Maxim Match Report vs West Ham

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Premiership wins don’t get much more straightforward than this. It’s actually kind of nice to be able to say that because, although we dominated from start to finish, we’ve done that against Stoke and Wolves at home this season and lost to them both.

The key this time was an early goal for Modric after 11 minutes, bundling in at the far post after a typically scintillating burst from Aaron Lennon on the right. We thought that West Ham would come with renewed confidence after holding Chelsea to a draw and beating Pompey, but they seemed to be on the back foot even before Scott Parker and Herita Ilunga departed with injuries inside 20 minutes.

It seemed to be just a matter of time before we extended the lead, but as ever with Spurs, the lads kept us on the edge of our seats. West Ham rarely threatened, but were having their best little spell of the game when Palacios set Lennon away on the counter-attack after 81 minutes; Lennon fed Defoe, who drifted inside several defenders before unleashing a powerful drive that Green could only parry back into his path; JD’s second bite at the cherry almost lifted the net off of the goal frame.

Between the two goals we had pressed hard. Huddlestone had arrowed a shot against the post, and at times the flowing passing and movement had the crowd drooling. There was still some concern about the destination of the three points until that Defoe goal, but today thankfully it was a case of no alarms and no surprises.

Star man: Luka Modric – bright and lively. A magic little player.

Best moment: Defoe blasts past Robert Green with 10 minutes to go to wrap up the win

Tactics: 4-4-2 again, but a reshuffled pack with Defoe in for Keane, Huddlestone back in for Jenas, King for Bassong and Modric drifting in from the left instead of Kranjcar

Chant of the game: A politically incorrect “No noise, from the Pikey boys”  

Opposition fans: Seemed to decide at half time that having a sing-song was going to be the only fun on offer – and they were right!

By Andy Knaggs

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