Tottenham Hotspur remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season but West Ham United earned their first point at home to delight the ever-loyal fan base, as the two teams played out a 1-1 draw in the home side’s first London derby of the campaign on Wednesday night.
David Moyes made three changes from the side that picked up the vital win at Aston Villa just three days earlier, as Vladimír Coufal came in for the injured Ben Johnson, Michail Antonio replaced Gianluca Scamacca, who wasn’t in the matchday squad at all, while Saïd Benrahma was rewarded for an impressive performance against the Villains, as he started ahead of Emmerson Palmieri. Aaron Cresswell came through a late fitness test to retain his place in defence.
Both Antonio and new club Captain Declan Rice hit landmarks, in that they made their 200th appearances for the club.
Youngster Connor Coventry was once again on the bench alongside new signing Lucas Paquetá. The Brazilian midfielder was formally introduced to the capacity crowd before taking his place amongst the substitutes.
With both sides having played on Sunday, it was understandable that there was not much in the contest as the action got underway, although the Hammers had the best of the chances in the early stages, as both Jarrod Bowen and Pablo Fornals went close.
The visitors were then awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Cresswell but after a VAR check of over three minutes, referee Peter Banks consulted the pitchside monitor and overturned his original decision.
Minutes later the Irons were still trying to make the breakthrough and Rice brought a good save out of visiting goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, when he sent an effort towards goal from distance.
Spurs were not at their best at this point in the proceedings and they could count themselves very lucky not to be a goal behind, as Antonio had the French stopper beaten, only for his shot to come back off the post.
The hosts however went behind on thirty four minutes when Dejan Kulusevski took possession from the home side and set Harry Kane on his way. His cross into the box was deflected past home stopper Łukasz Fabiański by Son Heung-min but on closer inspection, it transpired that Thilo Kehrer got the final touch.
There were chances at either end before Bankes blew the whistle for the break but none were taken meaning that Antonio Conte’s side had the advantage, as the teams went down the tunnel.
West Ham obviously know what this match means to the fans and they were soon back on level terms early in the second-half. A throw in deceived the visitors and great linkup play between Coufal and Antonio and the former Nottingham Forest man then found Tomáš Souček, who finally beat Lloris and you can just imagine the noise after that particular passage of play!!!
That goal made it into a real battle, as both sides were trying all they could to grab a winner and the atmosphere had also been turned up a notch.
Moyes decided to make his first change on sixty eight minutes and despite stating that he hadn’t been involved in much training since his move was finalised on Monday, Paquetá replaced Benrahma.
Another good move from the East Londoners almost had them in front but Bowen could only send his attempt wide, despite Souček being in a good position, before Fornals could have made it a great week for him but he couldn’t take the chance this time and instead saw the ball fly over the top.
It was time for another home substitution as Cresswell made way for Angelo Ogbonna.
Paquetá might have had a goal on his first appearance in the Claret and Blue but he couldn’t get a good enough touch to beat Lloris.
With five minutes of normal time still to play, the Hammers’ boss made a third and final change, as Palmieri was brought on in place of Fornals.
They also had another late chance but after four minutes of stoppage time, both teams had to settle for a point.
It’s a London derby on the road for the Irons next up, as they head to Stamford Bridge for another tough test against Chelsea on Saturday afternoon.