West Ham grab historic first win at Tottenham’s new stadium
PUBLISHED: 14:36 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:36 27 April 2019
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Hammers striker Michail Antonio scored the winner as West Ham took the points in big London derby
Tottenham Hotspur 0 West Ham United 1
The Game is about Glory declared the illuminated signs beaming across the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
And it certainly proved to be a glorious afternoon for the Hammers, who became the first team to score and then to win in this cavernous new arena, where Michail Antonio's 67th-minute strike gave Manuel Pellegrini's men a hard-fought victory.
The statistics had been stacked against a West Ham team, which had taken just one point from its last eight away games and, coming into this late-April contest without a victory on their travels during 2019, Pellegrini's side had also lost to Spurs in both the Premier League and Carabao Cup at London Stadium, this season.
Following last Saturday's draw with Leicester City, the Chilean made two switches as Ryan Fredericks and Issa Diop replaced substitutes Angelo Ogbonna and Pablo Zabaleta and, knowing that no visiting side had scored at this magnificent new stadium in the four games played to date, reshuffled West Ham quickly set about trying to reverse the trend with Declan Rice's 25-yarder just clearing the bar in the opening couple of minutes.
In reply, Heung-Min Son also tried his luck from range and, on ten minutes, the breaking South Korean then forced Lukasz Fabianski to save his low, angled eight-yarder, while Dele Alli also found himself racing into the heart of the West Ham defence, where Diop's timely block thwarted the England midfielder.
Kicking off in third-place – 27 points and eight places above Pellegrini – fellow South American, Mauricio Pochettino, had one eye on Tuesday night's UEFA Champions League semi-final against Ajax as he made a quartet of changes from the side that had beaten Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday evening. Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Foyth and Eric Dier each returned in place of Jan Vertonghen plus substitutes Kieran Trippier, Victor Wanyama and Fernando Llorente.
On the quarter-hour mark, Danny Rose's wind-assisted cross-cum-shot nearly caught out the back-pedalling Fabianski while, at the other end, Fredericks' low 20-yarder was turned aside by Hugo Lloris.
Released by Robert Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson then burst clear of his markers but after cutting in from the left-flank, the Brazilian's low shot was held by the well-placed Spurs 'keeper, before Antonio's wayward effort flew high and wide.
Midway through the opening period, Lucas Moura unleashed a low 20-yarder that flashed across the face of Fabianski and just an inch or so beyond the base of the far post and, shortly afterwards, the Brazilian was upended by the consequently cautioned Snodgrass.
The recalled Diop had been making some crucial interceptions at the back but ten minutes before the interval, a ricochet off the French defender broke kindly to Christian Eriksen, whose point-blank shot thudded into Fabianski's rib-cage.
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Arthur Masuaku was the next to be denied when his angled screamer was fisted away from the near post by the flying Lloris and, in the final acts of an end-to-end first-half, Foyth drilled inches wide from range, before Anderson's low 20-yarder fizzed into the clutches of the Spurs 'keeper to keep it goalless at the break.
West Ham had certainly matched Spurs blow-for-blow in that opening 45 minutes and, emerging for the restart in equally positive mood, they soon forced a couple of early corners as Fredericks and Marco Arnautović saw efforts deflected over the top.
Failing to respond at the other end, Alli was far too wasteful after working his way into good positions, while Son went down all too easily under pressure from Arthur Masuaku and referee Anthony Taylor remained unconvinced to the annoyance of the frustrated home fans in the sell-out crowd of 60,043.
And those Tottenham supporters fell into stunned silence on 67 minutes, when Arnautović cleverly sent a right-wing chip into the danger-zone, where Antonio ghosted between Toby Alderweireld and Sanchez to chest down and launch an unstoppable, angled eight-yarder past the helpless Lloris.
'It's gone quiet at the Lane,' chanted the ecstatic East Enders who had been up close and personal as Antonio claimed his seventh goal of the season and with Pedro Obiang having already replaced Snodgrass, they might even have been celebrating, once more, but Lloris - at full stretch - saved from Arnautović, who then stood down for Lucas Pérez.
Antonio also had a chance to double his tally, while Diop somehow found himself clean through but the fatigued Frenchman meekly prodded wide with just Lloris to beat and, in one final twist, Fabián Balbuena cleared Vincent Janssen's header off the line in stoppage time to ensure that the Hammers had, indeed, become the first team win in their hosts new home.
SPURS: Lloris, Davies, Rose (Janssen 77), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Foyth, Dier, Alli (Wanyama 85), Eriksen, Moura (Llorente 66), Son. Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Walker-Peters, Skipp.
HAMMERS: Fabianski, Fredericks, Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Rice, Noble (Ogbonna 85), Antonio, Snodgrass (Obiang 77), Anderson, Arnautović (Pérez 80). Unused subs: Adrián, Zabaleta, Wilshere, Hernández.
Booked: Snodgrass (26), Fredericks (86).
Referee: Anthony Taylor
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