Premier League

West Ham 1-1 Tottenham: Player ratings as Soucek secures point for Hammers

Grey Whitebloom
Tomas Soucek celebrates West Ham's equaliser against Tottenham
Tomas Soucek celebrates West Ham's equaliser against Tottenham / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages
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West Ham United fought back to earn a 1-1 draw at home to their fierce London rivals Tottenham on Wednesday night.

Tomas Soucek cancelled out Thilo Kehrer's first half own goal as West Ham capitalised upon a lapse in concentration. Spurs had been coasting without creating a great deal after forcing the opener through a swift counter-attack before switching off for a throw-in.

The hosts started encouragingly, dropping into a 5-3-2 out of possession which frustrated Tottenham - though the visitors were soon more annoyed with the refereeing team. It took a four-and-a-half-minute VAR review to decide that Harry Kane's header hit Aaron Cresswell's face before brushing the defender's outstretched arm, overturning the penalty awarded after ten minutes.

West Ham were emboldened by the reprieve, pushing more players forward as Michail Antonio cracked a vicious effort off the post. Yet, their adventure only offered space for Tottenham's feared front three to counter into.

Half an hour in, one turnover in midfield left Tottenham's attacking trio breaking onto just three West Ham players. Dejan Kulusevski lured Kurt Zouma out of the middle, slipping Kane to the byline on the overlap. With Son Heung-min lurking at the back post, Kehrer inadvertently turned Kane's drilled pass into his own net.

From a delay at kick-off, while the referee's assistant found a battery for his earpiece down the back of a sofa, it was a staccato first half littered with stoppages which quelled the home crowd.

Soucek ignited the soporific London Stadium ten minutes after the interval. Tottenham's backline had collectively gone to sleep amid the subdued atmosphere as Vladimir Coufal took a quick throw-in. Bursting into the box to receive Antonio's flick around the corner, Soucek slotted West Ham's first home goal of the season into the bottom corner.

Rather than jolted into life, the erroneous natural of West Ham's equaliser fostered unease at the back for Spurs who were increasingly pressed by their enthusiastic hosts.

Jarrod Bowen shanked a close-range effort on the stretch well wide before Pablo Fornals fired over from inside the box as West Ham finished strongly.

David Moyes warned that the new arrival Lucas Paqueta 'hasn’t even passed a ball between his teammates yet' after joining the club this week. That lack of familiarity showed in the closing stages as the marquee arrival and fellow substitute Emerson left the ball for each other in Tottenham's box.

Bowen hooked the ball across the six yard box but West Ham couldn't force a winner, settling for their first home point of the new campaign as Tottenham maintained their unbeaten start.


West Ham vs Tottenham player ratings

1. West Ham (3-4-1-2)

GK: Lukasz Fabianski - 6/10 - Alert to the little work he had to do.

CB: Thilo Kehrer - 4/10 - If he hadn't touched Kane's fired pass across the box, Son would surely have tapped the opener in - though a softer touch may have prevented the own goal.

CB: Kurt Zouma - 4/10 - Caught in two minds how far to follow Kane on one of his wanders.

CB: Aaron Cresswell - 5/10 - Pushing forward as West Ham shifted into a back-four on the ball. Fortunate to evade the concession of a penalty when the ball hit his raised arms.

RWB: Vladimir Coufal - 7/10 - Alert to the opportunity of a quick restart, Coufal was briefly the liveliest person in E15 when he took a swift throw-in.

CM: Tomas Soucek - 7/10 - Timed one of his numerous surges forward to perfection, following it up with a clinical finish.

CM: Declan Rice - 7/10 - Invariably involved in anything good West Ham constructed as well as charging around to disrupt Spurs regularly.

LWB: Pablo Fornals - 6/10 - Given a lung-bursting role shifting alongside the backline off the ball as well as charging forward to support the attack in possession.

AM: Said Benrahma - 5/10 - Picking up pockets of space in front of Tottenham's back-three but not entirely making the most of it.

ST: Jarrod Bowen - 4/10 - Dropping into midfield off the ball to help clog up Tottenham's buildup. Found himself on the end of some rough treatment when he had possession.

ST: Michail Antonio - 5/10 - On his 200th Premier League appearance for West Ham, Antonio produced a superb assist on the spin with Eric Dier on his back.

SUB: Lucas Paqueta (68' for Benrahma) - 6/10 - A current of electricity coursed through the crowd every time he touched - or more accurately, flicked - the ball.

SUB: Angelo Ogbonna (72' for Cresswell) - 5/10

SUB: Emerson Palmeiri - (85' for Fornals) - N/A

Manager: David Moyes - 6/10 - Set West Ham up in an organised shape which stymied Tottenham outside of transitions.

2. Tottenham (3-4-3)

GK: Hugo Lloris - 6/10 - Very aggressive coming off his line to punch away any ball lofted into the box. Far less convincing with the ball at his feet.

CB: Davinson Sanchez - 6/10 - Targeted by West Ham's press but didn't quite prove to be the weak link West Ham perceived him to be.

CB: Eric Dier - 6/10 - Dealt with the physical challenge of Antonio for much of the match but couldn't pinch the ball for West Ham's equaliser.

CB: Ben Davies - 6/10 - Muzzled Bowen's threat effectively but became increasingly skittish in possession in the closing stages.

RWB: Emerson Royal - 5/10 - Skirted around the fringes of the contest.

CM: Pierre Hojbjerg - 6/10 - Ponderous on the ball but produced some explosive forward runs when his teammate - usually Kane - had possession.

CM: Yves Bissouma - 5/10 - Earned a petulant yellow card on a frustrating and underwhelming full Tottenham debut for punching the ball in frustration.

LWB: Ivan Perisic - 5/10 - A consistent crossing threat but criminally had his back to the ball when West Ham started the move for their equaliser.

RW: Dejan Kulusevski - 6/10 - Not sparkling when attacking West Ham's set defence but was devastatingly efficient in transition - much like this Tottenham team.

ST: Harry Kane - 7/10 - Roaming all over the pitch, Kane seemed to be nowhere and everywhere all at once, marginally standing out as the best player.

LW: Son Heung-min - 4/10 - Littered his performance with uncharacteristically heavy touches in an unconfident display.

SUB: Richarlison (77' for Kulusevski) - 5/10

Manager: Antonio Conte - 6/10 - Has honed this Tottenham side into one of the division's most slick counterattacking outfits but they did struggle to break down West Ham's block.

Player of the Match - Harry Kane

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