West Ham 2 Spurs 3: Mourinho Magic Delivers Instant Win
After a difficult week for many Spurs supporters, the Jose Mourinho era began in the best possible way with three points at the London Stadium. A dominant first period saw Spurs back to their attacking best but the last 20 minutes reminded us that there is plenty of work to do for the new manager.
Nevertheless, it’s a win that lifts us up the table and points to what will hopefully be a more positive period on the pitch.
Son Heung-Min recorded another first in Saturday’s game: Last season, the South Korean scored the first goal at the new stadium and has now provided the debut strike for the club under Mourinho’s tenure. Receiving the ball on the left of the penalty box, Sonny sent in what was a fairly innocuous drive across the goal but it was at an awkward height and too much for Jimenez between the West Ham posts.
Lucas Moura doubled the lead a few minutes later and the Brazilian should have added a third just after the break. Lucas’ miss was just a temporary respite for the Hammers, however, as Harry Kane extended the lead with a header from Serge Aurier’s cross.
In the last 20 minutes, Tottenham gave the Hammers hope as we conceded twice to leave a flattering scoreline for the home side. A win is a win and there is enough to work on for the new man in charge.
In his first post-match interview for Spurs TV, Jose Mourinho said:
I think the added pressure of not winning a Premier League match away, it’s normal you cannot perform the best way for 90 minutes but even in difficult periods you could see sacrifice, you could see players wanted to do it for the team, Moussa and Danny in physical problems with injuries but they stayed on the pitch because we had no more changes to make.
So great spirit, great football, I’m so happy with what we did in the positional and dynamic point of view, especially in possession.
There were few surprises in Jose’s first team selection as Spurs manager: Eric Dier starting in defence was as outrageous as it got but otherwise, it was a fairly predictable starting XI using the team that Mauricio built.
The only real issue for fans on social media was the use of Christian Eriksen as an ineffective second half substitute when Giovani Lo Celso offers more in the way of long term promise.
Moving forward, the new boss has little time to reflect on a winning start in the Spurs dugout. Spurs are at home to Olympiakos on Tuesday night and a positive result can confirm our place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. From there, Tottenham will host Bournemouth next Saturday before Mourinho and the team will travel to face his old club Manchester United on Wednesday December 4.
It’s been an odd few days but a long-overdue away win is the perfect tonic with which to move into the festive period.