JERMAIN DEFOE’S BRACE helped Tottenham Hotspur record a comfortable 3-1 victory over West Ham United at White Hart Lane today.
Defoe scored either side of a Gareth Bale strike while Andy Carroll netted a consolation header for the visitors in the 82nd minute as Spurs ended a run of three consecutive defeats.
Spurs started the game with far more purpose, attacking with pace and precision as they exploited space given to them too easily by West Ham.
In the sixth minute, West Ham were perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Joey O’Brien was booked by referee Andre Marriner for a dangerous studs-up challenge on Bale.
The Welsh winger recovered, however, and nearly broke the deadlock in the 11th minute. After roaming off his left flank, Bale picked up the ball centrally and stormed past three West Ham defenders before smashing a shot against the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
Spurs continued to attack but West Ham appeared to have weathered the storm after Sam Allardyce made a tactical substitution on the half-hour mark, replacing Modibo Maiga with Matt Jarvis.
But the visitors were caught out in the 44th minute as Defoe broke the deadlock. The striker wriggled out of a tight space on the right touchline, checked on to his right foot past Mark Noble and smashed a thunderous finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 25 yards.
West Ham looked more threatening in the early stages of the second half but were denied by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 56th minute when Kevin Nolan attempted to square for Jarvis.
A minute later, Clint Dempsey rattled a shot against the crossbar but it mattered little as the hosts doubled their advantage with their next attack.
Dempsey, who produced easily his best display since his close-season transfer from Fulham, played a delightful chipped pass that caught out West Ham’s static defence and allowed Bale to take a touch and finish into the far corner via the post.
In the 64th minute, the result was put beyond doubt as Defoe scored his sixth goal in seven Premier League appearances against his former club.
Dempsey played in Aaron Lennon, who raced through on goal only to unselfishly pass for Defoe to tap in to an empty net.
Carroll then rose high in the 82nd minute to send a looping header into the corner from O’Brien’s cross.
The half-hearted cheers of a consolation goals were much less audible than ugly taunts from the home support referring to the stabbing of a Spurs fan during the side’s Europa League trip to face Lazio in Rome.