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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West Ham United's Argentinian midfielder Manuel Lanzini
West Ham United’s Argentinian midfielder Manuel Lanzini (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham Rewrite the Story

Things had played out just as Spurs had wanted for much of the match. Tottenham had kept the Antonio and Bowen long ball game in check and only had to manage the final 20 minutes. Gareth Bale came on as did Winks and things looked like it was going to script, and it was Jose Mourinho’s script. About 20 minutes should help ease Bale into more, maybe even an hour during the week.

However, after Bale’s free kick was easily saved by Fabianski, the Hammers continued to do what they do best, hammer away. On a free kick – what else – the lot began to change, and David Moyes was doing the rewriting on his long-time opponent Jose Mourinho.

Aaron Creswell hung the ball up and like Reguilón in the first half, put it where only his mate Fabian Balbuena could get it and a motionless Hugo Lloris watched the ball bounce past for the first West Ham goal. Dead ball situations continue to plague this team, and this was another example. Then only moments later West Ham is attacking again.

This time Vladimir Coufal was working down his right flank and instead of clearing the cross, Davinson Sanchez redirected it into the far corner of the net for a second Hammer goal. Sanchez’ approach on that play and frankly a couple others including a near slotting of an own goal in the first half left me scratching my head on more than one occasion.

Then in the 94th minute of the match with less than a minute of injury time remaining Tottenham committed one more foul giving West Ham one more dead ball chance. Spurs won the initial cross, and the ball was rolling toward the edge of the box. As multiple players were closing the only player moving a direction not helpful to Tottenham won the ball, Harry Winks.

Winks cleated the ball forward in front of him, unfortunately, forward was into the middle of the pitch, which is a defensive no-no in football. You never want to play an aimless ball toward the center of the pitch and in his zest to win the ball that is exactly what Harry Winks did.

Manuel Lanzini saw the opportunity and came running toward the ball and blasted it for the 3-3 draw. Anyone who has played knows that feeling when the ball is rolling to you exactly right and your laces connect perfectly, well that is what happened. Lloris was stretch and got a palm to it, but it was not enough.

In the end maybe Lanzini’s wonder goal stole the point for West Ham Or maybe it was the mistakes from Tottenham that threw them away. Either way the result is one that is going to leave a mark, particularly in the table.