Horrific Destiny Udogie back-pass gifts West Ham their winner at Spurs

James Ward-Prowse celebrating - Horrific Destiny Udogie back-pass gifts West Ham their winner at Spurs – live reaction
Ward-Prowse was on hand to slot home West Ham's winner after a huge defensive error - AFP/IAN KINGTON

The Ange Postecoglou revolution was always destined to be a wild ride, although the fifth consecutive lead thrown away in the Premier League has come to suggest a pattern of surrender that is threatening to define these fragile early months.

West Ham’s possession-count never got above 25 per cent but with chances like these, David Moyes’ players could afford to be patient. They came, they saw, they counter-attacked. Jarrod Bowen and then James Ward-Prowse scored second-half goals that spun the game out of its orbit. From a dominant first half siege by Spurs to a desperate chasing of a game and a looming defeat they could never quite come to terms with.

That is one point from the last five games for Postecoglou in the Premier League and that sequence of taking the lead in every one of those four defeats and single draw is a record for the league. Once again Postecoglou’s players started like a side that looked sure they had all the answers. This time, however, the single first-half goal from Cristian Romero felt like a rather meagre return on their dominance.

Postecoglou would emphasise later that the attacking football must take second place to a winning habit. He declared his side “really poor in both boxes” with the chances they failed to take, and then those they gave away. A single-goal lead at half-time he said “was not a good performance … we should have been three or four goals up” and he was proven right by the end of it.

An embattled West Ham found their feet in the second half and sensed that Spurs would cough up the chances. The two goals Moyes’ players eventually scored were chiselled out of nothing by his forwards. Fleeting opportunities turned into something much greater by the hard-running from Bowen and Mohammed Kudus who were prepared to chase the ball up the pitch and count on getting the returns.

That Spurs gave up these goals was, for the second at least, a case of a mistake from Destiny Udogie – and yet by then the game should have been settled. It is nigh on impossible to replace as towering a figure as Harry Kane, although these are the nights when you imagine he would have steered his team through.

At the end Dejan Kulusevski had to be held back by his team-mates from confronting the referee Michael Salisbury for grievances which were not immediately clear. The Var John Brooks checked a late handball claim against Kurt Zouma but decided against a review. Postecoglou said he had no idea why that protest might have taken place. “I don’t think it’s because of the ref we lost the game,” he said.

Postecoglou kept returning a central thesis – that winning was the only benchmark and the entertaining football that accompanied it was just a means to that end. One senses he sees how this is going – a manager who prizes the aesthetic above the result - and he does not like it. Certainly he felt the full caprice of this club that struggles with the reality of its situation and how it can often fall well short of its vaulting ambition: there were boos at the end.

Very different for Moyes, who could afford to be generous in victory, describing Spurs as being “as good as any team in the Premier League at the moment”. He saw the half-time deficit as a “really good 1-0” given the quality of the opposition. “We did a good containing job on them,” he said and that laid the groundwork for what was to come after half-time.

It leaves West Ham just six points off Manchester City in fourth place in a top nine all within 12 points of one another. West Ham had gone behind to a perfectly-placed header from Romero, returning from the red card suspension earned against Chelsea. He must have connected somewhere around the penalty spot with Pedro Porro’s corner in the 11th minute and put it in the one place that Lukasz Fabianski was never going to reach.

The second-choice West Ham goalkeeper was in place of Alphonse Areola who was nursing a wrist injury but other than that it was the full-Moyes XI. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg started in midfield, thrust back into favour by the injuries, and yet it was still very much a Postecoglou approach. Porro and his fellow full-back Udogie were high. West Ham were forced back narrow and deep, but they shut down the channels probed by Heung-Min Son and Kulusevski.

Bowen created the first West Ham goal, wrestling the ball off Romero and then following in his pass to Kudus. His shot hit Romero, then it hit Davies and came back towards the Spurs goal where Bowen had arrived following his initial run and pass. The opportunity was taken.

The equaliser was all the prompting Postecoglou needed to load his team with attackers: Richarlison on as the central striker, Son out to the left, Kulusevski deeper and Brennan Johnson still on the pitch too. They had most of the ball but Moyes’s players were much more comfortable with that than they had been in the first half. They had been reassured that they too would have chances.

