In what was a tremendous overall team performance, it is difficult to single out one individual for the accolade of man of the match. From Adrian in goal, through to Calleri with arguably his performance of the season, the team gave everything for the cause.
With the winning goal and his undoubted creativity, Lanzini will take all the headlines and he has certainly seized his chance to step out of the shadow of Payet. Almost all of what we have to offer going forward goes through this diminutive midfielder, a player that West Ham may well struggle to keep if he goes on to fulfil his potential.
Alongside Lanzini in midfield, both Kouyate and Noble played with energy and fierce determination. Neither gave Tottenham any space to exploit, often forcing them to play back towards their own goal. Kouyate’s decision-making in the final third still leaves something to be desired but when he is in and around these areas, in possession, the opposition aren’t!
Both Ayew and notably Calleri defended from the front, chasing down lost causes and forcing Tottenham into mistakes. They held the ball up well, frustrating their opponents and bringing the midfield into the game, allowing us to break forward. With a little more composure in front of goal, we could have improved upon the scoreline.
Adrian proved his recall has been justified, with one of his saves, with his outstretched left leg, straight from the top drawer. A save that was very ungraciously described by Alan Smith as ‘lucky’. The back three and wing backs in front of him were immense. Fonte, Reid, and Collins provided a solid wall through which Tottenham could not find a way. Reid, in particular, showed the kind of leadership without which such games are simply not winnable. His positional sense and reading of the danger are second to none. Collins, out of contract this summer, has surely done enough to deserve at least another season at The London Stadium.
This result and more notably this performance was exactly what the management, players and the fans needed. The atmosphere in the stadium conjured up memories of the final game at The Boleyn ground and there seemed an inevitability of the end result, even through the very generous five minutes of added time.
In conclusion, I am left only to concur with the summary of Thierry Henry on Sky Sports, the West Ham team were the men of the match, taking a thoroughly deserved and incredibly hard earned three points but so much more besides.