Eric Dier Scores Late Tottenham Winner On Debut


Eric Dier scored a late winner on his debut for Tottenham as Spurs battled with 10-men for over an hour against West Ham at Upton Park.

West Ham United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Scorer: Dier

Team: Lloris; Naughton, Dier, Kaboul, Rose; Bentaleb, Capoue; Lennon (Townsend), Eriksen, Lamela (Holtby); Adebayor (Kane) Subs: (unused) Friedel, Davies, Dawson, Soldado

Just as the match looked set to end scoreless, with both teams down to ten men, substitute Harry Kane played Eric Dier in behind the West Ham defence. The young defender took the ball round the goalkeeper and passed it into an empty net in the second minute of additional time. Tottenham had been playing with 10-men for over an hour after Kyle Naughton was sent off for hand-ball and also conceding a penalty. West Ham were reduced to 10-men with 28 minutes to play for a second yellow card following a foul on Emmanuel Adebayor.

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Tottenham started the game at Upton Park brightly and had the better of the early passing and possession, pushing back West Ham who left only Carlton Cole forward. In the opening minute Etienne Capoue made a good covering tackle on Stewart Downing and then Erik Lamela played a ball forward towards Emmanuel Adebayor but it was cut out by the defender. Christian Eriksen showed good skill with a flick and turn to beat a defender but ballooned his cross over the bar.

On 4 minutes, Spurs had an early warning of the trouble West Ham could cause when Younes Kaboul got on the wrong side of Cole who held off the Spurs defender to get into the box but when the ball was played back to him, he shot past the post. Spurs then enjoyed a period of possession with West Ham sitting deep to defend. A foul on Aaron Lennon brought a free-kick but Eriksen put it straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Erik Lamela got onto the ball with a good turn and run from midfield in the 13th minute but was pulled down. Gradually, West Ham started to enjoy greater possession and with crosses from wide positions were troubling the Spurs defence. A cross by Downing on the right went over Kaboul but Naughton managed to step in and clear the danger. Next it was Danny Rose who had to be strong to clear as West Ham threatened.

As the West Ham pressure increased so did the number of crosses and corners that Spurs had to defend. They looked very uncomfortable, struggling to get the ball away which only brought more pressure on the defence. After a number of near misses from the aerial bombardment, West Ham achieved what they wanted.

Naughton Sent Off!

In the 27th minute, from a corner Kevin Nolan turned and shot. Naughton was  behind him and the ball hit the Spurs full-back who had his hands raised in making the challenge. The linesman signalled for a penalty and then after consultation, referee Chris Foy showed Naughton a red card. The penalty was harsh but probably correct but the sending off was even harsher.

Missed Penalty!

Spurs received a lifeline when Mark Noble put the penalty past the post with Hugo Lloris diving the wrong way.

Dier moved to right-back with Capoue steeping back into central defence. Sitting deeper in defence Spurs withstood the West Ham pressure and looked to go forward on the break. Eriksen counter-attacked and played the ball for Adebayor but it was cleared in the 32nd minute. West Ham continued to press with crosses and the high ball forward but Spurs managed to hold out despite a number of anxious moments from corners.

Just before the interval in another break, Lamela played the ball for Adebayor who laid the ball back for Aaron Lennon but his shot went over the bar. Then Lloris saved a header by Vaz Te from a cross.

2nd Half

In the second period play continued much as previously although Spurs defended a little better but showed little going forward. in the 57 minute a low shot by Downing was saved by Lloris who was up quickly to clear the ball and deny a second chance. A minute later a cross by Rose troubled the West Ham defence.

Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend replaced Lamela and Lennon with an hour played. Shortly after Eriksen won the ball in midfield and played it forward for Adebayor. He was blocked by Collins who was sent off for a second yellow card. Holtby and Townsend brought greater energy to the Tottenham play and with 10 v 10 it was now all to play for.

Eriksen put a free-kick over the bar and  a cross by Townsend was collected by the goalkeeper as Adebayor challenged. In the 69th minute a good interpassing movement saw Townsend bring a good save from Adrian, tipping the ball over the bar. From the corner, another Townsend shot took a deflection and went out for a corner.

The match switched from end to end as both sides looked for a goal. Spurs gave away possession in midfield but Lloris rescued he situation, saving a low shot from Noble. Dier headed a deep cross out for a corner and then Lloris punched out a cross under pressure.

In the 82nd minute, Harry Kane replaced Adebayor and was immediately involved as Spurs broke through Townsend and Kane’s shot was blocked.

Hugo Lloris To Rescue

Hugo Lloris made a great block with three minutes to play when Downing was played in behind the Tottenham defence. The goalkeeper was out quickly to charge down the goalbound effort. At that late stage it looked like a point-saving save from Lloris.

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Eric Dier went on a long run down the right in the 89th minute and the ball was worked from Townsend came across to Bentaleb whose powerful shot was pushed out for a corner.

Eric Dier GOAL!

In added time, just as I was composing thoughts of how neither team had deserved to win, Kane found the pass to play Dier in behind the West Ham defence and the 20-year-old defender found the touch and composure to take the ball wide of the out-rushing goalkeeper and plant it into the net for the winning goal.

It was a great conclusion to what had been a difficult afternoon for Tottenham. They had struggled in defence with the West Ham crosses and set-pieces. Reduced to 10-men it became even more difficult but the players battled away and in the end took the three points to get Mauricio Pochettino’s time as Tottenham manager off to a winning and positive start. It was a memorable debut for Eric Dier and in the end Lloris’ late save helped Tottenham to the victory over West Ham.