West Ham – Tottenham Hotspur: Tottenham get narrow win in London derby (0-1)
Erik Lamela’s header late in the first half was all that separated West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur in a closely contested London derby. Tottenham largely dominated the first half before West Ham gained the upper hand and enjoyed more possession in the second half, without causing a lot of actual trouble.
Having been the fifth highest spending team in the summer transfer window, and having signed a former Premier League winning manager, expectation levels at West Ham were elevated going into this season. After losing their first four games of the season though, it seemed that West Ham would not come close to meet these expectations. Even at such an early stage in the season, questions started to arise about how long Manuel Pellegrini’s tenure at London Stadium would last.
The other side of the story was that these losses for West Ham came in away games against two top-six teams (Liverpool and Arsenal). The other two defeats were against an in-form Bournemouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are not your run-of-the-mill promoted team, but already look like a strong mid-table Premier League team. With context, the run of four defeats does not seem as terrible. Since that losing streak, things have turned around for West Ham, as they kept a clean sheet against Chelsea and gathered 3-1 wins over both Everton and Manchester United.
Tottenham meanwhile found themselves two points away from the top of the Premier League before this game. The fact that there is now a bit of pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino to deliver silverware at Tottenham can be seen as a testament to how far he has taken the club. Spurs have had disappointing results in important games . . .