The second was given to them by the pass backwards from Udogie to Guglielmo Vicario that was well short of the goalkeeper. Bowen rushed in and Vicario did only half the job of getting it away. Ward-Prowse speared the first shot against the post and then, in an instant, it was back at his feet. Not a Spurs defender in sight and an open goal for that very steady right foot to steer the ball into.

10:49 PM GMT

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou speaking to Amazon Prime

“It is another game where we were well in control and probably should have scored more goals. We kept West Ham in the game.

“We created a lot of chances to score goals. We lacked some real conviction in the box and conceded two soft goals. They were pretty much self inflicted.

“We have to be better in the box and the decisions we make and have a lot more conviction in our finishing. Disappointing for the fans and disappointing for us in terms of the progress we are trying to make. We still have a long way to go and days like today show that.

“Today was a disappointing day.”

10:45 PM GMT

West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen speaking to Amazon Prime

Strikers he is inspired by as he plays through the middle more:

“I picked out Haaland and Salah because they always anticipate.

“I like it. I am picking it up in probably the toughest league. I am always with the coaches and trying to improve and as you play games you gain confidence.

“If I am going to play there for me it is ball retention. You have to hold it up. If I can also keep scoring then I love it.”

10:43 PM GMT

Strong words from Son

10:37 PM GMT

West Ham boss David Moyes speaking to Amazon Prime

“Huge performance because of the quality of the opposition. We were up against it tonight. We had to dig in. Thankfully we just about scraped it.

“The quality Tottenham showed in the first half, I don’t know if we touched the ball for eight or nine minutes.

“We gained a bit of confidence once we got some passes. We wanted to get after them a bit more but by the same breath we were cautious about them picking us off.

“We are a team who can give some of the good teams a bloody nose, we have that in us.”

On Jarrod Bowen as a striker: 

“Jarrod’s got another goal tonight, he can play off the right. We started him there. We have boys who can hold onto the ball and carry it, Jarrod can run in behind and score goals. He is getting that feeling he wants to be a striker.”

10:35 PM GMT

Rare West Ham win in north London

Tonight was only West Ham’s third victory in their last 22 visits to Tottenham in the Premier League.

10:22 PM GMT

Delight for Moyes

10:21 PM GMT

West Ham's two goalscorers in one picture

10:20 PM GMT

Throwing away leads

10:19 PM GMT

Spurs being Spursy

10:17 PM GMT

Your views

  • Retired Tax Payer: “Oh Spurs….. Richarlison misses sitter, and then they gift a second goal to Hammers. Good entertainment though! Is “high line” Ange losing the dressing room?”

  • John Manahan: “Spurs have gone 1-0 up each of their last 5 games and have had a return of one point from those games. I wonder has that ever happened to any club before !?”

  • Bertie Barking: “They’ve lost again. 1-2”

  • Clive Eich: “I now know what ‘Spursy’ means.”

  • Steve Airhill: “I think this is the fourth time I’ve stopped supporting Spurs, they are rubbish, West Ham, god almighty.”

  • R Scully: “Even with the poor defending Spurs should have won easy. All over them but toothless up front. Mainly running about like headless chickens.”

  • Will Woods: “Well done West ham. Bowen isn’t half bad. As Roy Keane would say ‘classic Spursy’.”

10:09 PM GMT

FT: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

That is it at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and West Ham have come from 1-0 down to win 2-1 thanks to second half goals from Bowen and Ward-Prowse.

10:08 PM GMT

95 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Nothing comes of it and West Ham are moments away from victory.

10:07 PM GMT

94 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

His free-kick hits the wall and Porro appeals for handball but that will never be given. VAR checks it and no penalty is given. It has though gone out for a corner...

10:06 PM GMT

93 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

He might get the man-of-the-match award but Bowen has fouled Porro right on the edge of his own box. Tottenham will have a free-kick in a dangerous area with two minutes of added time to go. Porro to take...

10:03 PM GMT

90 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

There will be five minutes of additional time at the end of this match.

10:02 PM GMT

89 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Romero is just back from a three-game ban and he is into the book tonight for a foul on Bowen, who has been fantastic in this second half. Man of the match?

10:01 PM GMT

88 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Tottenham captain Son comes off with a few minutes to go to be replaced by Veliz. Maybe Son is injured as it would be a strange decision to bring off your best player when you are behind.

David Moyes finally makes his first change after 88 minutes as Fornals comes on for Kudus.

09:59 PM GMT

86 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Ward-Prowse sends in a wicked inswinging corner from the left which Tottenham just about manage to clear.

