West Ham United F.C
Tottenham Hotspur F.C
Antonio earns West Ham United derby win over Tottenham
- Credit: PA
Tottenham Hotspur’s nemesis Michail Antonio returned to haunt them once more at London Stadium, where the West Ham United match-winner sent his side soaring into fourth spot.
There is something about Spurs and the Jamaican international, who took his tally to a half-dozen goals in ten Premier League encounters against the north Londoners with his decisive 73rd-minute strike.
Indeed, Antonio’s seventh goal of the campaign was enough to condemn Nuno Espirito Santo’s side to defeat as David Moyes men leap-frogged the fallen visitors, who dropped down to sixth.
Both teams had experienced contrasting fortunes on Thursday night and, following the Hammers 3-0 Europa League victory over KRC Genk, Moyes made six changes for the return to domestic action as top-scorer Antonio, Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Saïd Benrahma and Pablo Fornals all returned to the Premier League fold.
Tottenham, on the other hand, changed their entire 11-man starting line-up following their Europa Conference defeat at Vitesse Arnhem and Nuno soon had first-choice keeper Hugo Lloris to thank after the Frenchman beat away Fornals’ athletic, acrobatic bicycle-kick inside the opening seven minutes.
And after Tanguy Ndombele tumbled in the box under Kurt Zouma’s challenge, Tomáš Souček then wastefully sent his 15-yard yard volley high into the Stratford skies to the disappointment of everyone in claret and blue.
Cutting in from the left, Fornals then flashed a 20-yarder across the face of goal after the ball broke to the Spaniard following another incisive Hammers move, before Souček suffered more anguish with a yellow card for a raking challenge on Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, midway through the first half.
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In reply, Lucas Moura’s shot on the turn flew wide of Fabiański’s left-hand post before the Polish stopper then made a fine point-blank save to deny Heung-Min Song, who had finally escaped his markers.
Overlapping full-back Ben Johnson also drilled behind before Souček’s frustration continued, when another sprightly raid down the left wing climaxed with the Czech Republic international heading Fornals’ deep cross against the stanchion from just six yards.
And as this London derby opened up towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, Ndombele nodded in Fabiański’s clutches before Antonio muscled his way into the visitors’ box and curled beyond the far post from the tightest of tight angles.
But it was Harry Kane who went closest with a powerful header that the Hammers keeper brilliantly tipped onto the roof of his net to keep it goalless at the interval.
Just after the break, Sergio Reguilón whipped in a low left-wing cross that somehow eluded everyone in the six-yard box as Spurs started the second period in lively fashion and, when another Hammers attack broke down, Fabiański bravely dived into Son’s studs to retrieve Kane’s low cross into the six-yard box.
Cristian Romero was then booked for a touchline tussle with the fallen Fornals before the unpunished Lloris then clattered Antonio as he raced to the edge of his area to clear from the accelerating attacking ace.
With 20 minutes remaining the ball broke to the unmarked Fornals, whose low 15-yarder unluckily deflected off Eric Dier’s heel for the Hammers first corner of the second half.
But the Hammers sighs of frustration quickly turned into roars of delight, when Aaron Cresswell floated the consequent corner to the near post, where Antonio got in front of Kane to prod the dipping flag-kick into the net.
And, having finally broken the deadlock, there was no way that the Hammers were ever going to surrender their hard-earned lead.
West Ham: Fabiański, Johnson, Cresswell, Zouma, Ogbonna, Rice, Souček, Bowen (Dawson 89), Fornals, Benrahma (Lanzini 83), Antonio. Unused subs: Areola, Yarmolenko, Vlašić, Noble, Diop, Masuaku, Ashby.
Tottenham: Lloris, Royal, Reguilón (Gil 83), Romero, Dier, Skipp, Højbjerg, Ndombele (Lo Celso 83), Moura (Bergwijn 89), Son, Kane. Unused subs: Gollini, Sánchez, Gil, Rodon, Alli, Tanganga, Davies.
Booked: Souček (21), Romero (60).
Referee: Paul Tierney.