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Home » Tottenham Reach Top Four with Win Over West Ham, Highlights and Analysis Powered by Royal and Son

Tottenham Reach Top Four with Win Over West Ham, Highlights and Analysis Powered by Royal and Son

19 February 2023, Sunday
Tottenham leapt into a top-four spot after registering a 2-0 win against London rivals West Ham United. Emerson Royal opened the scoring in his 50th Premier League outing, while substitute Son Heung-min added a second goal to bring him to within two of becoming the first Asian player to rack up a century of Premier League goals.

In the opening 45 minutes of the London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, the entertainment level was far from exciting. Jarrod Bowen had the first opportunity of the game, with a half-volley going just wide in the first minute; however, it would be another 34 minutes before the first shot on target was seen, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's effort easily saved from distance. 

The only action of note was Oliver Skipp receiving a yellow card after a careless tackle on Michail Antonio. It was a generally listless affair, with neither team able to spark any energy or passion into the match.

The home crowd were quiet until injury time as Cristian Romero almost opened the scoring with a header off a corner that went just above the bar. Antonio Conte was not present for the match as he was recovering from gallbladder surgery, so assistant manager Cristian Stellini had to provide the motivation during halftime.

Spurs made a lightning start to the second half, as is becoming their custom. Richarlison and Kane spurned chances before the opening goal was scored on 56 minutes. Emerson Royal, the right-back, expertly finished off a lovely through ball from Hojbjerg and pass from Ben Davies on the left. Richarlison was replaced by Son on 67 minutes, leading to enthusiastic applause.

The adulation of the crowd grew even louder when Kane and Son linked up for their fourth Premier League connection of the campaign, with the South Korean tapping in from close range to send Tottenham on their way to a valuable victory, elevating them back into the Champions League spots.

Next up for Mauricio Pochettino's men is a home clash with London rivals Chelsea, while West Ham, currently residing in 18th position, host Nottingham Forest.

Richarlison's inclusion in the starting line-up ahead of Son Heung-min was the main talking point before kick-off, with Spurs fans hoping for some contributions from the Brazilian. Manager Cristian Stellini had stated he was confident that Richarlison would bring energy to the team. Despite offering energy and being active in the final third, the 25-year-old's performance today was less than inspiring with errant passes, slow reactions and hesitant shots. Richarlison has not scored in the Premier League this term, contributing only a Champions League goal in September. 

The collective sigh from the home crowd when Richarlison's lackluster shot went astray at the start of the second half was indicative of the disappointment at his display. In contrast, Son Heung-min's five minute cameo upon his return to the pitch produced rapid-fire linking-up with Kane and Kulusevski. Thus, it appears that the South Korean may be the safer option to return to the starting line-up against Chelsea next weekend.

The Tottenham team that took the field in the second half of their match against West Ham looked more likely than the one that started the match to make a realistic push for the top four.

In the first 45 minutes, Spurs struggled to find their rhythm and lacked urgency. At the break, Harry Kane and Richarlison were given early chances to spark the crowd and create momentum, which worked well. The introduction of Son and the return of Lucas Moura were also welcomed, while Kulusevski also seemed to be more confident as the match went on.

If Son and Kulusevski can rediscover their earlier form, then Spurs may be in with a chance of challenging for the top four, with those three having previously been one of the most formidable front-threes in the league.

The north London side must show attacking intent from the start as they won't always have the luxury today's opponents provided and barely threatened their goal. The result of the match sees Spurs in fourth place, one point ahead of Newcastle in fifth, although the Magpies have played a game more. Tottenham have already been defeated by Newcastle this season, meaning they can't afford to lose the return fixture in April. Brighton, Fulham and Liverpool are all among the chasing pack, and if Spurs want to stay in the top four then they need to be more proactive.
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