09:57 PM GMT

85 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Porro manages to get a cross in from the byline but Fabianski under pressure manages to catch and keep hold of it.

09:56 PM GMT

84 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Tottenham are making another double change. Bissouma and Johnson are replaced by Sarr and Gil.

09:53 PM GMT

80 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2

Ward-Prowse is booked after cynically taking down Richarlison on the break. Is that where a sin-bin should be brought into football to prevent tactical fouls like that?

09:48 PM GMT

GOAL! Ward-Prowse gives West Ham the lead

West Ham are in front! So many similarities to Tottenham’s recent home defeat to Aston Villa. Udogie’s back-pass to Vicario is terrible and the Tottenham goalkeeper can only push it away with Bowen right on him. It falls right into the path of Ward-Prowse, whose initial effort hits the post. But he is on hand to finish off the rebound and West Ham have come from 1-0 down to lead with 15 minutes to go. Vicario should have done better there. Rather than push it away he should have gathered it.

09:46 PM GMT

73 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

Tottenham are having a lot of the ball in and around the West Ham box. The home side manage to create an opening through Porro inside the area on the right and his shot is saved by Fabianski. A fairly simple save for the West Ham goalkeeper.

09:42 PM GMT

70 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

Aguerd nearly diverts a cross into his own goal and Tottenham have a corner, which is headed away. But Tottenham maintain possession and the ball is whipped in towards the far post. Richarlison meets the cross but he somehow manages to miss the target. He should have buried that header.

09:39 PM GMT

66 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

Ange Postecoglou has decided it is time for an attacking change. Richarlison replaces Hojbjerg. He has also brought on Skipp for Lo Celso, a less attacking change.

Richarlison of Tottenham comes onto the pitch from the bench during the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United
Ange Postecoglou turns to Brazilian forward Richarlison off the bench - Neil Hall/Shutterstock

09:35 PM GMT

62 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

You can sense the nervousness inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This is a completely different game in the second half. West Ham are playing with so much more confidence after the break. Soucek has a volley saved really well by Vicario but the Czechia midfielder was clearly offside.

09:32 PM GMT

59 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

A few minutes after the first yellow card of the game Porro is now into the book after a late challenge of Paqueta. That is probably what you would call the definition of a yellow card.

09:31 PM GMT

58 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

Tottenham have a free-kick just outside the West Ham box on the right. Emerson has gone into the book. Lo Celso rolls it square for Bissouma, whose shot is blocked brilliantly by the goalscorer Bowen.

09:29 PM GMT

56 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 1

West Ham come close to taking the lead. Paqueta has a shot inside the Tottenham penalty area but it lacks enough power and Vicario saves. This game has very quickly turned around after the break. It is a similar situation to Tottenham’s home game against Aston Villa a few weeks back where they went 1-0 up and were dominating only to lose the game as Aston Villa came back into the game in the second half.

09:26 PM GMT

GOAL! Bowen equalises

West Ham are level and it is Jarrod Bowen. It comes to him rather fortuitously as Kudus’ shot deflects off both Tottenham centre-backs. But Bowen is in the right place at the right time and it is a clinical finish to bring his side level. That was Bowen’s 50th goal for West Ham.

09:24 PM GMT

50 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

The Tottenham players and fans are desperate for a penalty for handball but the referee waves it away. VAR will check. Coufal has his arm tucked behind his back so the right decision not to give a penalty.

09:21 PM GMT

48 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Porro lets rip from the edge of the box on the left-hand side but his effort misses the target. He has now had a couple of long-range efforts off target.

09:18 PM GMT

Second half

Back under way at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

09:13 PM GMT

Romero's goal the difference so far

09:03 PM GMT

HT: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Zouma nearly scores an own goal right on half-time as he intercepts a Lo Celso cross destined for Son, which hits the post and goes behind for a corner. The corner is headed over and that is half-time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Cristian Romero’s goal the difference at the break.

09:01 PM GMT

45 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half. Johnson has another tame effort easily saved by Fabianski.

09:00 PM GMT

44 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Should West Ham be level? Probably. Kudus does brilliantly down the right, showing great strength. He then stands up a cross to the back post where Paqueta meets it. But his header goes wide of the target.

08:56 PM GMT

40 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

A barrage of shots from Tottenham after a corner. Lo Celso dinks the ball to the back post and Fabianski punches away before Davies gets his head on it. Kulusevski then fires a shot in towards goal which is blocked. Bissouma then tries his luck but his shot is blazed over the bar.

