Goalscorer: Winston Reid 66, Ricardo Vaz Te 72, Ravel Morrison 79
Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris, Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton (Lewis Holtby 81), Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Mousa Dembele, Paulinho, Andros Townsend, Christian Eriksen (Roberto Soldado 74), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Erik Lamela 63), Jermain Defoe
West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, Razvan Rat, James Tomkins, Winston Reid, Mohamed Diame (James Collins 80), Mark Noble (Joey O’Brien 90), Ravel Morrison, Kevin Nolan, Stewart Downing, Ricardo Vaz Te (Carlton Cole 86)
Referee: Lee Probert, Attendance: 35,977
A win for Tottenham Hotspur in this match with London rivals West Ham United in October 2013 would have taken them joint-top of the table with Arsenal and Liverpool FC. West Ham began in the bottom three but a win would see them rise into 13th position in the table. As Andre Villas-Boas’ side had the joint-tightest defence in the Premier League going into this match, Spurs were expected to come out on top.
Sam Allardyce decided to name no recognised forward in his starting XI, with Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison playing in the false no.9 positions. In a first half of precious few chances, it was West Ham who created the best moment. They won a free-kick in a dangerous position and rather than shoot, Mark Noble elected to chip the ball over the wall. Clearly a training ground routine, it nearly worked. Kevin Nolan’s shot went just wide from a tight angle.
Tottenham enjoyed 61% possession in the match but created precious little which was a sign of how their season was progressing. They were tight at the back but had only scored six goals in their first six league matches of the season – still struggling with the aftermath of the Gareth Bale transfer to Real Madrid.
Villas-Boas elected to start with Jermain Defoe over summer signing Roberto Soldado and Defoe did cause some problems at the start of the second half. He was twice denied by Hammers’ goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. As the game entered its last 25 minutes, the outcome of the match was firmly in the balance.
It was at this moment when West Ham took the lead. Winston Reid met Stewart Downing’s corner but his effort was inadvertently blocked on the goal-line by Nolan. Fortunately for the east Londoners, the ball bounced back to Reid and he made no mistake on the rebound, striking past Hugo Lloris. He joined Oliver Giroud and John Terry in being only the third player to score in the league this season past Lloris.
Vaz Te would add his name to that list just six minutes later. Found by Noble, his shot was saved by Lloris but he followed up quickly and the ball went into the net off his knee. If there was fortune about West Ham’s first two goals, there was nothing lucky about their third. Morrison, who had been dangerous all afternoon, collected a flick-on from Mohamed Diame and ran with the ball. He beat both Tottenham central defenders, Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen before convincingly beating Lloris and finishing the match off as a contest.
It was the Hammers’ first win at White Hart Lane since 1999 and their first away victory in nine attempts. West Ham would win three encounters in the season with Tottenham but finished in the bottom half of the table. Spurs’ form dipped alarmingly after this loss and AVB was axed as manager in December 2013. Tim Sherwood took over and guided the club to a sixth-place finish at the end of the campaign.