Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham
Premier League, White Hart Lane, 19th November 2016
Goals: Antonio 24′, Winks 51′, Lanzini 68′ (pen), Kane 89′, Kane 90 +0.45 (pen)
Drama at the Lane as Kane nicks it at the death
A few weeks ago we noted how much Tottenham were missing Harry Kane. Well, he’s well and truly back now, after a pulsating end to a derby match where he finished things emphatically with two goals in as many minutes.
The match kept Spurs’ unbeaten run going – just. With just a minute of normal time to be played, West Ham supporters were enjoying the fruits of their team’s labour with a 2-1 lead. On the balance of play, they could have considered themselves a tad fortunate to win such a match. After some late Pochettino substitutions, Spurs were pressing but no one could have realistically foreseen what was coming.
But this game was a tale of not one but two Harrys. Young midfielder Harry Winks was handed a first start for Tottenham and it turned into a dream. The 20 year-old was a livewire throughout the game and managed to cap his performance with a well-taken goal to level things up at 1-1 after Michail Antonio gave the Irons the lead on 24 minutes. It was reminiscent of Danny Rose netting against Arsenal on his first team start.
But there was more drama to follow, despite the match not really reaching many spectacular highs. Dimitri Payet gave a typically skilful display and was at his dangerous best all day. His creativity was the spark for West Ham’s main attacking threat. That was, with the Hammers were leading following a well-taken Manuel Lanzini penalty, until Slaven Bilic took the decision to substitute his star man.
Another substitute, Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, appeared to be having a frustrating day. He frequently gave the ball away while in possession as well as running himself into blind alleys. However, as is often the case with Son, two late moments of quality changed the game. Maybe he just needed to get his eye in. He became the provider of an inch-perfect cross that met the boot of Kane who gleefully side-footed in the 89th minute equaliser. Then, just a minute later, after a searching run in to the box, he was brought down and earned the penalty that Kane also coolly converted.
In the end, it was a win that Tottenham really did badly need to keep pace with the Premier League leaders. After reaching a League high six draws in twelve games (including the previous four in a row), they will hope that the focal point of Harry Kane will help earn them a few more wins to end the year. However, with some tough games coming up including Chelsea away (a game that Spurs have not won for 26 years!) and Manchester United, Tottenham will be hoping for improved performances all-round.
As just mentioned, the next Premier League match for Tottenham is a cross-town trip to Stamford Bridge to face current league leaders Chelsea. Looking at the odds from the likes of this one, it’s easy to see why the bookies think that Chelsea’s incredible home record against Spurs will spell the end to their undefeated run this season. It really is difficult to imagine a rampant Chelsea giving up many, if any, points in that match.
Or will this Spurs side, who looked to have had the measure of the Blues at the Bridge in May this year until Chelsea salvaged a draw, be mentally and physically tough enough to take revenge? Should be a fascinating game.
Referee: Mike Dean