herald

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Hammers stun Spurs with comeback

Tottenham 2 West Ham Utd 3

West Ham’s Irish U21 star Declan Rice celebrates Ogbonna’s winner at Wembley last night. Photo: Reuters
West Ham’s Irish U21 star Declan Rice celebrates Ogbonna’s winner at Wembley last night. Photo: Reuters

West Ham eased the pressure on their manager Slaven Bilic by fighting back from two goals down to beat Tottenham 3-2 in the League Cup fourth round.

The Hammers looked down and out after Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli had put Spurs two in front at half-time but Andre Ayew's double pulled them level before Angelo Ogbonna completed a remarkable turnaround.

Bilic's celebrations were muted both after his team's goals and at the full-time whistle, suggesting he knows his future will depend on his team improving their position in the table.

But a comeback like this, against a London rival, will surely do wonders for the confidence of his players, who collectively rushed over to toast victory with their jubilant supporters at the end.

Within seconds Cheikhou Kouyate had lumped a long ball forward for Andy Carroll to fish out of the air but Fernando Llorente showed more subtlety at the other end as his brilliant flick around the corner led to an opening goal.

Son Heung-min was set free down the left and with West Ham caught up field, Sissoko ghosted through the middle and tucked his team-mate's pass into the corner.

Alli doubled Tottenham's advantage shortly before half-time, starting the move with a series of step-overs on the left and ending it with a curled shot inside the far post.

That it took a heavy deflection off Declan Rice only added to West Ham's sense of deflation. However, within 15 minutes of the second half, the visitors found themselves level.

Perhaps Tottenham thought their work was done because twice they failed to clear their lines as Ayew tapped home after Michel Vorm parried Edimilson Fernandes' shot and then Ayew was there again, steering in after Manuel Lanzini poked the ball across the box.

Ten minutes later, their comeback was complete when Toby Alderweireld failed to track Ogbonna's run at a corner and the defender rose high to head in at the near post.

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