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Tottenham 2-0 West Ham United – Spurs up to 4th

December 28, 2009

Luka Modric scores on his return from injury

Tottenham have leapfrogged Aston Villa up into forth in the Premier League table after a 2-0 win against London rivals West Ham.

Luka Modric opened the scoring just 11 minutes in at White Hart Lane after some excellent work from Aaron Lennon down the right side. It then took Spurs until the 81st minute to double the lead and secure the 3 points, as Jermain Defoe netted his 14th League goal of the season, and in the process reclaiming the status as the League’s leading goalscorer.

Spurs were impressive right from the outset, dominating possession and having numerous chances to put the Hammers out of the game. Gianfranco Zola experienced a disastrous first 20 minutes, as in the aftermath of Modric’s goal Scott Parker had to be replaced with a sore hamstring – Parker had earlier passed a late fitness test. Then Herita Illunga was forced to come off with exactly the same problem, and the Hammers were left with a big uphill struggle to get back in the game.

They fought well throughout the match but never looked like threatening Gomes’ goal. A number of late challenges saw Diamanti, Franco and Kovac receive yellow cards from Chris Foy, the latter probably lucky to stay on the pitch after stamping on Tom Huddlestone’s ankle.

Spurs pressed forward in the second half looking to kill off the visitors, who won at home for the first time since April at the weekend. The breakthrough eventually came from a Spurs counter attack, whereby Jermain Defoe gathered the ball in the inside left position, rounded a the West Ham defence, before unleashing a fierce drive that Robert Green failed to hold. The rebound fell back to Defoe who repeated the motion and claimed the points for the home side.

Problems mounting for Zola then, as both Parker and Illunga are doubts for the next match, and with Franco picking up his 5th booking of the season just a day before the 5th booking rule is abolished, the absentee list is even longer. It seems like the Hammers are in for a long and hard new year.

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