Friday 22 March 2019

Son's stunning strike earns Spurs a share of the spoils

Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

West Ham’s Pedro Obiang celebrates scoring his goal with Pablo Zabaleta. Pic: Reuters
West Ham’s Pedro Obiang celebrates scoring his goal with Pablo Zabaleta. Pic: Reuters

Son Heung-min and Pedro Obiang each scored a stunner as Tottenham were held by West Ham to a 1-1 draw at Wembley last night.

Spurs had hit 20 shots by the time the Hammers took the lead with their first as Obiang beat Hugo Lloris with a blistering effort from 30 yards.

Son replied with his own spectacular long-range strike six minutes from time but Tottenham were unable to find a winner on another frustrating night for them at the national stadium. The draw leaves Mauricio Pochettino's side three points short of Liverpool in fourth while West Ham climb to 15th, two points clear of the relegation zone.

Both sides had been afforded only 48 hours rest here, although West Ham enjoyed the smoother turn-around given their crunch win over West Brom came only a short train ride away in east London, while Spurs were still flying back from their own victory in Swansea in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

There also were a noticeable number of empty red seats at Wembley, where the 50,034 attendance suggested that on the sixth consecutive day of Premier League matches, and ninth out of 10, even football fans can have enough of a good thing.

But this contest lacked nothing for excitement, as West Ham showed all their new-found resilience under David Moyes and would have had a shock win were it not for Son's late intervention.

For Spurs, this was another case of failing to break down a stubborn rear-guard at home. These results could well cost them dear in May.

Harry Kane shook off illness to return to the starting line-up in place of Fernando Llorente while Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko also came in.

West Ham made three changes too, as the injured trio of Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll and Aaron Cresswell made way for Mark Noble, Javier Hernandez and Declan Rice.

Spurs showed no sign of fatigue in the opening stages as Kane almost steered in Christian Eriksen's deflected cross before Davinson Sanchez drew a last-ditch block from Rice after Adrian had fumbled a high ball.

After surviving the early onslaught, however, West Ham settled in, cementing 11 players in their own half and showing little interest even in the occasional chance of a counter.

With 70 minutes gone, Tottenham had reeled off 20 shots without success so it was an even crueller blow when West Ham scored with their first.

Obiang drifted inside from the left and sent the ball soaring past the outstretched hand of Lloris and into the top right-hand corner.

Cheikhou Kouyate could even have made it two but fluffed a free header at the back post and it proved a costly miss as Son struck in the 84th minute.

The South Korean lined up more centrally than Obiang but his shot was no less emphatic, flying past Adrian. Tottenham fans roared their team on to find a winner but West Ham had the best late chance as Andre Ayew wriggled through, only to be denied by the feet of Lloris.

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