West Ham became the first visiting team to win at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the Hammers sealed a shock 1-0 win over their London rivals in the Premier League on Saturday.
Tottenham appeared the likelier side to open the scoring in the first half, as Christian Eriksen forced some fine goalkeeping from Lukasz Fabianski and Lucas Moura went close, but Spurs struggled to take full control over proceedings.
The home side looked to seize further control over the game in the second half, but it was West Ham who stunned their hosts as Michail Antonio broke clear through on goal, receiving a through ball from Marko Arnautovic before firing past Hugo Lloris.
Antonio came close to doubling the Hammers' advantage as the visitors grew in confidence, only to be denied by some strong goalkeeping from Lloris and stout defending from Davinson Sanchez.
Tottenham very nearly capitalised on the missed chances late on before Fabian Balbuena cleared off the line from a Vincent Janssen header, as West Ham saw the game out and sealed all three points.
Key Talking Point
Much of the pre-match discussion was concerned with the extent to which Tottenham's mindset would be preoccupied by their Champions League semi final against Ajax, with the first leg of the tie looming on Tuesday.
Mauricio Pochettino made a couple of significant changes to his starting XI against West Ham, with Jan Vertonghen omitted from the squad altogether and Kieran Trippier named on the bench, but Spurs went with an otherwise full-strength side with what they had available.
Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura provided a typically quick and direct threat to the visitors in attack for Tottenham, but the home side often struggled to force the issue. Large parts of the game played out in the manner of a typical end-of-season clash between two sides with little to play for.
Pochettino's side are looking to consolidate third place in the table whilst West Ham still have an outside chance of a top-half finish, but both sides are playing without any real strain and the circumstances seemed to have an impact on a relatively reserved Tottenham side.
Starting XI: Lloris (5); Foyth (5), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (6), Davies (5); Dier (6); Eriksen (7), Rose (6); Alli (7); Son (6), Lucas Moura (6)
Substitutes: Llorente (5), Janssen (5), Wanyama (N/A)
STAR MAN - In what was an uncharacteristically drab performance from Tottenham in which they lacked inspiration, Christian Eriksen remained typically composed in the middle of the park and attempted to get his side going.
The Dane was unable to repeat the heroics of his dramatic late winner last time out against Brighton, but generally looked to be Spurs' best player on the pitch,
Key Talking Point
With Tottenham somewhat dropping their guard from its usual heights ahead of their Champions League commitments on Tuesday, West Ham had a real chance to seize the initiative and spoil the party at the new home of their London rivals on Saturday.
Manuel Pellegrini's side scarcely showed the levels of ambition required to make their mark across the capital early in the game, but upped the tempo in the second half to punish a Tottenham side that had failed to take control.
You know when you’re in a relationship that’s nearly run it’s course, but then the other person does something that reminds you why you dug them in the first place? That’s what that control from Arnautovic was #WestHam #whufc #TOTWHU— Anton (@antond_c) April 27, 2019
Marko Arnautovic appeared guilty of looking uninterested in the cause at times. The Austrian is required to assume the bulk of his side's attacking responsibilities as the spearhead in attack, but hardly thrived in the role on Saturday.
However, Antonio kicked things up a gear almost on his own at times in the second half and made the difference for his side, injecting power and desire into the Hammers' attack and causing Spurs' backline all sorts of problems to capitalise on the hosts' lack of initiative.
Starting XI: Fabianski (7); Fredericks (7), Balbuena (7), Diop (7), Masuaku (6); Rice (7); Antonio (7*), Noble (7), Snodgrass (6), Anderson (6); Arnautovic (6)
Substitutes: Obiang (5), Perez (N/A), Ogbonna (N/A)
STAR MAN - West Ham struggled to make an impact in the early stages of the game as Tottenham looked to take control of the encounter, but Michail Antonio always looked to pose the biggest threat to Spurs' rearguard with his powerful runs down the right flank.
The home side appeared lethargic at times, and Antonio's drive and purpose proved decisive as he broke clear of the Spurs backline to fire the visitors ahead in stunning fashion. The attacker came agonisingly close to repeating the trick with an almost identical goal later on, only to be denied by Lloris.
The first goal scored by a visiting player at the new Tottenham stadium goes to Michail Antonio.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 27, 2019
Yes Michail Antonio you beautiful brute— db (@Daudi_B) April 27, 2019
Michail Antonio with a really well worked goal.— Ryan Quinn (@Quinntactics) April 27, 2019
Tottenham host Ajax in the first leg of their huge Champions League semi final clash on Tuesday, before Pochettino's side travel to face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium in their penultimate Premier League game of the season next Saturday.
Meanwhile, West Ham host Southampton at the London Stadium in their next Premier League outing next Saturday.
Source : 90min