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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the London Stadium

Honours even as West Ham rally to peg back Tottenham

West Ham United (0) 1 Soucek 55

Tottenham (1) 1 Kehrer og 34

Absorb, breakaway, score. Spurs are on repeat, but they have a formula which looks increasingly profitable for Antonio Conte.

It is perhaps a little trite to label them as being obsessed with that gameplan – there were plenty of times when they worked their way forward in stages. But the quick transition is where they are at their most potent.

It was not quite enough to secure all three points but it helped secure the point which leaves them undefeated after the opening five matches.

Tottenham had already come close to an early lead when a long VAR check led to an overturning of ref Peter Bankes’ initial decision to award a penalty for hands against Aaron Cresswell from a Harry Kane header for goal.

But there was no arguing with the breakout of defence on 34 minutes which gave them the lead. Kane picked up in the final third and quickly played out to Dejan Kulusevski wide right. The striker kept going, was fed a return pass on the overlap and his low ball across the face of goal aimed at Heung-Min Son was turned into his own net by Thilo Kehrer.

If only it could be that simple for us, David Moyes must have been musing at that point.

His team struggled to break their scoreless streak in league games at the London Stadium – having lost their opening two homes games – and might have ended that run when Michail Antonio whipped a fine curler from the edge of the box which beat Hugo Lloris but came back off the far post.

But the goal they craved finally came early in the second half, thanks to some quick-witted play from Antonio. The striker, taking delivery of a throw-in, played a quick back flick to Tomas Soucek and the midfielder buried the chance.

West Ham paraded record signing Lucas Paqueta before kick-off and the 25-year-old Brazilian waved a little shyly at his new best friends. It would not be long before they could see him in action as he replaced Said Benrahma midway through the second half.

The £51.3m midfielder was soon impressing with some neat early touches and the Irons, tails up now and playing with increasing menace, Vladimir Coufal pinged in a cross that Pablo Fornals fired over powerfully.

As the game wore on, the home side look more likely to poach a win and Bowen’s low cross in injury time came so close to producing a dramatic winner. In the end they had to settle for a first league point at home, but it was a much improved second half.

Hammers: (4-2-1-3) Fabianski – Coufal, Zouma, Kehrer, Cresswell (Ogbonna 72)– Souckek, Rice – Bowen, Fornals (Emerson 85), Benrahma (Paqueta 67) – Antonio. Subs not used: Areola, Randolph, Lanzini, Downes, Cornet, Coventry

Spurs: (3-4-2-1) Lloris, Sanchez, Dier, Davies – Emerson Royal, Hojbjerg, Bissouma, Perisic – Kulusevski (Richarlison 76), Son – Kane. Subs not used: Doherty, Skipp, Sessegnon, Forster, Spence, Tanganga, Sarr, Lenglet


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