West Ham United's Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski punches the ball clear of the head of Tottenham Hotspur's Welsh defender Ben Davies during the Premier League match between Tottenham and West Ham at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Lukasz Fabianski (right) managed to punch a cross away from danger just before Ben Davies could get his head on it - Ian Kington/Getty Images

08:52 PM GMT

37 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Johnson has an effort inside the area but his shot is too weak and it is an easy save for Fabianski.

08:51 PM GMT

35 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Lo Celso volleys inside the West Ham box and Fabianski is on hand to parry it away. Paqueta has now come back on after 30 seconds off the pitch as per the protocols. Maybe the Brazilian will be ok to continue.

08:49 PM GMT

34 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

This is a concern for West Ham. Paqueta is down on the ground injured and the medical staff are immediately on to give the Brazilian treatment. They are already preparing Fornals to come on in his place.

08:47 PM GMT

31 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Kudus is sent in on goal by Emerson but he drags his shot wide despite being one-on-one with Vicario. His blushes are saved slightly by the offside flag which eventually goes up. He was quite far offside so it was very surprising how long it took for the flag to go up.

Mohammed Kudus of West Ham United misses a chance during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Mohammed Kudus dragged his effort wide but he was offside anyway - Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

08:44 PM GMT

28 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Tottenham are getting plenty of joy down their left through Johnson. They will feel that they could have scored at least once more already.

08:41 PM GMT

26 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Porro is the next man to try from range but his shot is not troubling the goal.

08:40 PM GMT

25 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Kudus shoots from range but it is a fairly routine save for Vicario. His teammates were not too happy with him that he did not pass.

08:36 PM GMT

20 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Lo Celso decides to shoot from range just outside the box but his effort misses the target to the right of the goal.

08:35 PM GMT

19 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

West Ham have a corner and Ward-Prowse whips it into a dangerous area. Zouma and Soucek are both there right under the nose of Vicario but neither can head it goalwards. They should have done much better there.

08:34 PM GMT

18 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

West Ham need to wake up here as Son has an effort saved by Fabianski. They have not really got going and are at risk of finding themselves falling further behind.

Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero celebrates scoring their first goal with Son Heung-min
Cristian Romero scores in his first game back from suspension - Tony O'Brien/Reuters

08:30 PM GMT

15 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

Kulusevski finds Johnson inside the penalty area but the Welshman’s effort is blocked.

08:28 PM GMT

13 minutes: Tottenham 1 West Ham 0

West Ham come close to levelling immediately. Coufal’s cross along the floor is met by Kudus but his effort goes wide. However the offside flag does go up as Kudus was at least a few yards offside.

08:27 PM GMT

GOAL! Romero gives Tottenham the lead

Tottenham are ahead and deservedly so. They have their second corner of the night and Romero leaps highest to meet it. He is a fair way out and his header nestles in the far corner. He has missed the last three games due to suspension but he has scored his first goal for Tottenham in this stadium. West Ham have not got going and Tottenham have been dominant in this opening 15 minutes.

08:22 PM GMT

7 minutes: Tottenham 0 West Ham 0

It has been all Tottenham so far and West Ham are struggling to get out or get any possession.

08:19 PM GMT

3 minutes: Tottenham 0 West Ham 0

Tottenham have the first corner of the night. Udogie finds himself high up the pitch from left-back and his cross is deflected behind. Zouma heads the corner away from danger.

08:17 PM GMT

1 minute: Tottenham 0 West Ham 0

Tottenham want a penalty inside the first minute. Son plays it through to Kulusveski inside the area. Fabianski comes rushing out and gets a touch on the ball and it deflects off Kulusevski behind for a goal-kick. It was not a foul and in fact Kulusevski looked like he was offside anyway so a penalty would not have been given even if it was a foul.

Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by Lukasz Fabianski of West Ham United in the box during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dejan Kulusevski wanted an early penalty but nothing given - Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

08:15 PM GMT


We are under way at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

08:11 PM GMT

Kick-off approaching

Both sides have emerged from the tunnel and we are just minutes away from kick-off.

08:06 PM GMT

Reminder of the team news

Tottenham: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Bissouma, Hojberg, Johnson, Lo Celso, Kulusevski; Son.

