Tottenham Hotspur squeaked past London rivals West Ham United with a 2-1 win to book their ticket for the semi-finals of the EFL Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur sealed their progression to the last four of the EFL Cup with a narrow 2-1 win over city rivals West Ham United as strikes from Steven Bergwijn, and Lucas Moura proved enough to see off the Hammers. The visitors posed many questions for the home side, but Spurs dug in to contain the late rally from David Moyes’s side.

Both sides made alterations to their lineups for the cup game, some rotational while others foisted due to injuries and COVID. However, that did not hinder the contest from being an intense affair at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The game started slowly, with clear-cut chances coming at a premium before a bustling Steven Bergwijn broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark.

Some nice interchange of passes in and around the box finally led to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg squaring the ball for Bergwijn, who stroked the ball into the net from close range with a minor deflection from Ben Johnson. Spurs’ lead, though, was short-lived, as West Ham quickly levelled the score. Jarrod Bowen gathered Nikola Vlasic’s wayward effort outside the area before driving the ball past Hugo Lloris’s bottom corner.

Soon after, Tottenham were back in front thanks to Lucas Moura’s close-range finish. Spurs got the job done more conventionally this time around, and their next destination will be another enticing derby against Chelsea. It was a fairly disappointing night for West Ham, who could not convert their goalscoring chances. The Hard Tackle will now run the rule over both sets of players.

Tottenham Hotspur

Hugo Lloris: 7/10

Lloris not only made his customary slew of saves, but he also came off his line early to deal with aerial balls troubling the back-four. The duel between his stops and Thomas Soucek’s header was great to watch. A top-notch performance from Mr. Reliable.

Davinson Sanchez: 6/10

Sanchez should be pleased with his performance on the night. He made several key clearances and blocks while also starting a couple of attacking moves. The Colombian pressed high at times which left his defensive partner a little exposed at the back.

Eric Dier: 6/10

Bowen folded up to wrong-foot Dier before drilling in West Ham’s equaliser. It was tough to keep track of his movements for the English defender. Although Dier commanded the box very well and maintained a good defensive line, he was easily overpowered by Soucek in aerial duels, especially with crosses into the box. Thankfully Lloris came up with a couple of spectacular saves to spare his blushes.

Ben Davies: 6/10

Davies was solid, if not spectacular, A steady performance in and out of possession, the Welshman was precise with his positioning to make a couple of interceptions and clearances. He made a major intervention with a courageous diving header to block a cross.

Matt Doherty: 6/10

Defensively, Doherty looked solid, and he got forward with some threatening crosses that resulted in efforts on goal. He worked quite hard and appeared exhausted at the end.

Oliver Skipp: 6.5/10

Playing in a holding midfield position, Skipp ran his socks off with his exuberating energy, and the bite was apparent on the pitch. He ensured that the Spurs midfield did not get outrun by West Ham as he put a selfless running shift. The youngster made some vital tackles, interceptions, and passes.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 7/10

Hojbjerg started the game looking a bit off the pace in his first match back but grew into proceedings and became a crucial part of the Spurs midfield that controlled the game’s flow to a certain extent. He lobbed in with several line-breaking long balls over the top, but the forwards could not capitalise or convert. He was tenacious throughout the game and completed a wonderful give-and-go with Bergwijn to assist the second goal.

Sergio Reguilon: 6/10

Another player looking a bit rusty, Reguilon had a fairly quiet evening as Tottenham retreated after taking the lead. He displayed his usual bundles of energy down the left flank that caused West Ham a fair few problems, but he did not carry a threat in the final third and was not involved as much as he would like to. He was also a bit rash in his defensive third but fared well overall.

Lucas Moura: 7/10

Lucas Moura capped an impressive return to the starting lineup as he grabbed the winning goal. He was full of clever tricks and deft passes, including an inch-perfect through ball for Kane to create the game’s first big chance. The Brazilian was a constant menace for West Ham in the attacking third.

Harry Kane: 7/10

Kane struggled for service aside from a brilliant opportunity when he was put through in a 1v1 situation against Areola early on in the game. Kane was missing his killer instinct in front of goal and failed to convert some big chances to extend the lead, but those moments were still few and far between. He dropped deep to pick out passes and set up a golden opportunity for Son.

Steven Bergwijn: 8/10

A well-taken goal in which he completed a nice interplay with Hojbjerg before picking the right spot to get on the end of the cut-back from the Dane. The assist was even more brilliant as he slipped past a couple of markers before laying it on a plate for the on-rushing Lucas Moura. The performance should give him a huge lift as he looked very apprehensive, underconfident and was making sloppy passes at the start.

