West Ham let slip a winnable game against Tottenham this afternoon, conceding two late goals. It was the unstoppable Kane who will once again make the headlines as West Ham’s defence wonder what more they could have done.
The north London native has proved once more why he is a defender’s nightmare, scoring a last minute winner from a penalty which he himself won.
West Ham did everything in their power to stop him from scoring throughout the game and were in the end desperately unlucky to see the Englishman round off a Tottenham comeback.
For over 90 minutes Kane barely had a sniff on goal until he meandered past Alex Song with a tangle of legs causing a controversial penalty in the final minute of extra-time. Kane may have felt a touch but it was nowhere near enough contact to send him tumbling to the ground.
Winston Reid and James Tomkins shut out the efforts of the 21-year-old for the entire game. A lack of creative flair from Spurs around the edge of the penalty area was as much to blame for Kane’s inability to manufacture a legitimate chance on goal as anything but the major factor in Kane being shut out until the final minute was the brilliant defending from West Ham.
This started from the front with Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia who pressed high up in an effort to stifle Tottenham’s high-quality midfield.
Behind them, Mark Noble was a terror in the middle. He had to be taken off midway through the second half to save himself from picking up a second booking such was his tenacity and effort to win the ball back.
This writer feels a large degree of sympathy for the back four of West Ham, who were up until the last 10 minutes outstanding in how they marshalled the penalty area. Kane’s goal will be the centre-piece of the narrative surrounding this match but it by no means tells the whole story.
That said, it is a great sign from such a young striker that he can manufacture a penalty in a game where his confidence would have been quite low, with the lack of chances he had carved out for over 90 minutes.
As the game edged towards 90 minutes, after Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate had put the Hammers ahead, there was that impending sense of doom as West Ham’s pressure further up the pitch waned slightly, inviting Spurs on top of them.
Who else could it be to pop up with the equaliser other than the north London club’s in-form striker.
It is a further blow for West Ham in their quest to find a sustained run of form. The Hammers would have expected, and realistically deserved much more from today’s performance than what they received.
They say you get what you deserve in football but one would be hard-pressed to convey that saying to the outstanding performers from the Hammers’ backline today.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena
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