There was a sweet feeling of Déjà vu at White Hart Lane in the late kick-off as visiting West Ham capitulated under a surge of late Tottenham pressure once more.
Injuries were the buzzword before kick off, as Spurs lined up without Toby Alderweireld, Erik Lamela, or more noticeably Dele Alli – handing a first Premier League start to 20-year-old Harry Winks instead.
And it was the youngster who went closest first, firing wide with a left-footed effort as he set his sights on the target.
Soon after Spurs had the ball in the back of the net, however Christian Eriksen’s 17-match run without a goal wasn’t to end just yet as his tidy finish was ruled out for offside.
Spurs had been missing the diagonal-passing-brilliance of Toby Alderweireld in recent games, however Eric Dier didn’t disappoint with this effort.
However it was the Hammers who were to deal the first blow. Against the run of play, it was a familiar source which gave them a 1-0 lead.
The head of Michael Antonio has provided 11 goals in the last two seasons, and all of his 6 goals already this term have come in the same fashion. The theme reoccured at the Lane.
That’s how it stayed until the break, where despite the urge Pochettino surely felt to pull all 11 men off the field, he stuck with the original eleven for the start of the second 45.
That was to pay off. The faith he showed by starting youngster Harry Winks was repaid, and the man who only made his first England U21 start this week came up trumps as he latched onto Vincent Janssen’s saved shot.
It was dreamland for the local lad.
And it should have been 2-1 just moments after, as fellow Englishman Eric Dier rose higher than anyone to send a powerful header towards Darren Randolph’s goal.
The Irish ‘keeper was somehow equal to it.
Instead it was quite the opposite.
Kane and Janssen have rarely featured together this year, and the duo didn’t click too well in the opening hour or so. That was reflected as the Dutchman’s grapple with Winston Reid handed the Hammers the chance to take the lead.
Manuel Lanzini always seems to turn up against Spurs, and his spot-kick was an assured one. More frustration for Pochettino.
An unfit Dele Alli was called from the bench, as was Heung Min Son – and it was the latter who had the most immediate impact.
Going into the game, Harry Kane had 11 goals in 11 London Derbies. Following a teasing cross from Son which evaded both Ogbonna and Randolph, Kane found number 12.
But were Spurs done there?
With their tails up, Pochettino’s men went straight back down the left flank where substitute Son was giving Antonio a torrid time. Håvard Nordtveit soon felled the South Korean, leaving Mike Dean no chance but to point to the spot in injury time.
You know the rest…
Bilic’s evening got even worse as skipper Winston Reid saw red for a second bookable offence…
White Hart Lane was back to it’s thunderous best, and it was a glorious return to winning ways for Tottenham.
The cries of “it’s happened again” from the touchlines said it all. Meetings between these two sides always seem to throw up late drama – with Spurs coming off on the better side the majority of times thanks to Paul Stalteri, Gareth Bale, Eric Dier and n0w Harry Kane.
Although this was far from the best performance, that vital 3 points keeps Spurs more than in touch with the top 4.
Don’t forget – you can see all these highlights LIVE during the match, here on @JMcCarthyLIVE!
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