Royal, Romero shine for Tottenham against the Hammers

(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) /

Tottenham Hotspur picked up three important points against London rivals West Ham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Spurs defended excellently, much like they did a fortnight ago against Manchester City.

Tottenham defended well for a clean sheet

Center-back Cristian Romero put in a shift alongside right-wing-back Emerson Royal, who arguably had one of his best performances in a Tottenham shirt. Royal made several key tackles and interceptions while scoring the opening goal with a tidy finish that left West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski rooted to the spot. However, it must be noted that West Ham has been poor this season as they are near the bottom of the table and was also without standout midfielder Lucas Paqueta due to injury. Nonetheless, Spurs defended well, and goalkeeper Fraser Forster only had to make one save during the match, his first Tottenham clean sheet.

A clash of formations

The first half produced a stalemate between the London-based clubs. Spurs, as they have done for most of the season, started the match with a 3-4-3 formation, with Richarlison starting over Hueng-min Son on the left-wing, Ben Davies starting over Ivan Perisic at left wing-back, and central midfielder Oliver Skipp starting his second straight match in the middle of the park. West Ham also began the match with three defenders at the back, as manager David Moyes also opted for the 3-4-3 formation with striker Michail Antonio up top. West Ham started the match brightly, with midfielder Thomas Soucek pinging a first-time cross to forward Jarrod Bowen, who just missed the Spurs’ goal. But after that, West Ham didn’t test Forster, and Tottenham spent most of the first half trying to break down the Hammers. But once Royal scored in the second half, the match opened up, and Tottenham Hotspur could exploit the space left behind with Hueng-min Son coming off the bench and wrapping up the three points for Spurs.

Stellini was successful again as interim Spurs manager

Cristian Stellini was once again tasked with managing Tottenham Hotspur as Antonio Conte remained in Italy after the first-leg Champions League tie to recover from his recent surgery. Stellini keeps his 100% win record as Spurs manager after managing wins against Marseille, Manchester City, and now West Ham. Although the first half wasn’t as good as the second half for Spurs, it seemed like a similar performance that Tottenham put in against Manchester City a couple of weeks ago.

Spurs have leapfrogged Newcastle and currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League table with 42 points, only one point above the Magpies. Tottenham will have to become much more consistent if they are to finish in a top-four place. Spurs take on London rivals Chelsea next Sunday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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