West Ham broke records as the first team since the Premier League started to come back from 3 goals down with just 9 minutes remaining in a game. And what a game of football this was. The often told tail that football is a game of two halves could be summed up here as fiery London rivals Tottenham and West Ham put on a dazzling, breathtaking show as the clubs drew 3-3.
But the game should never have been a draw, from the first whistle there was only one team in it and that was the home side Tottenham. Their last game here had ended in a controversial draw with Newcastle and it was clear that the players wanted to eradicate that memory with a memorable performance over David Moyes side.
Within 60 seconds Tottenham had made their mark and let it be known despite how the game would turn out Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are at present the deadliest strike force in the Premier League. And they both linked up as Kane set up Son for a good opening goal. Son returned the complement just seven minutes later as he teed up Kane for Tottenham’s 2nd, and West Ham looked finished.
A 3rd goal followed as early as the 16th minute and it was Kane who reeled away once again- his 5th goal of the season, indeed he has been involved in 12 of Tottenham’s 15 goals this season, an incredible statistic. New signing Sergio Reguilon set Kane up and up to this point manager Jose Mourinho would have been more than delighted. Tottenham were bossing the play and looking for a 4th against a West Ham team who thought it was the start of the season again and that they were playing Newcastle.
The Hammers simply looked a shadow of the team that had beaten Wolves 4-0 and then Leicester 3-0 in their previous two games, was the international break to blame? Or was it that David Moyes had returned to the dug out? That seems harsh, and as it proved was. Moyes has worked hard trying to get the best out of this West Ham team.
Despite the 3-0 scoreline at half time West Ham hadn’t been that poor but just lacking in ideas. They had made 3 corners to Tottenham’s zero and had 2 shots on target to Tottenham’s 4. Second best yes, but not quite out of the game. Although in truth it did look like it.
As the second half kicked off and went on West Ham played some good football but to no avail and Tottenham looked like adding a 4th or simply easing to a 3-0 victory. Gareth Bale made his emotional return to playing for the side in the first time in seven years, and his presence was felt on the pitch when he came on as a second half substitute.
Looking for more attacking options Moyes brought on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini and Mourinho took off Son to shore up the team, and then the game changed. Some have blamed Son’s departure in letting Tottenham in again as their high line came more forward and suddenly Tottenham looked more exposed. And then Fabian Balbuena scored. Still with just 9 minutes left, 3-1 was acceptable- Tottenham were going to win this game. But just a few minutes later Davidson Sanchez unfortunately turned the ball into his own net after a dangerous low cross, now it was 3-2 and there was a belief that Tottenham could blow this.
But cometh the moment cometh the man, Bale showed just how good he is as he escaped his man and ran with the ball it seemed as if something he has done many times before for both Tottenham and Real Madrid would end up in the back of the net and it was deep into injury time, this goes in and Tottenham have won the game. But he missed and the Hammers counter attacked straight away as the seconds were running down.
And then it happened. Call it hit and hope or call it a piece of magic but in the 94th minute Lanzini struck from outside the area and the ball went flying in via hitting the bar, it was an unstoppable shot. And even without fans the players went crazy and seemed to generate some sort of atmosphere within the near empty stadium. It was joy for David Moyes too he hopped and skipped on the touchline.
The Premier League had rewarded us with yet another game of incident and goals. As for Tottenham they should take encouragement that Son and Kane are on fire, that there are goals in this side and that despite a bumpy start to the season they have in fact lost just once.
As for West Ham it seemed after their first defeat in the opening weekend of the season against Newcastle United that looking at their fixtures the club were doomed. That hasn’t happened and if the Hammers keep up performances like these they have every chance to keep surprising their critics.
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