Wednesday, August 31, 2022

By Andy Sims, PA

Tomas Soucek secured West Ham’s first home point of the season as they battled to a 1-1 draw with London rivals Tottenham.

But the Hammers could have snatched all three after handing a debut to club-record signing Lucas Paqueta.

Boss David Moyes claimed before kick-off that Paqueta had not so much as passed a ball to his new team-mates after only completing his £52million switch from Lyon on Monday.

And it showed when, with four minutes remaining, Vladimir Coufal pulled the ball back, only for Paqueta and fellow new signing Emerson Palmieri to leave the ball to each other, 10 yards from goal.

Moyes fell to his knees on the touchline after the Brazil international passed up the chance to make himself an instant Hammers hero.

The Scot will be pleased enough with a point, however, after an own goal from Thilo Kehrer had given unbeaten Spurs the initiative.

Despite a summer outlay of £175m West Ham’s starting line-up bears an uncanny resemblance to last year’s team, with Kehrer the only new face.

The Germany defender has made an inauspicious start to his Hammers career having also given away a penalty on his debut against Brighton a fortnight ago.

Spurs were awarded a spot-kick after 11 minutes when Harry Kane headed Ivan Perisic’s cross against the outstretched arm of Aaron Cresswell.

But after a four-and-a-half minute VAR review, referee Peter Bankes eventually went to the monitor which showed the ball had hit Cresswell’s face before his arm, and the decision was overturned.

Moments later Declan Rice, making his 200th appearance for the Hammers, had a volley saved by Hugo Lloris before Michail Antonio, in his 200th Premier League match for the club, curled in a shot which clipped the far post.

But Tottenham grabbed the lead with a classic counter-attack after Eric Dier intercepted a one-two between Rice and Said Benrahma on the edge of the Spurs area.

Dier’s first-time pass found Kane, who fed Dejan Kulusevski before sprinting past him on the outside and collecting the return ball.

Kane’s cross was meant for Son Heung-min but Kehrer got there first and diverted the ball into the net, denying the South Korean a first goal of the season.

West Ham equalised after 55 minutes when Antonio collected a quick throw-in and manufactured a clever flick into the path of Soucek, who took a touch before leathering the ball past Lloris from six yards.

Jarrod Bowen stabbed a good chance wide before, in the 67th minute, Paqueta was sent on for Benrahma.

Pablo Fornals should have put West Ham ahead shortly after from Bowen’s pull-back but he blazed over.

Then came Paqueta and Emerson’s ‘after-you’ in front of goal before Bowen fizzed the ball across goal but Antonio was unable to apply the finish, and a ding-dong derby ended all-square.

Comments are closed.

Contact Newsdesk: +353 59 9170100

More National Sport