Premier League 2019/20: 3 reasons why Tottenham Hotspur beat West Ham
Jose Mourinho got his tenure at Tottenham Hotspur off to a winning start today as his new side were able to defeat West Ham 2-3 at the London Stadium. The scoreline largely flattered Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers – their second goal came in practically the last kick of the game – and Mourinho will probably come away pleased with the result, albeit with an asterisk due to conceding those two late goals.
Spurs got off to a good start in the first half, largely dominating play before Heung Min Son picked up a pass from Dele Alli and drove the ball past goalkeeper Roberto for the first goal of the Mourinho era. The Portuguese boss soon saw his side double their lead, as Son’s cross found Lucas Moura, who slid in to fire the ball home from close range.
It looked like a perfect day for Mourinho when Harry Kane headed Serge Aurier’s cross home early in the second-half following a smart pass from Harry Winks, but when West Ham introduced Michail Antonio from the bench, a fightback of sorts was sparked, with the substitute scoring with a strong finish just inside the box. From there the game was largely even until West Ham – who’d had a Declan Rice goal disallowed for a clear offside – scored a second consolation through Angelo Ogbonna right before full time.
Here are 3 reasons why Tottenham defeated West Ham.
1. Spurs looked re-energised under Mourinho
Prior to today’s game, the last time Tottenham had won a Premier League away match was on January 20th, when Harry Winks’ last-gasp header gave them victory over Fulham. With that in mind, it was always going to be interesting to see how the arrival of Jose Mourinho would change Spurs’ mindset, and from the off, it was clear that his side were up for the fight.
Mourinho’s players, practically to a man, looked re-energised in comparison to their recent matches under Mauricio Pochettino; they completed more successful tackles than their opponents, put together more passes and had more shots on goal and on target too.
Dele Alli, in particular, was excellent in the first half – more on him later – but Lucas Moura and Heung Min Son looked dangerous from the flanks, Eric Dier and Harry Winks controlled the midfield well – Winks again posting an impressive pass success rate of 89% - and the defence appeared more confident too.
It’s too early to say whether this added energy was down to Mourinho or down to the simple fact that today’s game was a fresh start for Spurs’ players, but either way, it added up to a very important victory.