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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the London Stadium

All's square in love and war : Nothing to separate bitter rivals West Ham and Tottenham this time


All leave cancelled : There's always an extra edge to this rivalry (Picture: YTJourno)


West Ham United (1) 1 Zouma 19

Tottenham Hotspur (1) 1 Johnson 5


It promised so much after a fizzing start in the pouring rain but, a few late bursts of energy aside, meandered to a disappointing outcome.


Spurs looked in a far more positive mood than in their last London derby at Fulham, when they were almost contemptuously brushed aside, but they ultimately failed to secure the win they needed to draw level once more on points with fourth-placed Aston Villa.


They had most of the ball, but not quite the wanderlust that saw them take Villa to the cleaners in the Midlands not so long ago.


West Ham fans were left with mixed feelings too, as their team failed to land a telling punch after cancelling out an early Tottenham opener, spurning the chance to claim a rare double over their bitter north London rivals.


It looked like we might be in for a classic early on. Spurs survived an early scare when Mohammed Kudus dispossessed Pedro Porro and turned in a cross that Jarrod Bowen mishit off target.


Moments later and they were in front in ridiculously easy fashion as Timo Werner drifted to the byline and pulled the ball back for Brennan Johnson to tap in from no distance.


As equally banal was the equaliser a quarter of an hour later when Jarrod Bowen's inswinging corner from the right was bundled in by Kurt Zouma - off his shoulder as much as his head.


It was a goal to once again raise questions about Guglielmo Vicario's vulnerability at corners.


Ange Postecoglou's men created most of the danger, with Porro firing just past an upright and Heung-Min Son curling an effort that Lukasz Fabianski had to treat with respect.


For the Irons, James Ward-Prowse bent a free-kick around the wall that Vicario was equal to.


The theme of the night - moments of clumsy defending - almost gifted a goal for Michail Antonio after the turnaround but he hit a powerful shot too close to Vicario, who was able to palm away. Then Lucas Paqueta worked himself into space before sending a left footer narrowly wide.


But for all Spurs cultured inter-play, and the easy-on-the-eye promptings of James Maddison, they found it hard to create openings, whereas the more direct style of David Moyes' team almost paid dividends.


Antonio raced through to a launched ball through the middle and somehow got the better of Micky van de Ven, who reacted angrily to ref John Brooks' failure to award him a free-kick. It really should have been 2-1 to the Hammers, but the striker fluffed his chance, firing straight at an exposed Vicario.


And that was pretty much that, apart from a late low shot from Udogie which Fabianski saw all the way. File under forgettable as we move on with the relentless football bandwagon to pastures new at the weekend. The Irons travel to Wolves while Spurs entertain Forest.


Hammers: (4-2-3-1) Fabianski - Coufal, Mavrapanos, Zouma, Emerson - Souckek, Ward-Prowse - Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Kudus - Antonio


Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vicario - Porro, Romero, van de Ven, Udogie - Bissouma (Hojbjerg 82), Bentancur (Sarr 70) - Johnson (Lo Celso 90), Maddison (Kulusevski 70), Werner (Richarlison 82) - Son

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