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Declan Rice sets the tone in Tottenham win that underlines West Ham have upset established order in London

·2 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

David Moyes insisted in the week that West Ham have a long way to go if they are to upset the big six and rearrange the pecking order in London. On this evidence they’re not far off at all.

Michail Antonio’s sixth career goal against Tottenham fired the Hammers above Spurs and into the Premier League’s top four to cap a wonderful week.

This game used to be West Ham’s cup final, something Tottenham supporters routinely mocked them for, but it was the visitors who looked to be happy with the point throughout the second half while Moyes’s side took the initiative and claimed all three.

Both sides had their chances across a cagey first half in which Lukasz Fabianski was called upon to deny Spurs on three occasions, the most spectacular coming when he tipped over from Harry Kane’s header.

Neither side were able to get into any sort of groove amid a flat atmosphere. Moyes, though, has instilled a level of mettle in this Hammers. This was a game that, three years ago, a Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino would probably have claimed with West Ham wilting, but no longer.

Now they step up instead of shying away.

Declan Rice set the tone, taking a stranglehold on midfield, and Tottenham did not manage a single shot in the second half.

Pablo Fornals snapped at Sergio Reguilon and forced a corner from Hugo Lloris.

It still feels that West Ham’s best chance of scoring will come from a set piece so dominant they have been in that area. Especially with Said Benrahma struggling to get things going in the No10 role and Tomas Soucek looking sluggish.

Having netted from two dead balls against Genk in midweek it seemed a natural way to break the deadlock in what had been a rather scrappy game going forward here.

No one has been more troublesome over a dead ball since the start of last season than Aaron Cresswell and here he laid on a ninth set-piece assist since then, whipping the ball to the near post where Antonio breezed past a static Kane to prod home the eventual winner.

There was little response from Tottenham, though West Ham still had to be wary. Their two defeats this season have come following a European night in midweek and were delivered by goals beyond the 89th minute. Holding on may prove a big step for Moyes.

The Scot will not get carried away. Beating an underwhelming Spurs side does not mean they are an established top six force but it is yet another warning that they will not be going away.

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