Subs: Forster, Skipp, Richarlison, Gil, Emerson Royal, Sarr, Véliz, Donley, Dorrington.

West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Kudus, Soucek, Paqueta; Bowen.

Subs: Anang, Cresswell, Fornals, Mavropanos, Ings, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Kehrer, Mubama.

08:02 PM GMT

Son vital figure for Tottenham

After Harry Kane’s departure to Bayern Munich over the summer Son’s importance to this Tottenham side increased. With James Maddison out injured as well Son’s role is even more vital.

07:54 PM GMT

Tottenham players out warming up in the pouring rain

07:45 PM GMT

Fabianski in goal for the visitors

Alphonse Areola is out with a wrist injury tonight which means that the experienced Lukasz Fabianski starts in goal for West Ham for the first time in the league this season.

07:42 PM GMT

Have your say

How do you think tonight’s game will go? Will Tottenham go level on points with Manchester City in fourth with a win or will West Ham get just their third win in their last 22 Premier League visits to Tottenham? Remember you can give your opinions in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

07:32 PM GMT

Romero back

Argentina centre-half Cristian Romero is back in the Tottenham starting line-up after serving a three-match ban.

07:30 PM GMT

Jarrod Bowen speaking to Amazon Prime

07:29 PM GMT

Full team news

Tottenham make two changes to the side that drew 3-3 with Manchester City. Cristian Romero returns after a three-match ban, replacing Emerson Royal, who drops to the bench. In midfield, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg comes in for Bryan Gil.

Tottenham: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Bissouma, Hojberg, Johnson, Lo Celso, Kulusevski; Son.

Subs: Forster, Skipp, Richarlison, Gil, Emerson Royal, Sarr, Véliz, Donley, Dorrington.

West Ham also make two changes from their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola misses out with a wrist injury so Lukasz Fabianski starts for the first time this season in the Premier League. Kurt Zouma returns after missing Sunday’s draw for personal reasons.

West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Kudus, Soucek, Paqueta; Bowen.

Subs: Anang, Cresswell, Fornals, Mavropanos, Ings, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Kehrer, Mubama.

07:21 PM GMT

Fancy a bet?

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.

07:20 PM GMT

Nice weather in north London!

07:16 PM GMT

West Ham team news

07:15 PM GMT

Tottenham team news

07:01 PM GMT

Match preview

Ange Postecoglou may have put a new centre-back at the top of his Christmas wish list, but Tottenham Hotspur’s adventurous head coach believes his team should be scoring more goals.

Tottenham are currently working through potential targets for January to give Postecoglou more cover in the centre of defence.

Postecoglou only has one available natural centre-back for Thursday night’s game against West Ham United, with Cristian Romero returning from suspension.

Micky van de Ven, Eric Dier and teenager Ashley Phillips are all injured, which again leaves Postecoglou short at the back after a run of four games in which Spurs have conceded 11 goals.

Referee Michael Oliver shows Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero a red card against Chelsea
Cristian Romero (left) is back from suspension tonight for Tottenham after serving a three-game ban - John Walton/PA

But it’s the goals for column Postecoglou believes could be much better, having witnessed Tottenham score 28 times in the League this season - the fewest goals of the current top six.

“We are still well short in that area,” said Postecoglou. “It’s still the area where we’ve got so much more upside in our front third to score more goals.

“I really feel like, apart from some areas where we need to keep working on, our front third stuff we’ve got so much more improvement to get to as a team.

“We’re seeing some of it at the moment. Brennan (Johnson) and Dejan Kulusevski are starting to get a bit more familiar with their roles and Gio (Lo Celso) getting a couple of goals from midfield. But I think it’s an area we can certainly improve.”

Postecoglou’s desire for his team to score more further highlighted his positive philosophy, with the Australian even claiming he would prefer his team to play well and lose than perform badly and win.

Asked whether that was his belief, Postecoglou replied: “Yeah and, again, that’s not the only way.

“The only road to success I’ve seen with other people is just about the winning and you admire it so much. I would find that so unrelenting, that pursuit of just the result, because, a lot of times, particularly in football, that result is sometimes out of your hands. You could do everything right and still lose a game.

“I would find that really hard to deal with, whereas my philosophy is about trying to play a certain way that will get us a result. And I find that if we played well and we haven’t got the result, I’ll get some sort of small comfort from that. It’s just a different approach. It doesn’t mean there’s a right or wrong way. It’s just the (different) road to success.”

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