Football: Berkovic the bane of Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 1

Ginola 73

West Ham United 2

Wright 5, Keller 66

Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 36,089

IN THE week in which Manchester United reached the European Cup final, memories of Tottenham's own glory days on the Continent were revived before this game as the road leading to White Hart Lane's main gates was renamed Bill Nicholson Way. Nicholson took Tottenham to eight major trophies, including the Double in 1961 and the 1963 Cup-Winners' Cup, as he made Spurs the first English club to win a European competition, fully five years before United lifted the European Cup.

However, the likelihood of Tottenham being triumphant in Europe next season looks slim, although perhaps to judge their chances of success on this performance is unfair. They qualified by winning the Worthington Cup last month and have eased off since. In fact they eased off so much yesterday that they were a goal down after five minutes and two behind after 65 minutes against a West Ham side who are still chasing every point in their quest to play in the Uefa Cup next season, but may have to enter the Intertoto Cup first.

The Tottenham manager, George Graham - who admitted afterwards: "We looked jaded. We were poor until their second goal went in" - praised Harry Redknapp's side, saying: "West Ham were nice and bright, neat and tidy. They looked a good side."

Yet the east Londoners, who have almost turned giving away leads into an art form this season, nearly did it again. Their two-goal advantage came about thanks to an inspired Eyal Berkovic and because Tottenham piled forward to try to snatch a point. While David Ginola's brilliant 25-yard curling drive brought the home side back into the game, West Ham and their goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, in particular, stood firm. Too firm in the case of John Moncur, as his lunging tackle on Jose Dominguez three minutes into stoppage time brought a red card for the former Tottenham midfielder and sparked an 18-man confrontation in the centre of the pitch.

West Ham had the more depleted line-up of the two sides, starting without Marc-Vivien Foe, Paolo Di Canio and Neil Ruddock, while Marc Keller and Trevor Sinclair needed injections to play, but they made light of that and started off so brightly that they were in the lead after five minutes. Berkovic put Sinclair through and, although the Tottenham goalkeeper Ian Walker cleared the initial danger with a sliding tackle, the ball went only as far as Ian Wright and from 30 yards out he drove his chip into the empty net.

For the former Arsenal striker, a Tottenham shirt is virtually a red rag to a bull, and despite moving clubs last summer it still has not tempered Wright's fondness for scoring against Spurs.

Berkovic then twice came close to setting up a second West Ham goal either side of the break as, first, Frank Lampard put the Israeli's high through ball past Walker's post and then Keller hit the upright from 20 yards after Berkovic's short pass. However, Berkovic's persistence was rewarded as he put a pass through the square Tottenham defence, and Keller calmly slipped the ball under Walker's body.

That was the cue for Ginola's strike and a Tottenham onslaught during which Tim Sherwood and Sol Campbell, who is likely to miss England's friendly with Hungary in midweek through injury, forced saves from Hislop.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us