Hammers Fail To deliver Double Against Spurs

West Ham United haven’t been beaten in Stratford since 11 February when Arsenal won 6-0 and they continued that impressive run whilst also going some way to atoneing for the 4-3 reverse at Newcastle United last time out, as they drew 1-1 with fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night.

As he did for the game at St James’ Park three days earlier, David Moyes only made one change to his starting line-up. Łukasz Fabiański replaced the injured Alphonse Areola in goal with youngster Joseph Anang providing cover from the bench. Other youngsters to join the Ghanaian stopper amongst the substitutes were George Earthy and Divin Mubama.

The hosts should have gone in front as early as the fourth minute through Jarrod Bowen but the winger, who put his team into a 3-1 lead at the weekend was unable to claim his fifteenth goal of what has been a magnificent season for him in front of goal, as he failed to convert a cross from Mohammed Kudus.

They were made to pay for that missed opportunity just a minute later!!! Brennan Johnson beat Fabiański after Red Bull Leipzig loanee Timo Werner had got past Vladimír Coufal to play the former Nottingham Forest man in.

It was déjà vu from Saturday but the Hammers were determined not to suffer the same fate for the second time in a week.

The home team were on course to do the double over Ange Postecoglou’s side and were a goal down when they met at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back on 7 December so there was no need to panic.

The visitors had chances to increase their advantage but neither Pedro Porro, nor Son Heung-min were able to trouble Fabiański.

West Ham did find a way back into the game on nineteen minutes when Jarrod Bowen swung the ball into the box and Captain Kurt Zouma met it with a firm header to give the home fans hope with over seventy minutes of playing time left.

The hosts were fired up by this point and were on the lookout for more goals. Bowen was next to try his luck but the effort was blocked by Destiny Udogie.

Then, the former Hull City winger was involved again when he won a free-kick. As always, it was left to James Ward-Prowse to send the set-piece in but it was well kept out by visiting goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.

Postecoglou’s men could well have regained the lead as half-time approached but they were unable to make their pressure count, despite numerous corners and Rodrigo Bentancur sending a shot wide of the target.

With nothing to separate the teams at the break, referee John Brooks blew the whistle after two minutes of stoppage time had been signalled.

The second-half saw the home fans being treated to a lot of promising play but unfortunately, the end product was lacking. Although the Irons started to dominate proceedings with Michail Antonio and Lucas Paquetá going close, the North Londoners also tried to go further ahead but fortunately for the majority inside the stadium, shots from both James Madison and Yves Bissouma were deflected wide of the target by Coufal.

With an hour of the match gone, Antonio missed a golden chance to turn the game around. He raced onto a long pass from Ward-Prowse and evaded the attentions of Micky van de Ven but, when he released his shot, it was straight at Vicario.

Whilst Spurs were piling on the pressure, the Hammers were not letting their opponents find a way through.

Tottenham’s Head-Coach threw on both Pape Matar Sarr and Dejan Kulusevski with twenty minutes of normal time remaining and it was the Senegalese midfielder who had the next attempt but, to the delight of the home support, it missed the target once again.

The teams were still trying to find an opportunity to take all three points when four more minutes of time were added on. Udogie fired straight at Fabiański, whilst Bowen aimed a cross in Antonio’s direction but unfortunately, it missed him and Vicario was able to see it to safety.

No substitutions were made by Moyes but changes may well be made for Saturday’s trip to Molineux, as the Irons take on Wolverhampton Wanderers.