Tottenham Build and Blow Lead as Bale Bubble Bursts

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo by Matt Dunham - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur. (Photo by Matt Dunham - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham (Photo by CARL RECINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Early Success for Tottenham

That scramble following the Davinson Sanchez bad pass was won by Moussa Sissoko who one touched to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who himself one touched to Tanguy Ndombele, who of course one touched the ball into space in front of Harry Kane push in his own half toward the midfield circle. Kane picked his head up to scan the field in front of him looking at his options, both making runs. Bergwijn was starting more centrally and was flashing diagonally across the pitch, whereas Son was running the fly route up the left flank.

Kane looked like an NFL quarterback as under little pressure he waited for the center defender, Angelo Ogbonna to choose. Ogbonna went with his eyes and choose to run with Bergwijn as he flashed across both his and Kane’s face. This left movement left Son in one-on-one coverage on the left, so Kane booted the ball up the pitch in front of the South Korean.

Son of course did the job from there handling the ball and pushing it skillfully out in front of himself to blast pasts a helpless Lukasz Fabianski, for the 1-0 Spurs lead within the first minute. The Kane to Son connection seemed to be still working and Spurs were off and flying. Thanks to the movement of Kane, and both wings, the defensive lines opened, and the game plan was working early.

West Ham was fighting back, and Aaron Creswell had a decent effort that hit the wrong side of the side netting on Hugo Lloris’ near post. This was followed by a couple West Ham corners and some suspect defending in the box, particularly by Sanchez – who never looked comfortable on the left side of the back two pair. Just when it looked West Ham had their footing, Spurs struck again.

This time after Kane played in Bergwijn and the cross was too far for Son, the ball was recycled. Unfortunately for Declan Rice that recycled ball got to Harry Kane a yard or two outside the penalty box. As Rice stepped up to challenge Kane, the England skipper tapped the ball throw his English teammate’s legs, stepped around the off balance defender and blasted the ball past Fabianski for a 2-0 lead just after 7 minutes gone by on the clock.

A few minutes later it looked like Antonio was in, but Michail both missed the shot and was deemed offside. Once again just as it looked West Ham were finding their footing, Harry Kane decided to have a say. This time, Kane used his head as Tottenham scored their third and final goal with a little over 15 minutes expired on the clock.

Like the other goals, this was a wonderful bit of football. Again, Spurs won the ball, and it went quickly from the midfield to attack, this time Hojbjerg up to Son. Son played the ball out wide to Sergio Reguilón who cracked an inch perfect pass over the heads of four defenders to where only Harry Kane could reach it. Kane soured high in the air seeming to hang and wait for the ball like and alley-oop and hammered the ball home with his head back into the far corner.

Up to that point it was textbook football. West Ham was fighting, but Tottenham were fighting harder. This was epitomized when at the end of the first half it was Harry Kane hustling back defensively to block what would have been a decent attempt on frame from Vladimir Coufal. Everything was working, the players were performing, and the first half was a tremendous success.