- Antonio’s header wins it
- Spurs lose for fourth time this season
- Tottenham three points off the top
LONDON — West Ham United were fired up from the start and title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur never got going as they lost the London derby 1-0 at Upton Park on Wednesday and missed the chance to close the gap on leaders Leicester City.
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Michail Antonio‘s early header proved to be the difference as the West Ham winger scored the game-winner to seal two 1-0 wins in four days for Slaven Bilic‘s spirited side who are now 14 games unbeaten at home.
Tottenham looked out-of-sorts throughout as they gave the ball away cheaply time and time again in their first away defeat since the opening day of the season. Harry Kane missed two chances in the second half to snatch a point but ahead of the North London Derby versus Arsenal on Saturday Spurs’ six-game winning streak came to an abrupt end.
With the win West Ham keep alive their top four hopes and are just one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City, while Spurd stay in second and three points behind Leicester.
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After an even start West Ham went ahead with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
Fan favorite Payet whipped in a corner from the right and Antonio flicked home a header at the near post as Lloris failed to claw the ball away. 1-0 to the Hammers and the home fans were delirious. “1-0 to the Cockney boys” was the chant as Antonio had his sixth goal in his last seven appearances at Upton Park.
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Tottenham didn’t improve after that early setback and West Ham almost doubled their lead in the 15th minute as Payet teed up Mark Noble on the edge of the box and his pile-driver was tipped away brilliantly by Lloris.
Spurs continued to give the ball away needlessly and Pochettino looked anxious on the sidelines as his team struggled to break through a resolute Hammers defense and Antonio was denied his and West Ham’s second as Kevin Wimmer blocked his effort.
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In the second half Spurs improved with patient build-up play down the right seeing Kieran Trippier cross to Erik Lamela but he sent his diving header wide. Ryan Mason then skewed a shot horribly wide as Spurs tried to force the issue but the Hammers always looked dangerous on the break.
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Dele Alli came on for the final 30 minutes to try and fire Spurs into life and they should’ve leveled things up. Toby Alderweireld‘s long-range shot was parried by Adrian but straight to Kane but he failed to finish from six-yards out. Kane had another great chance moments later but Eriksen’s cross at the back post just evaded him.
Youngster Reece Oxford came on at center back with James Collins forced off injured and the Hammers switched to a 3-5-2 for the final stages of the game. Spurs poured forward at every opportunity but failed to create a clear cut opening as they head into Saturday’s clash with Arsenal trailing league leaders Leicester by three points.