Harry Kane set up a pair of Heung-min Son goals and the pair forced Kurt Zouma into an own goal as Tottenham Hotspur bolstered its European case with a 3-1 win over weary West Ham at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
[ MORE: Conte, Son react to win ]
Spurs led 2-0 after 24 minutes but had to grit their teeth against a West Ham team who found their footing after a sloppy start — no doubt influenced by the hangover of knocking Sevilla out of the Europa League on Thursday.
Said Benrahma scored at the back post off a corner kick (of course) to get West Ham within a goal for nearly an hour, but the Irons never found the equalizer and Spurs ran away with the game late as Thursday’s toll became oh-so-clear.
Spurs move into fifth place with 50 points, one point more than sixth-place Manchester United and three more than West Ham.
Tottenham’s played the same amount of matches as Man United and one less than West Ham, but fourth-place Arsenal has three more points and a match-in-hand on Spurs.
Tottenham vs West Ham final score, stats
Tottenham Hotspur 3, West Ham United 1
Goal scorers: Zouma o.g. (9′), Son (24′, 88′), Benrahma (35′)
Shot attempts: Tottenham 17, West Ham 6
Shots on goal: Tottenham 4, West Ham 1
Possession: Tottenham 53, West Ham 47
Three things we learned from Tottenham vs West Ham
1. Tottenham loves to keep teams in games (and West Ham loves to stay in games): This is true, even though Spurs have done their fair share of routing teams under Antonio Conte and in years past. This could’ve been 3-0 at halftime, maybe even after a half-hour. And if West Ham’s reminded us anything about a team with a Moyesian identity, it’s that they refuse to be counted out of games. Once West Ham pulled to within 2-1, anything could’ve happened in North London.
2. Set-piece status gives weary West Ham legs a chance, but tank runs dry: West Ham’s crowd — in this case, away fans — seem to celebrate just getting corners because it knows how deadly the Irons can be from set-piece situations. A 10th goal off a corner kick this season, flicked back by Craig Dawson for Benrahma to cooly finish, made that excitement a justified one. But Tottenham, for once, was the benefit of midweek action for the opposition, and ran the Irons off the pitch over the final 20 minutes.
3. Son, Kane partnership buzzing along: When these two are firing, is there a better attack pairing in the league. That’s not to say that Son and Kane would be your choice over Foden and Sterling, Mane and Salah, or even Saka and Lacazette, but there’s something special in the air between the South Korea and England captains. If Spurs were a board room, the boss would be pointing to Kane and Son and using finger quotes while clearly enunciating the word “synergy.”
Man of the Match: Rodrigo Betancur — Envision a day when this guy, Cristiano Romero, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are all comfortable with each other and Antonio Conte’s system, in-form, and with a familiar four in front of them. Over 100 touches, well over 90% passing, 6-of-9 duels won, and two tackles.