Piquionne's perfect timing lifts Hammers

West Ham United 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0: Striker heads first League goal to provide welcome relief for Grant and Green

Avram Grant turned his face to the heavens, spread his arms wide and roared in joyous celebration at the final whistle that confirmed West Ham United's first win of the season.

Their goalkeeper Robert Green also saluted the victory with a release of emotion that appeared to be directed towards the press box, after he had played a vital role with a couple of world-class saves to keep Tottenham at bay.

Both men deserved their moment of triumph, as they have battled with their own personal troubles in the first few weeks of the season. Grant has been subjected to rumours suggesting the club's co-owners, the Davids Sullivan and Gold, were thinking they had made a mistake in appointing him in the summer. One point out of their first five Premier League games constituted the club's worst start in their 115-year history.

So well might Grant celebrate after West Ham deservedly beat last season's fourth-placed team in a hugelyentertaining match that Tottenham's manager, Harry Redknapp, said was "like a basketball game" as play swung from one end to the other.

Green also had plenty of cause for relief, as his confidence appeared shot to pieces after his disastrous fumble in the World Cup that gifteda goal to the USA. He had been jeered by his own fans when he let in a soft goal in his last home game, against Chelsea.

Green's save to deny Luka Modric in the first half was simply sensational, coming as it did only 10 minutes after Frédéric Piquionne had put the home side ahead. Grant said of Green: "It was typical of him. It is the life of a sportsman. You become stronger and stronger when people say you are weaker and weaker. Rob showed today that the only place any sportsman needs to speak is on the pitch. No excuses, no explanation, just that he is agood goalkeeper."

West Ham did not play like a team propping up the division, and were at Tottenham from the very first minute. The joy at winning midweek in the Carling Cup at Sunderland had clearly given the whole squad a much-needed boost in confidence. They peppered Carlo Cudicini in the Tottenham goal with shots and the former Chelsea man did not look comfortable, particularly with a two-fisted punch to keep out a shot from Piquionne.

Redknapp admitted his makeshift defence, lacking Michael Dawson, Ledley King, Younes Kaboul, William Gallas and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, had been "all over the show for the first 15 minutes".

Kieron Dyer, making only his 10th start for the club he joined in August 2007, set up West Ham's goal in the 29th minute. He forced a corner, taken by Mark Noble, and Piquionne rose above Verdun Corluka to nod in his first League goal for the Hammers.

Tottenham's main threat was provided by the Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart, who was outstanding in his free role behind the lone striker, Peter Crouch. He forced Green into a wonderfully athletic save with one long-range effort, and moments later put another shot from distance just wide. The England man excelled again late in the first half with a one-handedparry on to the bar from Modric's half-volley after a brilliant run and cross by Aaron Lennon.

The second half was not quite as frantic as the first, but still West Ham continued to create chances. Cudicinipulled off a couple of fine saves to keep Spurs in the game, keeping out Victor Obinna's half-volley and a deflected shot from Noble that seemed destined for the top corner.

When Tottenham's Tom Huddlestone rounded Green but fired into the stand with the goal at his mercy, it was clear the points were going to West Ham, who managed to beat their former manager at the 11th time of asking. "It's the first time I have ever been beaten by the super Hammers," said Redknapp, who spent 15 years at Upton Park as player and manager.

Attendance: 34,190

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the match: Green

Match rating: 8/10

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?