West Ham storm past Tottenham with unbelievable comeback
PUBLISHED: 22:08 25 October 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers are into the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with a second-half display nobody could have predicted
Tottenham Hotspur 2 West Ham United 3
Carabao Cup Fourth Round
André Ayew’s delicious double scoop plus a huge dollop of Angelo delight made it a sweet, sweet night for West Ham United, who came in from the cold to whip up a wonderful Wembley win over stunned Spurs.
The hapless Hammers had been made to look like doughnuts in a fruitless first-half that had seen Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli give Tottenham a comfortable two-goal lead at the interval.
But in an amazing second-half comeback, Slaven Bilić’s battlers booked their place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals as Ayew bundled home two goals inside five minutes, before Angelo Ogbonna headed a 70th minute winner.
Certainly, these two teams could not have had more contrasting halves just as they had enjoyed differing fortunes at the weekend.
The Hammers three-goal grilling at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion on Friday night had seen black storm clouds gathering over brow-beaten Bilić and, with his side teetering in 16th-spot ahead of this Saturday’ tense trip to Crystal Palace, the West Ham boss made nine changes for this rare trip to Wembley.
Indeed, only Manuel Lanzini and centre-back Cheikhou Kouyaté retained their shirts against a high-flying Spurs side, whose 4-1 victory over lack-lustre Liverpool on Sunday had lifted Mauricio Pochettino’s team into third-spot.
With Ronaldo’s Real Madrid set to strut their stuff on the hallowed turf next week – and a Saturday lunchtime date at Manchester United - the Argentinian clearly had his eyes on other prizes as he made seven switches from the weekend, with only Alli, Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier and Heung-Min Son holding onto their jerseys.
But despite fielding Ogbonna, Kouyaté and Declan Rice in the heart of the Hammers rear-guard, the beleaguered Bilić was soon looking high into the dark, October heavens as re-shuffled Spurs took just half-a-dozen minutes to breach East End defences.
The recalled Fernando Llorente cleverly back-heeled to Son, who carried the ball from half-way before inviting Sissoko to gallop unchecked through Wembley’s wide-open spaces and fire a low 15-yarder beyond the outstretched right leg of the embarrassingly-exposed Adrián.
With all three of his central defenders having gone missing in action, the helpless Hammers boss cut a lonely figure in his technical area and, on the quarter-hour mark, it could have got yet worse for the crushed Croatian, when Trippier’s cross looped beyond Rice to the airborne Alli, whose far post header was brilliantly palmed over the crossbar by Adrián.
Apart from a deflected Edimilson Fernandes grass-cutter and a couple of penalty area tangles, West Ham were struggling to create anything.
And with the Spurs midfield on cruise control, Pochettino’s side released the handbrake once more on 37 minutes, when Alli waltzed in from the left flank before threading the ball to Son, who returned possession to the England midfielder, whose 18-yard curler took a deflection off the scalp of a stooping Rice before spinning past Adrian’s groping glove and inside the right-hand upright.
Three minutes before the break, skipper Mark Noble marked his return to the fold with a 20-yard shot that the hitherto redundant Michel Vorm easily gathered and that was about as good as it good for woeful West Ham in a forlorn first-half.
But ten minutes after the restart, the Hammers finally gave everyone Claret & Blue some hope, when Lanzini’s half-cleared corner fell to Fernandes on the edge of the Spurs area. This time, Vorm found the Swiss international’s low 18-yard scorcher simply too hot to handle and the appreciative Ayew gleefully tapped home the rebound.
It got yet better on the hour, when against all odds, resurgent West Ham levelled.
Ogbonna, on the edge of the area, headed on to Andy Carroll who nodded down for Lanzini to send a by-line cross into the six-yard box, where the alert Ayew cleverly sneaked in front of Alderweireld to prod home his second goal inside five fantastical minutes.
Roared on by 4,800 vociferous Eastenders packed to the rafters in an otherwise roomy Wembley, the Hammers were in the ascendancy and, although Adrian had to be at his absolute best at the other end to thwart Alli’s point-blank volley, Spurs were now firmly on the back foot.
And right before their eyes, it just got better and better for those travelling West Ham United fans on 70 minutes, when the soaring Ogbonna got between Son and Trippier to head Lanzini’s well-flighted corner beyond Vorm.
It had been a simply sensational turnaround by Bilić’s boys, who had battled back from the dead and, although Pochettino introduced Mousa Dembélé, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Christian Eriksen in a bid to regain a foothold in the tie, by now nothing was going to stop the Hammers ball going into tomorrow’s quarter-final draw.
SPURS: Vorm, Rose (Eriksen 81), Davies, Alderweireld, Trippier, Dier, Sissoko, Foyth, Alli, Son (Nkoudou 83), Llorente (Dembélé 72). Unused subs: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Winks, Walker-Peters.
HAMMERS: Adrian, Byram, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Rice, Noble, Kouyaté, Fernandes (Obiang 77), Ayew, Lanzini (Arnautović 88), Carroll. Unused: Hart, Fonte, Hernández, Hakšabanović, Masuaku.
Referee: Mike Dean.