Tottenham Hotspur 0 West Ham 3 match report: Spurs given 'wake-up call' as Sam Allardyce ditches No 9 and is rewarded by Ravel Morrison wonder goal

Hammers scored all three goals in 13-minute second-half blitz

Unlikely things happen in derbies and yesterday afternoon West Ham United produced the greatest triumph of strikerless football since the final of Euro 2012.

There will be few more surprising results all season, very few goals better than Ravel Morrison’s “genius” third, and hardly any more comprehensive victories for one manager over another. This was one of the great days of Sam Allardyce’s tenure at West Ham, and a dismal one for Andre Villas-Boas.

Tottenham were utterly neutralised by West Ham’s inventive system. This was not quite Vicente del Bosque’s Spain, who beat Italy 4-0 with six midfielders last summer, or Luciano Spalletti’s Roma, but it was the right approach to win the match, which is precisely what it did.

West Ham started with a 4-6-0, shutting down Spurs in the middle and denying them space. They limited the home side to half-chances before scoring three times in 13 second-half minutes – once from a corner and twice on the break. Once 3-0 up, West Ham switched to 5-5-0 and shut down the game.

“We took the No 9 out, with interchanging runners from wide midfield,” Allardyce explained. “We hoped it would bring us more success in terms of creating chances and converting them, so [Michael] Dawson and [Jan] Vertonghen were not playing against the same men all the time.”

“Our tactics paid off today. It is my job to sit and think ‘what I can do to the players to give them a lift, to get a result?’ Having explained it to them, and showed what Tottenham do, we worked at it visually and tactically on the field for three days and the belief grew in the team. It was one of those big risks you take, but I thought ‘if Jose Mourinho does it at Manchester United then so can I.’”

With a packed midfield there was no space for Christian Eriksen or Gylfi Sigurdsson to create in, with Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble blocking off all avenues. West Ham’s back four – led by the monumental Winston Reid, the most underrated defender in the division– allowed no room behind them for Jermain Defoe. In a tight and even first half, the closest Spurs came to scoring were shots from the edge of the box, a comfortable save from a Sigurdsson effort and one that Paulinho skewed wide.

It was a noisy derby atmosphere, with many Spurs fans defiant in their use of their use of the word “Yid”, for which one was arrested at half-time, with some West Ham supporters rather revelling in the issue.

The start of the second half, before the visitors had settled, was Spurs’ best spell. Defoe forced two good saves from Jussi Jaaskelainen, one from close range, the other from the edge of the box, and had Spurs scored then it would have been a different game. Villas- Boas insisted afterwards he had not been surprised by West Ham’s approach but admitted the defeat was a “wake-up call”.

Spurs did not score when on top, though and 21 minutes into the second half, West Ham took the lead. Reid headed Stewart Downing’s corner towards goal, where it hit Nolan, but fell back to Reid who finished briskly.

Spurs, chasing the game, started to throw men forward and within the next 13 minutes West Ham scored twice more on the counter-attack. First Noble won the ball in midfield and slid it through to Ricardo Vaz Te running behind Kyle Walker. His shot was blocked by Hugo Lloris but it rebounded back onto Vaz Te and ricocheted into the net.

With Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado on, there was even more space and with 11 minutes left Morrison ended the game. Taking the ball in his own half, running with his wonderful balance, he shimmied past Vertonghen, darted beyond Dawson, holding off two men twice his size. Lloris charged off his line and Morrison dinked the ball over him, the chip perfectly judged so it rolled over the line before Kyle Naughton could hack it away.

“It was a genius goal,” said Allardyce. “You will struggle to see a better goal than that this season. He headed straight for Vertonghen and Dawson, slips them like they’re not there, then uses outstanding ability to dink Lloris.”

There was a fear when Morrison left Manchester United to join West Ham last year that he might never make it. Allardyce revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson had sold him Morrison “for Ravel’s benefit” and advised him it was a risk worth taking.

“He said ‘I hope you can sort him out because if you can he’ll be a genius, but he needs to get away from Manchester and start a new life. But if you do get the best out of him you will have a great player on your hands.’”

West Ham are far away from getting the best out of Morrison – this was just his fourth Premier League start – but this was the brightest glimmer yet of just what he might be able to achieve. “The penny’s dropped, in his lifestyle, his attitude and his timekeeping. He doesn’t want to do anything other than try and break into our first team. The loan spell at Birmingham City gave him time to reflect on what it takes, he has learnt from that experience and listened to what we’ve told him.”

“We talk to our players about getting the ball to him in space as much as we possibly can at the moment.”

That was just what West Ham did. Spurs’ talented players – Eriksen, Sigurdsson and Lamela – never got  a sniff.

Tottenham (4-2-3-1) Lloris 5; Walker 5, Dawson 4, Vertonghen 5, Naughton 5 (Holtby, 81); Dembele 5, Paulinho 6; Townsend 6, Eriksen 5 (Soldado 74), Sigurdsson 5 (Lamela 63, 5); Defoe 6

West Ham (4-6-0) Jaaskelainen 7; Demel 7, Tomkins 6, Reid 8, Rat 7; Downing 5, Diame 7 (Collins 80), Morrison 8, Nolan 7, Noble 7 (O’Brien 90), Vaz Te 6 (J Cole 86)

Match rating: 7

Man of the match: Reid

To see how all of the Premier League action unfolded on Sunday CLICK HERE

Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution