Battling qualitites earn West Ham a point at Spurs
PUBLISHED: 14:44 19 March 2011
West Ham defend galliantly at White Hart Lane
West Ham 0
West Ham moved up to 15th in the table after a battling goalless draw against Spurs at White Hart Lane.
There were plenty of positives for the Hammers who were the equals of their Champions League quarter final opponents and well worthy of a point.
Defensively they were solid and organised, often forcing Spurs to shoot from outside the area, while the work rate of the midfield and front three were big reasons why the Hammers collected a precious point.
West Ham made a slow start and Spurs, who hadn’t played since their match against AC Milan 10 days ago looked fresh.
It took just four minutes for the hosts to fashion out their first opportunity when Michael Dawson curled an effort onto the bar from the edge of the area.
Spurs had plenty of opportunities out wide to hurt West Ham, who playing a 4-3-3 formation struggled to help their full backs, with Demba Ba often leaving Wayne Bridge exposed to both Vedran Corluka and Aaron Lennon.
Luckily for the Hammers, Bridge was excellent while the Tottenham pair failed to combine effectively and manager Harry Redknapp switched Lennon with left winger Gareth Bale for the remainder of the first period.
West Ham rode out the early Spurs pressure and had a great chance to take the lead after 13 minutes when an incisive Thomas Hitzlsperger played in Carlton Cole, but instead of taking a touch, steadying himself and shooting, the striker snatched at his shot and volleyed over.
The striker was causing problems with his physicality, but his finishing hardly had Spurs sweating as five minutes later when one on one with goalkeeper Gomes tamely shot straight at the stopper.
Luka Modric was Spurs main creator, his ability to find space and the killer ball, key to Tottenham’s success and the Croatian himself went close from the edge of the area, with his powerful effort flying just the wrong side of the post.
The north Londoners finished the half strongly and Defoe should have scored five minutes before the break. Lennon cut in from the left and beat Green, but his shot rebound off the post and into the path of Defoe, who couldn’t adjust his body in time and the ball deflected off the striker and wide.
The second period began as the first with Spurs in control and Green made a brilliant save to deny Defoe from yards out, deflecting his effort over the bar.
But, much like the first period West ham fought back, Mark Noble went close with a bicycle kick, before Ba forced a wonderful save from Gomes who pushed his powerful shot wide of the post when it looked to be heading for the bottom corner.
Spurs began to push forward and Green made another wonderful save with five minutes left, pushing Bale’s free kick onto the cross bar, while Lars Jacobsen was on hand to clear.
Spurs continued to push, but failed to create any more chances as the Hammers moved clear of the bottom three.
West Ham: Green, Jacobsen, Da Costa, Upson, Bridge, Noble, Hitzlsperger, Parker, O’Neil, Cole (Obinna 78), Ba.