johnson coming into the side, while West Ham brought in goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for the injured Alphonse Areola, and it was the visitors who had the brighter start.


Postecoglou’s side looked up for the battle in east London and went in front after five minutes through Johnson, who scored from close range when he connected with a low cross from Timo Werner following a slick counter-attack down the left.

Spurs looked dangerous on the break after the goal, with Pedro Porro fizzing a shot just wide and captain Son Heung-min having a left-foot curler saved before West Ham equalised.

Zouma rose amongst a crowd of players in the six-yard box and managed to steer the ball into the net off his back from a Jarrod Bowen corner in the 19th with the Tottenham defence and goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario failing to snuff out the danger.

The goal gave West Ham confidence and James Ward-Prowse struck a vicious free kick towards the top right-hand corner that Vicario did well to punch clear.

West Ham forced a series of corners before the break as they cranked up the pressure but the Tottenham defence dealt with them much more efficiently than they had for the equaliser.


Tottenham dominated possession but the home team had almost as many chances in an entertaining game that saw both sides trying to attack and leaving space at the back, although the finishing was poor in an electric atmosphere at the London Stadium.

West Ham had a great chance to take the lead on the counter-attack after an hour when Michail Antonio raced through having shrugged off Van de Ven but he shot tamely at Vicario.

Both sides sensed they could find a winner and the game became stretched but the defences held firm, with Tottenham defender Destiny Udogie having a chance to snatch all three points in stoppage time but his low shot was saved by Fabianski.

“I think the draw was probably a fair result. We showed more defensive resilience against a very good Tottenham team,” said West Ham manager David Moyes, with his side having thrown away a 3-1 Premier League lead at Newcastle United to lose 4-3 on Saturday.


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