Disappointment for Tim Sherwood as West Ham rallied after Emmanuel Adebayor had put Tottenham ahead in the second half at White Hart Lane. Two goals in the final 10 minutes secured the visitors’ place in the semi-final draw for the Capital One Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 West Ham United 2
Scorers: Adebayor Jarvis, Maiga
Team: Lloris; Walker, Chiriches, Capoue, Rose (Fryers); Lennon, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Townsend (Chadli); Adebayor (Holtby), Defoe Subs: (unused) Friedel, Fredericks, Eriksen, Soldado
Tim Sherwood made six changes to the team which played in the last game under Andre Villas-Boas. Vlad Chiriches, Danny Rose, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe played against West Ham.
Spurs started as Sherwood said he would expect his team to play. There was an urgency in their play in a 4-4-2 formation although Adebayor dropped deeper playing behind Defoe. The best opportunity of the half fell to Defoe after 90 seconds. A run by Lennon on the right gave him the chance to deliver a cross which fell to Sigurdsson and then broke to Defoe who shot past. Another early attack after 4 minutes ended with a run and shot by Townsend which also went past the post. Adebayor worked harder and put an effort wide.
Tottenham dominated the opening 20 minutes with possession and territory as most of the play was in the West Ham half but they couldn’t find a way through. The visitors only made occasional forays into the Spurs half. In that opening period Spurs had 5 corners and a number of shots at goal but failed to trouble the West Ham goalkeeper.
Gradually West Ham came more into the game but it was usually from long hopeful balls forward towards Carlton Cole or from high free-kicks. It was a frustrating first half for Spurs as West Ham worked hard to deny them but Hugo Lloris had to react quickly to save low when Cole won a ball in the air, it rebounded to him off a defender and from the edge of the area he shot but Lloris saved.
Spurs used Lennon and Townsend to deliver crosses into the area but West Ham defenders managed to get their head or foot to the clear the danger. After 39 minutes, Kyle Walker who captained the side got to the bye-line and played the ball back to Adebayor who skied the ball into the stand. Three minutes later, good link up play between Defoe and Adebayor was cleared for a corner as Adebayor closed in. Spurs finished with a flurry of crosses from Townsend and Defoe shot over.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first with Spurs looking to dominate with a quick tempo. In the opening minutes there was a good run from Townsend and a cross from Adebayor but it was just too high for Defoe. Spurs play was still too intricate on the edge of the West Ham box with the visitors having six defenders back. After 51 minutes in a break by Spurs, Adebayor found Walker but his shot hit Defoe. It went out to Lennon but as Sigurdsson tried to get in a shot to the cross it was cleared.
West Ham almost went ahead in what would have been controversial circumstances. Play had been stopped to attend to an injured West Ham defender. The referee gave the ball to James Collins to give back to Spurs – he hit it long and high with Lloris having to scramble back to prevent it going into the net. Lloris ended up in the goal but he managed to push the ball out.
Spurs continued to have the greater possession and threat with West Ham content to play the ball long towards Cole. Tottenham went ahead with a stunning goal from two players who were overlooked by AVB. Defoe broke on the left, looked up and delivered a cross into the area which Adebayor volleyed into the net off the bar after 67 minutes. Point proved for those two!
West Ham came more into the game and Lloris had to make two saves to keep them out. Spurs lost Townsend to injury after 73 minutes and then replaced Adebayor with Lewis Holtby in the 78th minute. Two minutes later West Ham were level. From another high free-kick they won the ball in the air and played it across the area to Jarvis whose cross shot beat Lloris.
Stunned but not beaten, Dembele won the ball and played it forward to Defoe who played Chadli into the area but his weak shot was collected by the goalkeeper. Two minutes later Tottenham were beaten – a cross into the area was headed home by substitute Maiga, his first goal 0f 2013.
Tottenham tried to recover the situation but were susceptible to breaks by West Ham who had a shot against the bar in added time. The nearest Spurs came to scoring was from a Holtby corner which Sigurdsson volleyed but it was deflected wide and then in added time another Sigurdsson effort was saved comfortably by the goalkeeper.
No semi-final for Spurs and work to be done by Tim Sherwood. The tempo and style of Spurs play showed improvement but the same problems still exist, their inability to work around or through a well-drilled defence.
Sam Allardyce’s Wembley dream is still alive.