Tottenham book semi-final place
West Ham’s cup fairytale finally came to an end as they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side in north London.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 22, 2021
Having beaten both Manchester clubs en-route to their quarter-final tie with Spurs, they fell behind to a Steven Bergwijn goal in the first half. Jarrod Bowen provided an equaliser just moments later, before Lucas Moura capped off a frantic five first-half minutes as he bundled home a Bergwijn cross.
Despite West Ham’s dominance of the ball in the second half, they failed to create too many clear cut chances, and ultimately will look back on this as an opportunity squandered.
For Tottenham, it is a fantastic result that sees them join Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City in the semi-final draw for the Carabao Cup.
From a topsy-turvy game, here are three things 101 picked out.
West Ham are in desperate need of January reinforcements
Even before the game, West Ham looked light at the top of the pitch.
Michail Antonio, the only recognised striker in the squad, missed out after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving Jarrod Bowen to lead the line, and while the Englishman scored, he cut a solitary figure for much of the game.
David Moyes confirms Michail Antonio tested positive for Covid last week – but does welcome back Ben Johnson at Spurs
Watch Spurs v West Ham on Sky Sports pic.twitter.com/FfZWt5wHLK
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) December 22, 2021
A striker has to be the priority for Moyes in the January window, but there is more that needs addressing too. Both Issa Diop and Arthur Masuaku, largely backups, had nights to forget in West Ham’s defence, and the long term injuries to both Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna leave the Hammers incredibly light in defence.
Masuaku reminding us that he is a terrible defender… LB has to be high on the shopping list.
Diop, as much as it pains me to say it, has once again shown his defensive shortcomings too.
Nikola Vlašić has been great though – creative, and comfortable in possession.#TOTWHU
— West Ham Analytics (@WHU_Analytics) December 22, 2021
For Moyes and co., January cannot come fast enough.
Steven Bergwijn shines under new boss
What started as an awful outing for Steven Bergwijn turned into a very good evening for the Tottenham fringe player.
Handed his first start under new manager Antonio Conte in place of Heung Min-Son, Bergwijn looked well off the pace in the opening minutes, with several clumsy touches slowing down Tottenham attacks.
However, it quickly changed.
The Dutchman bundled in the opening goal for the Lilwhites, before his driving run through the West Ham defence set up Lucas to ultimately turn home the second, and restore the lead briefly lost in a frantic five minutes.
The difference between Steven Bergwijn in the opening minutes compared to the confident version of the Dutchman since his goal and assist is like night and day. He’s everywhere at the moment and using the ball very well.
— Alasdair Gold (@AlasdairGold) December 22, 2021
Linked with a return to the Netherlands in January, Bergwijn has certainly staked his claim as a suitable understudy to Son, which Tottenham could well need given that they find themselves three games off the pace in the Premier League, which will prompt a lot of fixture congestion.
Is he happy to stay and play that role?
Antonio Conte revitalising Harry Kane?
Although Harry Kane did not find the back of the net against the Hammers, he was brilliant once more.
Following up from his goal against Liverpool at the weekend, England’s captain stayed further up the pitch than he had under Nuno Espirito Santo, and it paid dividends.
Harry Kane is starting to look a little bit more nimble. He’s lost that clunky,
made-entirely-of-drainpipes aesthetic he has when he’s not fit.
— Seb Stafford-Bloor (@SebSB) December 22, 2021
The striker was involved in the build up to the first goal, while he was unlucky not to register an assist after a delightful ball played in Heung Min Son.
Given his poor form this season, any upturn will be most welcome, and it seems Antonio Conte may be starting to get more out of the Englishman.