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Tottenham vs West Ham result: Outlandish Hammers comeback defies fantasy and Spurs’ control in wild draw

The Independent logo The Independent 18/10/2020 Vithushan Ehantharajah
a group of people playing football on a field © Provided by The Independent

Never mind Gareth Bale. Never mind one of the most complete performances from Harry Kane. Never mind being 3-0 up with eight minutes of the 90 to play. Sometimes, things happen. Things beyond your control or, for West Ham, wildest fantasies.

Having been second best to Tottenham Hotspur for 82 minutes, West Ham staged one of the most outlandish and unpredictable comebacks to steal a point. The bedlam-rousing goal was worthy of the moment: Manuel Lanzini, in the final minute of injury time, running onto a bouncing ball with bodies in front of him and striking a swerving 25-yeard effort that clipped the point of post and bar before bouncing over the line and into the net. The celebrations from all in claret and blue filled the empty 60,000-seater stadium.

Up until that point, David Moyes will have rued getting out of his pyjamas. Having worked from home for the last two matches – two wins, no goals conceded – he returned to the dugout to see his side concede just after 45 seconds and go 3-0 down inside 16 minutes.

But there were no signs of any residual effects on his health from his bout of Covid-19, or indeed his athleticism, as he leapt around on the pitch in jubilation at the final goal. This was just the third time in Premier League history that a side has avoided defeat despite trailing by at least three goals in the last 10 minutes, but neither of those previous teams had turned things around later than this. 

Kane looked like he had done enough on his own to seal the three points that would have taken Spurs up to second. He had a hand in all three goals, scoring two and assisting the other, along with excellence in various other areas of the pitch that looked to have made the win safe.

The opener belonged on the highlight reel of Spurs’ 5-2 demolition of Southampton. A drop-off by Kane to collect the ball, Son the most willing of runners receiving a whipping through-pass and then firing into the far corner after shifting across a defender and onto his right foot. Somehow, despite the duo combining four times in more or less that exactly fashion a month ago at St Mary’s, the West Ham backline did not see it coming.

They could not do much for the second, a role switch that still left the brunt of the work to Kane. A lay-off from Son into his path had no real sight of goal from 20 yards out. But a touch through the legs of Declan Rice and the Spurs captain got off a shot in the little room he had, leaving Lukas Fabianski rooted to his spot.

Only then did they allow someone else to have a go. This time Sergio Reguilon provide the assist: a perfect cross on the run that bypassed all four in claret-and-blue between him and Kane, who guided his header into the far corner.  

a group of football players on a field: Harry Kane scored two and assisted one for SpursPOOL/AFP via Getty Images © Provided by The Independent Harry Kane scored two and assisted one for SpursPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

With that, the game was stone dead. Son had the chance to make totally sure with a stake through the heart, but his near-post dash on 35 minutes brought a fine save from Fabianski to prevent 4-0 before the break.

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There might have been some jeopardy earlier had Pablo Fornals not headed over the bar from two yards. It came via a shot from Michail Antonio that ricocheted into his path at the back post. More broadly, it was in a period where West Ham finally gave the hosts something to worry about.

Still, Kane was a nuisance: rising highest to clear set-pieces, even throwing himself in harm’s way as if his primary objective was stopping goals rather than scoring them. Soon he was back to type, close to making a hat-trick with a sweeping left-foot shot from the edge of the box which pinged the outside of the post.

West Ham, though, were not going to let this be a comfortable finish. That early second-half pluck returned, starting with Balbuena’s header from a free-kick wide on the left. Two minutes later, West Ham had cut the deficit to a single goal when Davinson Sanchez headed past Hugo Lloris in his attempts to snuff out a further threat from the right.

Manuel Lanzini, Robert Snodgrass are posing for a picture: Manuel Lanzini’s thunderbolt with the last kick of the game ensured a drawPOOL/AFP via Getty Images © Provided by The Independent Manuel Lanzini’s thunderbolt with the last kick of the game ensured a drawPOOL/AFP via Getty Images

The four minutes of additional time were manic, though that could have been quelled outright had Bale, on for his second debut after 72 minutes, found the net after slaloming in-and-out of two defenders to break into the box for the first time. His effort, an attempt to misdirect the people, went wide of the nearer post. 

A foul, again on the West Ham left, deep into Spurs territory, allowed another crossing opportunity into the middle. As the ball bounced around and white shirts defended nervously, Harry Winks poked the ball on the edge of the box into a central area. Lanzini’s eyes lit up and the rest is now history.

Along with the defensive capitulation for Jose Mourinho to consider, the last 10 will have pierced all the good feeling over Kane’s display, Bale’s return and the sense of belief that was evident during the high points of this fixture. Points which they will feel have amounted to nothing. 

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