- Tottenham grab fourth-straight win
- Erik Lamela‘s header seals the win
- Two-straight defeats for West Ham
Tottenham Hotspur beat West Ham United 1-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday, as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men battled hard to victory against their bitter rivals.
Erik Lamela’s first half header grabbed the three points for Spurs, as West Ham fought hard but found Hugo Lloris in superb form as he kept Marko Arnautovic out on more than one occasion.
With the win Spurs move on to 21 points for the season, while West Ham remain on seven points.
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In the early stages it was a tale of two tight defenses, as Toby Alderweireld blocked an effort from Robert Snodgrass.
Andriy Yarmolenko then suffered a nasty looking injury as the Ukrainian forward was forced off clutching his Achilles.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Just before half time Spurs broke the deadlock as Mousa Sissoko crossed for Lamela who glanced a header home. 1-0.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
In the second half West Ham came flying out of the traps as Aaron Cresswell‘s cross found Arnautovic but his effort was brilliantly pushed award by Hugo Lloris.
Lloris pushed Arnautovic’s shot wide from the edge of the box and then Fabian Balbuena’s header from the resulting corner went wide.
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Spurs shut up shop late on and held on for the win as Lloris rushed off his line to deny Arnautovic once again.
Tottenham is set to be without one of its star defenders for at least the next two months, if not longer.
The club revealed that after closely monitoring Jan Vertonghen, the centerback’s hamstring injury will keep him out until December. Vertonghen suffered the injury on September 29 against Huddersfield Town and while it was initially thought he would miss just one month of action, it looks as if it will be a much longer spell on the sidelines.
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Vertonghen had already been left off Belgium’s squad for its upcoming UEFA National League match against Switzerland and friendly next week against the Netherlands.
Vertonghen’s injury may be in part to burnout after a short summer break. The Belgian international started and played the full 90 minutes in all six of Belgium’s matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and then turned up ready for action in Tottenham’s season opener against Manchester United on August 11, less than a month after his last game with Belgium.
Having Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez fit softens the blow a little for Mauricio Pochettino, but Alderweireld’s fitness history is suspect and there may need to be rotation between UEFA Champions League, domestic cups and the Premier League. Vertonghen is expected to be back in full training by December, so if the team can survive, they’ll have a rested and healthy star coming back at a key point in the season.
If Pochettino wants to look deeper on his bench, there’s 20-year-old Argentine defender Juan Foyth, England U-20 star Kyle Walker-Peters and Eric Dier can also drop back and play in central defense if needed.
- Murray concedes PK
- Kane converts it
- Lamela put it away
- Spurs skid ends
Harry Kane and Erik Lamela score on a rain-soaked Amex Stadium pitch as Tottenham Hotspur put an end to its losing ways with a 2-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Paulo Gazzinaga made his first start since last season’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, and came within a Anthony Knockaert stoppage time goal of another clean sheet.
Spurs move fifth with 10 points, ending their three-match losing streak in all competitions. Brighton is 13th with six points.
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Clad in their green kits, Spurs nearly went ahead in the first few moments but Toby Alderweireld‘s inspired ball bounded through the box.
Spurs had most of the ball but little danger when Kieran Trippier‘s free kick was blocked by the raised arm of Glenn Murray inside the box.
That sent Kane to the spot, and the big Englishman did not miss his chance.
A sleepy, sloppy match opened up a bit with Christian Eriksen‘s promising curler that missed far post in the 54th minute.
Lamela made it 2-0 with a pinpoint low shot in the final 15 minutes, and Brighton’s hopes for a draw were dashed on a rainy day at the Amex.
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Knockaert made it 2-1 in the third minute of stoppage, and then was saved by Gazzaniga a minute later.
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Tottenham Hotspur have left two key players in London ahead of their trip to play Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
[ MORE: Is Harry Kane tired? ]
Mauricio Pochettino has decided not to take Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld to Italy for “technical reasons” as Spurs will be without several stars for their UCL opener against Inter. Hugo Lloris, Dele Alli and Moussa Sissoko are also out injured.
Speaking at the San Siro to the media on Monday, Pochettino was guarded when asked exactly why he has left Trippier and Alderweireld behind.
“I never punish players because you win or lose. It is always the plan. The plan is to keep them there and use different players to play tomorrow,” Pochettino explained. “We are going to play with different players tomorrow. We believe the best decision is to play with different players.”
What is going on here?
Trippier was one of the best right backs at the 2018 World Cup and was a star for England, while Alderweireld is no doubt a veteran leader in Spurs’ defense. Tottenham had a rough time, especially defensively, against Liverpool at the weekend and although Trippier and Alderweireld weren’t directly to blame, this could point to them suffering from fatigue.
Spurs have been impacted by the World Cup more than any other PL team as the majority of the regular starting lineup went to the latter stages of the tournament in Russia, then returned to Tottenham without a preseason.
Harry Kane‘s fitness has been questioned but this decision from Pochettino suggests he may rotate his squad heavily in the coming weeks as he tries to keep his star players fit and fresh.
Toby Alderweireld has revealed that he was never close to leaving Tottenham Hotspur this summer, despite reported interest from Manchester United, after he was informed that “Tottenham wanted to keep me.”
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Speaking about the summer-long saga for the first time, Alderweireld classified reports that he was wanted to force through a move away from Tottenham as “not true.” An agreement was never reached between the two clubs, however, so he can say what he likes without ever having had to actually make a choice one way or the other.
The Belgian center back has one year remaining on his contract, but the current deal has a one-year extension option which features a $32.5-million release clause. With another transfer saga looming in nine months’ time, Alderweireld insists his place in Spurs’ first team is the only thing that matters — quotes from Sky Sports:
“Everyone was saying everywhere that I absolutely wanted to leave Tottenham. That’s not true. This summer, I quickly understood Tottenham wanted to keep me.
“So, I had to battle to get my place back in the team. To be in the first team again is a victory for me. I just try to help Tottenham as best I can with my qualities. Regarding my future, everything that was said in the press was not right all the time.
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Alderweireld will turn 30 before the end of the 2018-19 season, and while he won’t have a million miles on his body after playing sparingly for two years as he transitioned from Ajax to Atletico Madrid and finally to Southampton before becoming the full-time workhorse at Spurs, his lengthy history of lingering lower-body injuries will give Mauricio Pochettino and Co., the most pause for concern as they weigh up one more potential long-term deal.