West Ham earn a vital point against Spurs at Wembley
PUBLISHED: 22:05 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 22:05 04 January 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers wonder goal by Obiang cancelled out by a Song worldie for Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Ham United 1
The Hammers came within just six minutes of snatching another unlikely Wembley win.
Having been under the cosh all night, Pedro Obiang’s 70th-minute sizzler had put David Moyes men ahead with their first shot of the evening.
But Heung-Min Son replied on 84 minutes with an equally brilliant blockbuster to leave each team settling for a hard-fought point.
Both sides had savoured victories on Tuesday evening, when Andy Carroll’s double-barrelled blast shot down West Bromwich Albion to send the Hammers up into 16th-spot, 11 places and 19 points below Spurs, who had also won at Swansea City.
Having picked up those three precious points against the beleaguered Baggies, Moyes made three changes.
Just 48 hours on from his East End exertions, delicate match-winner Carroll was dropped to the bench with eggshell-like caution, while injured duo Aaron Cresswell (back) and Marko Arnautović (hamstring) also stood down as Declan Rice, Javier Hernández and skipper Mark Noble earned starting calls.
And Rice – taking his place in a five-man rear-guard - was soon in the thick of things, hooking off the line as Dele Alli almost got onto Harry Kane’s scuffed ball into the six-yard box and, when Adrián dropped the consequent corner under pressure from Cheikhou Kouyaté, the young Hammer was in the right place at the right time, once more, to deflect Davinson Sanchez’s follow-up behind for another flag-kick.
After sinking the Swans two nights earlier, Spurs had also made a trio of switches as Kane, Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko came in for substitutes Erik Lamela, Kieran Trippier and Fernando Llorente.
Ironically, assistant referee, Simon Long, had been incorrectly and controversially over-ruled at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, when Callum Wilson’s late, late leveller robbed West Ham of victory but here at Wembley, the same flag-man correctly called Kane offside a split-second before Winston Reid deflected the returning striker’s shot into his own net.
And this time, referee Mike Dean listened to rightly deny Tottenham a 15th-minute opener.
Apart from one over-hit ball forward that Hugo Lloris easily gathered ahead of the galloping Manuel Lanzini, West Ham were finding themselves firmly on the back-foot and they would go on to yield 74% possession in the first-half of this dogged derby.
On a rare foray forward, Arthur Masuaku whipped a left-wing cross inches beyond the far post, while the lively Lanzini won possession but failed to release the ball-starved, Hernández.
As the half-hour mark approached, Kane forced a fine, low stop out of Adrián, who also denied Son with another stretching save, while Christian Eriksen drilled a 20-yarder just a whisker wide of the base of the Spaniard’s left-hand post before Eric Dier deposited another long-ranger high into the crowd.
On 33 minutes, Aurier sent an inviting right-wing cross into the path of Kane, who uncharacteristically bundled wide his easiest chance of the year to date, to the bemusement of the Spurs fans, who had seen him net 56 goals for club and country during 2017.
Then right on half-time, as Angelo Ogbonna and Obiang dived in, Eriksen let fly with a vicious 20-yarder that took a deflection ahead of Adrián acrobatically tipping the ball over the top to keep it goal-less at the break.
Hernández removed his gloves for the restart but as Spurs carried on from where they had left off before the break, there was little danger of the lonely Little Pea over-boiling on a chilly north-west London night during which he was destined to see so little of the ball.
With the hour-mark approaching, Son met Alli’s by-line cutback with a crisp 15-yarder but Ogbonna blocked on the line and then Reid also denied Eriksen with another brave stop that left the Dane dumbfounded.
Kane also went down under Pablo Zabaleta’s challenge but his penalty appeals fell on deaf ears before Hernández was replaced by André Ayew, whose double against Spurs in the Carabao Cup had helped the Hammers to an improbable 3-2 win back in October.
The substitute was still finding his feet on the hallowed Wembley turf, when Kane and Alli sparked another desperate goalmouth scramble that saw Adrián finally save to keep it blank.
Indeed, West Ham still had not mustered a single effort on goal all night but when that first shot finally came, it was simply unstoppable.
On 70 minutes, Masuaku squared to Lanzini on the left-flank and the Argentinian ace calmly rolled the ball into Obiang’s path and as Sissoko attempted to close him down, the Spaniard simply let fly with a 25-yard sizzler that fizzed through the Wembley air and under the right-hand angle of the hitherto redundant Lloris.
With the Claret and Blue fans amongst the crowd of 50,034 going wild, Mauricio Pochettino gradually introduced Lamela, Victor Wanyama and Llorente and with both Eriksen and Kane going close, Kouyaté also send a weak far post header wide on another rare foray forward.
But with just six minutes remaining, the West Ham resistance was finally broken when Son collected from Lamela and, just like Obiang a quarter-hour before him, the South Korean sent an unstoppable 25-yarder arrowing beyond Adrián to salvage a point for Spurs.
SPURS: Lloris, Aurier, Davies (Llorente 82), Vertonghen, Sanchez, Dier (Wanyama 74), Sissoko (Lamela 74), Eriksen, Alli, Son, Kane. Unused subs: Vorm, Trippier, Dembélé, Winks.
HAMMERS: Adrián, Reid, Rice, Ogbonna, Zabaleta, Masuaku, Obiang, Noble, Kouyaté, Lanzini (Carroll 84), Hernández (Ayew 64). Unused subs: Hart, Hakśabanović, Martinez, Quina, Makasi.
Booked: Carroll (86), Noble (89)
Referee: Mike Dean.