Younes Kaboul Sent Off: 10-Man Tottenham Struggle In Defeat By West Ham


With Younes Kaboul sent off, 10-man Tottenham ended their away season with another poor performance and their third defeat by West Ham this season.

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West Ham United 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Scorers: Kane (o.g.), Downing

Team: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Kaboul, Rose; Lennon, Paulinho (Sandro), Sigurdsson (Sandro), Eriksen; Kane (Chiriches), Adebayor Subs: Friedel, Fryers, Bentaleb, Pritchard

West Ham dominated this game from the outset as Spurs failed to match the intensity and energy of the home team’s performance. Struggling in defence to cope with the West Ham high ball tactics, it was all too much for Spurs who were reduced to 10 men when Kaboul was sent off after 25 minutes. The home side took the lead immediately after from a corner and added a second from a free-kick before half-time. The only thing that can be said about Spurs is that, helped by Hugo Lloris, they prevented West Ham adding to their advantage in the second half.

Tim Sherwood made only one change from last week’s team with Gyfli Sigurdsson starting in place of the injured Nacer Chadli. Alex Pritchard who has been on loan with Swindon was on the bench on his 21st birthday.

Tottenham struggled against the constant bombardment of the high ball by West Ham towards Andy Carroll and failed to deal with frequent free-kicks and corners. In a high-energy display by the home side which again belied their recent form West Ham constantly pressured Spurs on the ball and eventually got the breakthrough their play deserved after 27 minutes.

Hugo Lloris [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Pressure on Christian Eriksen inside the West Ham half, saw the Totenham’s schemer’s pass blocked and reach Downing inside the Spurs half. He took the ball on but was brought down by Kaboul on the edge of the area. As the last man, Kaboul was dismissed. Carroll powered in a shot from the free-kick but Hugo Lloris made an outstanding safe for a corner. From the corner Carroll’s header deflected off Harry Kane’s head and over the outstretched hand of Lloris. Kane was immediately replaced by Vlad Chiriches to ‘strengthen’ the defence.

Buoyed by the goal, West Ham kept up the pressure and Lloris made a number of saves, including one from Taylor’s powerful shot after 35 minutes, to keep Spurs in the game. Two minutes before the interval, another break by West Ham brought another free-kick on the edge of the box. With the wall lined up, Downing’s shot went through a gap which opened up as Paulinho and Emmanuel Adebayor turned, allowing the weak shot through and past a helpless Lloris.

The first half was all about West Ham – their passion and commitment with Spurs never able to match it in any area of the pitch. The nearest they came to troubling Adrian in the home goal was in the opening minute when Kane chased down a back-pass with the goalkeeper’s clearance coming off the striker for a goal-kick. Kane did the same a few minutes later but the goalkeeper turned away from danger at the last moment.

In the final minute of the first half, more poor defending allowed Carroll a shot from the edge of the box but it went past the post.

Spurs never got to the pace of the game even with eleven men and allowed West Ham to dominate in midfield and claim the ball at every opportunity before launching the ball forward towards Carroll to which Spurs had no answer.

The second half continued in the same vein with the pressure and commitment coming from West Ham. Lloris again had to be alert and with his defenders unable to cope with the high ball into the area he was quick off his line to challenge for every high ball and cross, punching clear and claiming the ball under pressure. He saved Spurs 4 minutes after the re-start parrying a shot by Diame and then clearing with his feet as he lay on the ground with Carroll closing in.

Poor defending after 55 minutes almost presented West Ham with a third goal. Dawson and Chiriches challenged for the same ball but it fell to an unmarked Nolan in the centre of the penalty area with only Lloris to beat. The Spurs goalkeeper managed to get his knee in the way of the ball deflecting it out for a corner.

On the hour a cross by Eriksen to the near post troubled Adrian as he fumbled it out for a corner. Three minutes later Lloris was again called into action saving a low shot from Taylor.

Tottenham continued to give away free-kicks which they were unable to defend, putting themselves under constant pressure. Roberto Soldado and Sandro came on for the final 25 minutes but it made no difference in the overall course of the game. Spurs kept going and in the final minutes Eriksen found a little more room to try and open up the home defence but they stood strong and it was only in the 90th minute that Adrian was called to make  a save when Danny Rose took the ball across the area and fired in a powerful shot which the goalkeeper tipped over for a corner.

The win made it certain, mathematically, that West Ham would retain their Premier League status. It gave them their third win of the season over Spurs and it was their first clean sheet in 11 games. Another disappointing defeat for Spurs opens up the opportunity for Manchester United to overtake them for a 6th placed finish by winning their final three games. The defeat will have done nothing to strengthen Tim Sherwood’s hold on the manager’s seat at White Hart Lane.