Spurs withstand fightback after Aurier's dismissal

Spurs' Harry Kane opens the scoring with a fine header past West Ham's Joe Hart yesterday at the London Stadium.
Spurs' Harry Kane opens the scoring with a fine header past West Ham's Joe Hart yesterday at the London Stadium.PHOTO: REUTERS


West Ham 2
Tottenham 3

LONDON • On a slow-burn afternoon at the London Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur were always just about beyond West Ham United's reach despite Serge Aurier's dismissal with 20 minutes to go.

Two late goals dragged a previously dormant West Ham back into the game yesterday and drew the first real crackle of noise from the home crowd. The 2-3 defeat will put a hopeful gloss on this performance, and provide Slaven Bilic with evidence of the spirit and drive lurking within his team.

The problem for West Ham was that by the time they started to play the game had been all but put to bed. Tottenham had started cagily, perhaps expecting some lunchtime derby fury, before realising with half an hour gone they were pushing at an open door.

Harry Kane scored in the 34th and 38th minute, taking his tally to 11 in his last five Premier League away games as Spurs showed the best of their slick, high-speed attacking gears, both goals coming from a turnover in midfield.

It was their third win in three away games, a record that eases the pressure over their continuing problems in their temporary home at Wembley, where they have yet to win in the league. Kane said: "We know we have to improve our home form and we will be right up there.

"To get nine points from three away games is really good."

For a while in the second half it became the Dele Alli-Christian Eriksen show, Tottenham's two most impish creative players finding space in awkward areas against a listless home team.

Alli was tripped outside the area. Kane hit the post with a fiercely spanked free kick, Aurier's cross from the rebound was deflected to Eriksen and he placed the ball low into the corner past Joe Hart.

The goal, Eriksen's 34th, took him past Nicklas Bendtner as the top-scoring Dane in the Premier League. West Ham pulled one back with 25 minutes to go, Javier Hernandez heading in at the back post after Jose Fonte's flick.

Moments later Aurier was sent off, drawing a second yellow for a hack on Andy Carroll from behind.

West Ham scored again through Cheikhou Kouyate's header and almost snatched a point.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 24, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs withstand fightback after Aurier's dismissal'. Subscribe