Tottenham Hotspur’s top four hopes dented in 1-1 draw at West Ham

LONDON   -   Tot­tenham Hotspur missed the chance to move into the top four when they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United after Brennan John­son’s early strike was can­celled out by Kurt Zouma in their Premier League clash on Tuesday. The result left Spurs in fifth place on 57 points, two points and one spot behind Aston Villa, who have also played 30 games and visit Manchester City on Wednesday. West Ham remain in seventh place in the standings with 45 points from 31 games. “I thought for the most part we con­trolled the game pretty well,” Spurs boss Ange Posteco­glou told reporters, with his side having 68% pos­session. “It’s a tough place to come and they’re a big strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you. “I thought we handled it OK. Disappointed not to get a better outcome but a tough game,” he added. Spurs made three changes with Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur and Johnson com­ing into the side, while West Ham brought in goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for the in­jured Alphonse Areola, and it was the visitors who had the brighter start. Posteco­glou’s side looked up for the battle in east London and went in front after five minutes through Johnson, who scored from close range when he connected with a low cross from Timo Werner following a slick counter-attack down the left. Spurs looked dangerous on the break after the goal, with Pedro Porro fizzing a shot just wide and captain Son Heung-min having a left-foot curler saved before West Ham equalised. Zouma rose amongst a crowd of players in the six-yard box and man­aged to steer the ball into the net off his back from a Jarrod Bowen corner in the 19th with the Tottenham defence and goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario failing to snuff out the danger. The goal gave West Ham confidence and James Ward-Prowse struck a vicious free kick towards the top right-hand corner that Vicario did well to punch clear. West Ham forced a series of corners before the break as they cranked up the pressure but the Totten­ham defence dealt with them much more efficiently than they had for the equaliser. 

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