LONDON (AP) — Erik Lamela marked his first start in this English Premier League with the goal in Tottenham’s 1-0 victory at West Ham on Saturday.
The Argentine winger was preferred to fit-again playmaker Christian Eriksen by manager Mauricio Pochettino and repaid that faith with a first-half winner, heading in a cross from Moussa Sissoko.
Victory in a feisty London derby meant a fourth straight league win for Spurs, lifting them into the top four.
With back-to-back defeats, West Ham’s recent revival has hit the buffers and its promising start to the game turned sour seven minutes before halftime.
Already missing six players through injury, the Hammers lost Andriy Yarmolenko to what appeared to be a serious Achilles problem that saw the winger depart on a stretcher.
If it is a recurrence of the injury he suffered at Borussia Dortmund at the start of the year, Yarmolenko could be set for a long spell on the sidelines.
Five minutes later, West Ham’s problems deepened when Sissoko skipped past Felipe Anderson’s feeble attempt to win the ball and crossed for the unmarked Lamela to head home.
They almost went in two goals behind but for a double save from Lukasz Fabianski, who blocked Lamela’s cross-shot and Davinson Sanchez’s follow-up.
Marko Arnautovic proved a constant nuisance to the Spurs defense and forced a good early save from Hugo Lloris.
Lloris was brilliant after the break, preserving his side’s lead at the start of the second half with an acrobatic save to tip over a header from Arnautovic.
Arnautovic was again denied by Lloris moments later when his shot through a crowd of bodies was tipped round the far post.
Five minutes before the end, West Ham thought it snatched an equalizer when substitute Javier Hernandez found the net but Arnautovic was offside as he played in the Mexican.
In stoppage time, with thick red smoke blowing across the pitch from a flare apparently let off in the crowd, Lloris came out to deny Arnautovic and secure Tottenham’s victory.
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