Boa Morte injured as Hammers show they are striker light
ASIA CUP IN BEIJING West Ham United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1 LUIS BOA MORTE was stretchered off, Rob Green made a terrible mistake and West Ham showed that they are severely lacking in firepower as their Asia Cup clash with Spurs ended in disappointment. The
ASIA CUP IN BEIJING
West Ham United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1
LUIS BOA MORTE was stretchered off, Rob Green made a terrible mistake and West Ham showed that they are severely lacking in firepower as their Asia Cup clash with Spurs ended in disappointment.
There were certainly some plus points. Luis Jimenez looked lively and linked the midfield well with lone striker Carlton Cole. James Collins had a storming match at centre half, while some of the West Ham passing was crisp and incisive.
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But, in the end, they did not have the cutting edge to hurt even a Spurs team lacking in experienced defenders and once more, it seemed that Gianfran-co Zola's favoured 4-3-3 formation did not suit West Ham's players as they handed the initiative to Spurs.
The match was decided 15 minutes from the end. Jack Collison had just had an effort held by Carlo Cudicini when the ball was hoisted to the other end where Jermain Defoe was clean through.
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His shot looked too tame and too close to Green, but the England goalkeeper spilled it and saw it trickle into the empty net.
West Ham played their best football in the first half, with Jimenez at the heart of it.
The Chilean's free kick picked out Matty Upson, only for his header to go straight to Cudicini.
Silly mistakes allowed Spurs in for their best first half chances. Mark Noble - on for the badly injured Boa Morte after just 12 minutes - lost possession to Jamie O'Hara who set up Roman Pavlyuchenko for a shot that hit the post, while O'Hara himself went close after Jimenez had been robbed.
Scott Parker replaced Kieron Dyer in the second half, and it was good to see the midfielder get another 45 minutes, but with him on the field, the West Ham formation looked even more negative and Spurs were carving out chance after chance following the introduction of Robbie Keane.
Either side of two Defoe misses came a decent West Ham move that saw Jimenez combine with Cole, before lifting a shot over the bar from a tricky angle.
Keane put in Luca Modric with a superb pass, only for the Croatian to find Green equal to his shot, but then came the keeper's mistake and what proved to be Spurs' winner.
Zavon Hines came on to add much-needed support to the tiring Cole, and it was he who began the move that should have led to the equaliser.
He stole the ball superbly, before feeding Julien Faubert and the Frenchman's low cross looked on a tee for Cole, only for the striker to fire well over the bar.
All in all, there seems a lot of work for Zola and his squad to do. Spurs are one of their big rivals for a Europa League spot this season and on this evidence, the north London team are already a few steps ahead.
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Ilunga, Collins, Upson, Stanislas (Savio 66), Dyer (Parker h/t), Collison (Spector 81), Boa Morte (Noble 12), Jimenez (Hines 81), Cole.