West Ham manager David Moyes says his side “haven’t hit top gear yet” despite climbing into the top four of the Premier League with victory over London rivals Tottenham.
Goals early in each half from Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard gave the Hammers a two-goal cushion at London Stadium, before Lucas Moura’s header reduced the arrears.
Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min both struck the woodwork for Spurs in the second half, but West Ham held on for their seventh win in nine league games.
“I think we can play much better,” Moyes told BBC Match of the Day afterwards.
“The players have been finding ways to wrestle points off the opposition.
“They have done a brilliant job. You need a bit of luck along the way but we had all the right things.”
Antonio – back in the Hammers’ starting line-up after a two-game absence – poked the hosts in front after Hugo Lloris had failed to deal with Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
Lingard’s third goal in four league games was initially disallowed for offside against Pablo Fornals.
But VAR ruled that the Spaniard was not interfering with play when the Manchester United loanee skipped through the visiting defence before powerfully finding the far corner to make it 2-0.
Half-time substitute Bale set up Moura to give Spurs hope, before hitting the top of the crossbar with a fierce strike 10 minutes later.
Son also struck the frame of the goal in stoppage time.
The win – Moyes’ first over Jose Mourinho in 16 attempts – lifts West Ham two points clear of Chelsea in fifth, while Spurs remain in ninth.
In-form Hammers grind out win
Moyes recently admitted to feeling “uneasy” when discussing the Hammers’ place near the top of the table, but that is unlikely to die down following their seventh win in nine league matches.
West Ham looked much sharper from the off and deservedly took an early lead through Antonio, whose pace and physicality caused the Spurs defence all sorts of problems in the opening exchanges.
Moyes’ side limited Tottenham to just two shots on target before the break – both of which came in the final minutes of the half – and they made the perfect start to the second period when Lingard combined with Fornals before lashing beyond Lloris to continue his recent revival, having swapped red for claret and blue.
However, the hosts had their backs to the wall for the rest of the game as Spurs increased the urgency, with Moura’s header from Bale’s cross setting up a nervy finish.
They rode their luck when Vladimir Coufal’s clearance struck Son before looping over Fabianski and onto the outside of the post, but few could begrudge Moyes’s team all three points.
West Ham face both Manchester clubs, Leeds and Arsenal in their next four league matches. If they can emerge from those fixtures relatively unscathed, it could set the platform for an exciting end to the campaign for Hammers fans.
Sluggish start costs Spurs
Reports on Sunday suggested Mourinho’s job could be at risk if Spurs failed to beat West Ham, and the Portuguese’s team could hardly have made a worse start at London Stadium.
Mourinho will have been furious at the manner of the Hammers’ opener, as Eric Dier failed to clear Bowen’s in-swinging delivery before Lloris’ fumble allowed Antonio to prod home.
The goal seemed to drain the confidence out of Spurs’ players, who looked desperately short of ideas until Harry Kane tested Fabianski’s reflexes late in the first half.
Lingard’s strike left the visitors with a huge task but the introduction of Bale – a half-time replacement for Lamela – soon paid dividends.
The Welshman’s corner was flicked in off the post by Moura to reduce the arrears, before the Real Madrid loanee skimmed the top of the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Kane – left out of Thursday’s win in Budapest for fitness reasons – also went close from the edge of the box and Son almost salvaged a draw in bizarre circumstances, but it was not to be for Tottenham.
The result leaves Spurs nine points behind the fourth-placed Hammers, although they do have a game in hand on their London rivals.
Antonio is West Ham’s fox in the box – the stats
- Tottenham Hotspur have lost five of their last six league games (W1), only picking up points in a 2-0 home victory against West Brom in this time. Their eight league defeats this season are Jose Mourinho’s most since 2015-16 with Chelsea, when he was sacked after nine league defeats.
- Mourinho took charge of his 50th Premier League game with Tottenham today (W23 D12 L15). The 81 points Spurs have picked up under the Portuguese is 14 fewer than he’s managed with any other side throughout his first 50 league games in charge (Man Utd, 95).
- West Ham will spend a night in the top four places in a top-flight campaign after at least 25 matches have been played, for the first time since 1985-86, when they finished the season in third.
- West Ham’s Michail Antonio has scored 42 Premier League goals and they have all come from inside the box – in the competition’s history, only Tim Cahill (56), Javier Hernandez (53) and Gabriel Jesus (45) have scored more with all of them coming from inside the box.
- Antonio has scored five Premier League goals against Tottenham Hotspur, his best return against any single side in the competition.
- Jesse Lingard has scored three goals in four league games under David Moyes for West Ham, as many as he netted in his 36 total league appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Man Utd.
‘It was a big, big ask’ – what the managers said
West Ham boss David Moyes speaking to BBC MOTD: “It is a great result for us. Today we felt it was a big, big task. Tottenham are one of the top sides and have fantastic players. For us to get a result and keep our momentum going is really good.
“There was a period we could have gone 2-0 up when we went 1-0 up and we didn’t take it, so that allowed Tottenham to grow in confidence as the game went on.”
On Jesse Lingard’s impact: “Players want to play. They want to show what they can do. It wasn’t long ago Jesse was an England international so I knew if we could get that level of player, it would improve us.”
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho speaking to BBC MOTD: “The way we finished the game showed it was not a physical problem that stopped us having a result.
“I think we did [have enough to win]. Losing 1-0 at half-time you have to lift the players and play better in the second half, which we did.
“You are playing against a team that fought in the second half. They defended – we attacked and created and were unlucky.”
West Ham travel to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday, 27 February (12:30 GMT), while Spurs host Burnley the following day (14:00 GMT).
West Ham United
- 23DiopBooked at 62mins
- 28SoucekBooked at 56mins
- 20BowenSubstituted forBenrahmaat 65′minutes
- 18FornalsBooked at 72minsSubstituted forJohnsonat 82′minutes
- 11LingardSubstituted forNobleat 90+4′minutes
- 30AntonioBooked at 69mins
- 25TangangaSubstituted forDohertyat 45′minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 3ReguilónBooked at 44minsSubstituted forAlliat 77′minutes
- 5HøjbjergBooked at 42mins
- 27Lucas Moura
- 11LamelaBooked at 36minsSubstituted forBaleat 45′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 45Alves Morais
Match ends, West Ham United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Foul by Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur).
Tomas Soucek (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces Jesse Lingard.
Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Eric Dier.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jesse Lingard (West Ham United).
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Issa Diop.
Attempt missed. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Dele Alli.
Attempt missed. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Matt Doherty with a cross.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ben Johnson replaces Pablo Fornals.
Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Tomas Soucek (West Ham United).
Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Harry Kane.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Dele Alli replaces Sergio Reguilón.
Sergio Reguilón (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jesse Lingard (West Ham United).
Attempt missed. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lucas Moura.
Pablo Fornals (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.