West Ham, who edged out Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 at Upton Park last night, now find themselves sitting sixth in the Premier League table, just one point off the top four.
Spurs travelled to West Ham on Wednesday night knowing a victory would have taken them above Leicester, b ut Michail Antonio’s first-half strike secured a 1-0 victory for the Hammers and ended Tottenham’s six-game winning run.
Pochettino’s side now host North London and title rivals Arsenal in a huge derby on Saturday lunchtime, with Spurs three points above Arsene Wenger’s side going into the match.
But this season, both West Ham and Tottenham can be happy with their efforts.
“Spurs have their best opportunity to win the league in many, many years, and the one thing about them under Pochettino is that they have the belief”.
The French coach is in no doubt about the reaction he is expecting from his players against a Swansea side who lie two places and three points above the relegation zone and are without a win in four league games.
“We are the surprise, that is fantastic, a good energy, but if we are realistic the real competitors are Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham“.
Although it was a performance that did not carry the same amount of verve as their FA Cup win at Blackburn Rovers the previous week, West Ham still had enough to see off lowly Sunderland last time out. It’s a local derby, we know what it means to them and it means a lot to us as well so we’re disappointed that they’ve gone home on the losing side. Nacer Chadli lost Michail Antonio at the near post for West Ham’s opening goal and was twice sloppy in possession.
But Spurs boss Pochettino said: “Was it nerves?”
“I think we made some mistakes that we normally don’t make”.
“The message is I would like the fans to be behind us, to be behind the team, behind the club in a positive way”. We conceded the goal and it was very hard.
By the end of the first half, Spurs were hanging on and Antonio was only denied a deserved second goal by Emenike straying offside in the build up.
Argentine Erik Lamela’s header went just wide, Toby Alderweireld rifled a shot through the defence that forced Adrian into a top save low to his right, and Christian Eriksen tested the West Ham goalkeeper once more after the hour mark. Kane is not just a goalscoring machine, but is also extremely useful in the build-up play.
SPURS blew their lines tonight (Wednesday) as they passed up a golden chance to move to the top of the Premiership with 10 games to go.