West Ham beat Tottenham 2-1, into top 4 of EPL
LONDON (AP) :
West Ham strengthened their unlikely push for Champions League qualification by beating Tottenham 2-1 to climb into the top four of the Premier League yesterday.
Jesse Lingard, rejuvenated after his loan move from Manchester United last month, scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 47th minute after running on to a pass from Pablo Fornals and burying an angled shot with his left foot.
Tottenham had also conceded a goal early in the first half with fit-again striker Michail Antonio converting a loose ball from close range after his initial glancing effort was kept out by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the fifth minute.
Lucas Moura pulled a goal back for Tottenham in the 64th with a header from a corner by Gareth Bale, whose impressive performance as a second-half substitute also saw him smash a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Son Heung-min also struck the goal frame in stoppage time with an effort he knew little about that looped up over West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Tottenham dropped nine points off the Champions League positions, the fourth and final one currently being occupied by West Ham as David Moyes continues to rebuild his managerial reputation at an east London club that is more often found battling against relegation.
"I feel as if there is a half-job done," Moyes said. "I think we can play much better ... I don't think we've hit top gear yet. The players have been finding ways to wrestle points off the opposition. They have done a brilliant job."
West Ham have only lost one of its last nine league games, whereas Tottenham have lost five of their last six.
"I feel that we are not in the position in relation to our potential," Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said. "Even if I think for a long, long time that we have problems in the team that I cannot resolve by myself as a coach.
"Our potential is higher than where we are, so of course there is frustration. We should be in a better position. To think about a top four spot is getting very difficult."
It was Lingard's third goal in four league games since joining West Ham in an effort to revitalise a career that was going stale at United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"I have settled in really quickly," Lingard said. "I am playing each game with a smile and enjoying my football, and that is the most important thing.
"Everyone has the same mindset and goal for the end of the season, and the same targets. We don't look at the table too much, and will take it game by game, but this is an enjoyable position to be in."