Tottenham stunned by West Ham as Ange-Ball is already losing its way
By Alessandro Schiavone at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham 1-2 West Ham United
Goals: Romero (T), Bowen (WH), Ward-Prowse (T)
West Ham United were the first team to score and win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019. And tonight they did it again on these shores as Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse were on target in the second period to erase Christian Romero's looping opening header.
It was a game of two halves with Ange Postecoglou taking control in the first 45 minutes before West Ham, probably surprised that they were only trailing by one goal, turned up to stun one half of North London.
Spurs were good value for the lead, moving the ball around excellently and breaking the lines at will in the first-half as the Hammers were chasing shadows. World Cup winner Romero, back after serving a three-match suspension, rose highest to get on the end of a corner to score his third league goal this term. His presence proved manna from heaven for an injury-strewn side still trying to be loyal to their heavy metal footballing philosophy.
Fellow countryman Giovani Lo Celso also had a crack but his volley was punched away by Lukasz Fabianski, who deputised for Alphonse Areola.
West Ham had a rare first-half opportunity but Lucas Paquetà sent a bouncing header wide after Mohammed Kudus served up a peach of a far-post cross.
Yet the West Ham side taking to the pitch after the interval was a far cry from the one that got played off the park in the early stages. More energetic, upbeat and compact. Less chaotic, more organized.
And Bowen won a crucial aerial battle with Romero close to the halfway line which led to his goal seconds later. He gave the ball to Kudus whose shot came off two Spurs defenders before dropping perfectly into his path. He then did the rest, keeping his cool in front of Guglielmo Vicario with a sumptuous finish.
Substitute Richarlison didn't do much better than his countryman Paquetà, fluffing a header with half of the goal gaping as Spurs tried to restore the lead.
And it didn't end there as Pedro Porro's top corner-bound strike was parried away by Fabianski. Late on Brennan Johnson, anonymous throughout, sliced his shot.
And like so often in the past, Spurs were the architects of their own downfall. Ange-Ball began to dwindle and it didn't last long before they shockingly shot themselves in the foot. A misjudged Destiny Udogie backwards pass was punched to momentary safety by Guglielmo Vicario who slid off his line. Yet Ward-Prowse scored after seeing his first attempt come off the post.
Four defeats in the last five games, no one saw that coming after going 10 unbeaten.
And like so often, one team's pain is the other's gain as David Moyes and his calculated and clever players are entitled to raise a glass to yet another historic win on the turf of their sworn enemies.
13 Vicario- 5 Hojbjerg- 7 Son- 8 Bissouma- 17 Romero- 18 Lo Celso- 21 Kulusevski- 22 Johnson- 23 Porro- 33 Davies- 38 Udogie
West Ham United
1 Fabianski- 4 Zouma- 5 Coufal- 7 Ward-Prowse- 10 Paqueta- 14 Kudus- 19 Alvarez- 20 Bowen- 27 Aguerd- 28 Soucek-33 Emerson