SUBSTITUTES

Son Heung-min: 6/10

Son was introduced in the game on the hour mark and instantly made an impression. His telepathic link up with Harry Kane posed continuous threats to the Hammers.

Harry Winks: 6/10

Winks was again decent after coming in on as a substitute; he knitted the midfield and helped to tighten the midfield passage with his work rate and effective press.

Dele Alli: N/A

Dele Alli came in for the final fifteen minutes of the game and did not make much of an impact on his team’s attacking play in the final third. He had a couple of nice touches but nothing remarkable.

Emerson Royal: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Japhet Tanganga: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

West Ham United

Alphonse Areola: 6/10

Given Bergwijn and Lucas were too close to him on both goals, Areola could not have done much to keep out either strike. Areola had an overall busy night between the sticks, as Tottenham kept attacking and pressuring the goalkeeper on counter-attacks. He made some nice saves but came up on the day.

Ben Johnson: 6/10

Ben Johnson’s return was a big boost amidst West Ham’s defensive crisis. The teenager was tasked to play in an unfamiliar position in the back three and was solid on his comeback. He was constantly on the chase for Lucas Moura, who was very lively on the day.

Craig Dawson: 6/10

Dawson was solid in defence against Tottenham, making several strong tackles, clearances and interceptions to keep his side in the game. He was dominant in his half and pinned down the attackers smartly. He was also physical and effective in shutting down Kane. However, he provided the Spurs attackers with too much room in the penalty area for the goals.

Issa Diop: 5.5/10

Diop was aggressive and made a few good steals in the midfield to stop Tottenham from having counter-attacking opportunities. He was the more commanding of the three centre-backs but was dragged out of position, while his positioning was shabby.

Harrison Ashby: 5/10

Fairly decent on his first real taste of top-level football, Ashby seemed a touch out of sorts, leaving his team exposed on several occasions. He made a couple of interceptions, but they were all on his side. He gave the ball away several times and struggled to get to grips with the pace of the game but improved as the match went on and delivered a couple of good crosses.

Declan Rice: 7/10

The West Ham skipper put in another all-action display. He was at the heart of some good moves in the attacking third and had a couple of shots at goal, but Lloris was not to be beaten. The English international always looked to drive West Ham up the field during the second half as the Irons searched for equaliser. He snuffed out the danger on turnovers while completing a match-high 7 dribbles on the night.

Tomas Soucek: 7/10

The Czech midfielder was one of the main reasons that West Ham almost neutralised Tottenham’s threat on the counter for so long in the second half. He tested Lloris with two strong headers and dominated midfield along with Rice, making vital tackles and interceptions. Perhaps he should have levelled the score when slipping in at the back post. He was, as usual, combative and was a imperious aerially, winning a game-high 5 aerial duels.

Arthur Masuaku: 6/10

Masuaku was unconvincing and poor in defensive actions again. Some of his deliveries looked vicious, but he was far too inconsistent. He was also consistently indecisive in possession in the opening half but grew in stature with a better attacking presence down the left flank in the second period.

Nikola Vlasic: 6/10

Although Vlasic did bag an assist, he failed to leave a big impression on the game. His end product was lacking, but there is a talented player hidden as he was bright on the ball. The Croat was subbed off in the second half for Said Benrahma.

Jarrod Bowen: 8/10

Bowen produced a great finish to level the score, and he was a huge menace with his sharp movements, dropping off and sliding into the void left by the Tottenham defenders. He tried his utmost to find the second equaliser, but that did not come off for him on the day. Some great combination plays with Lanzini and Fornals. He also made several exciting darting runs.

Manuel Lanzini: 7/10

Lanzini got into pockets of spaces as West Ham grabbed a footing in the second half, but he will feel he should have contributed more in the attacking third. The Argentine showed some nice touches in midfield and created two decent chances. However, he became anonymous before being subbed off.

SUBSTITUTES

Pablo Fornals: 6/10

Fornals came on in the second half and played well in midfield. He had a couple of one-on-one opportunities, but he could not get past his marker to generate chances for his team. The Spaniard forced West Ham to play on the front foot at every opportunity, though.

Said Benrahma: 6.5/10

Benrahma was a real bright spark off the bench. The Algerian was brought on to help get the much-needed equaliser in the second period, but he flashed a couple of good efforts at goal before pulling a superb volley that just went wide.

Andriy Yarmolenko: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Leave A Comment...

*