West Ham 1-0 Tottenham: Antonio sinks out-of-sorts Spurs

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  • 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.

VIDEO: Wild first half in Moscow sees Lukaku, Hazard on board

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Romelu Lukaku (2) and Eden Hazard scored for Belgium before Dylan Bronn answered for Tunisia, as dominant Belgium holds a 3-1 lead with three goals gracing the games first 18 minutes on Saturday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Lukaku led an early break that led to a Thomas Meunier shot collected by Tunisian keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha.

Hazard won a penalty in the fifth minute, just inside the 18. He converted the chance low and to the right of Ben Mustapha.

Ben Mustapha was fortunate when Hazard’s 12th minute shot of a terrific Lukaku pass was substandard.

Lukaku then scored a beauty in the 16th minute, sent into the 18 by Dries Mertens, when he clinically slid a shot inside the far post.

Tunisia got a surprise answer a minute later when Bronn turned a free kick past Thibaut Courtois and into the back of the net.

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Lukaku would chip the keeper after Meunier played his perfect run to feet.


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Enrique has rare brain tumor removed, faces battle

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Former Newcastle and Liverpool defender Jose Enrique is now an agent, but the headache that came with a manager meeting had nothing to do with the conversation.

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Enrique had a “brutal” headache following a meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton, his former manager, and tests revealed a rare brain tumor (Spanish language link).

Enrique underwent brain surgery to remove the tumor and now faces 35 sessions of radiotherapy, only available in two European cities.

He lost more than a dozen pounds in a single week, calling it “the toughest time of my life.”

WATCH: World Cup, Day 10 — All eyes on Germany

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Many of the favorites in the 2018 World Cup have disappointed, but until Argentina fell 3-0 to Croatia on Thursday, Germany was the only one to suffer a defeat.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Die Mannschaft fell to Mexico in their opening match, with El Tri carving up the German midfield on the counter. Now, Joachim Low has had ample time to make the adjustments needed to go for victory as the Germans take on Sweden as they chase a spot in the knockout stages among Group F.

Meanwhile, Mexico looks to prove they’re not a one-hit wonder as they take on South Korea in Rostov. Juan Carlos Osorio has received plenty of praise – and rightly so – for his tactics in the upset victory, and that leaves El Tri with a chance to clinch a spot in the knockout stage with a win.

Before all that Group F craziness, Belgium takes the field in the morning against Tunisia as they look to follow up its comprehensive 3-0 victory over Panama in the opening round. A victory for the Red Devils would not only book a place in the knockout round, but also eliminate Tunisia from contention.

Below is Saturday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

2018 World Cup schedule – Saturday, June 23

Group F
South Korea vs. Mexico: Rostov-on-Don, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Germany vs. Sweden: Sochi, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group G
Belgium vs. Tunisia: Moscow, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Kluivert junior leaves Ajax for Roma in $21m transfer

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ROME (AP) — Roma signed Justin Kluivert, the son of former Milan and Barcelona forward Patrick, from Ajax on Friday for a fee that could rise to 18.75 million euros ($21.8 million).

The 19-year-old Dutch international forward has agreed a five-year contract with Roma.

“I’m very happy. I’m at an incredible club,” Kluivert said. “I cannot wait to start. I believe that Roma is the ideal team for my growth, which will allow me to play at the highest levels.”

Kluivert junior made 56 appearances and scored 13 goals for Ajax. He has one cap for the Netherlands.

He joins Roma for an initial 17.25 million euros ($20.1 million) and performance-related clauses could see the price rise by 1.5 million euros.