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Dave Evans at White Hart Lane
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 3 West Ham 1
Former Hammer Jermain Defoe called the shots and earned Tottenham the points with a deadly double to send West Ham packing in their London derby clash at White Hart Lane.
It was the in-form West Ham that came into this game higher in the Premier League, but they had no answer to the darting runs of Defoe and the powerful running of Gareth Bale in a game where Spurs also hit the bar twice.
Michael Dawson was brought in to meet the aerial threat of Andy Carroll at the expense of William Gallas, while the Hammers opted for the same starting line-up that drew 1-1 at home to Stoke City last Monday, with fit-again Matt Jarvis only making the bench.
West Ham were hoping that Thursday’s trip to Rome would leave Spurs lacklustre, just as it had Newcastle when the Hammers travelled there two weeks ago.
However, it was the home side who started much the brighter and Defoe twice got in behind the defence and before 12 minutes Spurs came so close to opening the scoring.
Bale collected the ball on the halfway line and stormed forward to the edge of the box before unleashing a superb shot that crashed against the underside of the bar.
Clint Dempsey headed the rebound straight at Jussi Jaasklainen and then forced a better save from the West Ham keeper soon after.
Slowly, West Ham forced their way into the match and Carroll went close when he met Winston Reid’s free kick only for his header to drop wide.
Mark Noble picked up a fifth booking that will rule him out of Wednesday’s trip to Manchester United, but he was still playing his part as the Hammers restricted Tottenham to long-range efforts.
But just as West Ham looked to have survived until half time, Tottenham snatched the lead with a brilliant individual goal from one of their former players.
Defoe ghosted in between George McCartney and Reid on the right flank and when he got to the edge of the box he fired a superb shot past Jaaskelainen and into the net for his ninth Spurs goal this season.
Mo Diame had a half chance to level moments later, but ballooned his shot over the top as the Hammers went in at the break a goal behind.
They could had fallen further behind at the start of the second half as Bale’s curling free kick left Jaaskelainen motionless, but dipped just wide, but the Hammers did create a chance soon after.
Carroll nodded on to Nolan and when he hooked it into the path of Jarvis, the winger’s shot forced a decent save from Hugo Lloris.
Bale stung the fingers of the West Ham keeper on 53 minutes with another long-range shot and the Hammers were forced into their second replacement soon after when Matt Taylor replaced Gary O’Neil.
West Ham had a glorious chance to equalise when Nolan was put clear down the right, but with Jarvis waiting in the middle, his low centre was snatched by the Spurs keeper.
Just before the hour Tottenham doubled their lead. Seconds earlier Defoe had rattled the bar but when Dempsey threaded a ball to Bale, the Welshman made no mistake in making it 2-0.
And two became three on 64 minutes. Sandro won the ball in midfield and when Dempsey put Aaron Lennon in the clear, he unselfishly centred for Defoe to have the easiest of tap-ins.
Sub Taylor fired wide when well-placed as West Ham looked to earn some consolation and on 82 minutes they finall managed it when Joey O’Brien’s cross was met by the head of Carroll whose looping header fell into the far corner of the net for his first Hammers goal since moving on loan from Liverpool.
But it was not to be their day and Dempsey and Kyle Walker could even have added to the Tottenham tally before Defoe was denied his hat-trick right at the death by a good save.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Caulker, Lennon (Dembele 79), Huddlestone, Sandro (Livermore 85), Bale, Dempsey, Defoe (Sigurdsson 90).
Unused subs: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Carroll.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, McCartney, Reid, Tomkins, O’Neil (Taylor 55), Diame, Noble, Nolan (Cole 68), Maiga (Jarvis 31), Carroll.
Unused subs: Spiegel, Demel, Collins, Moncur.
Booked: Spurs: Defoe.
West Ham: O’Brien, Noble.