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Tottenham 2-3 West Ham: Three talking points as Hammers fight back in Carabao Cup

Tottenham 2-3 West Ham: Three talking points as Hammers fight back in Carabao Cup

We round up the talking points after West Ham came from behind to claim a 3-2 victory over Tottenham in the Carabao Cup.

Slaven Bilic’s side were trailing to goals from Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli at half-time but Andre Ayew struck twice after the break with Angelo Ogbonna heading the winner.

As West Ham wait to find out who they will face in the quarter-finals, we pick out three talking points from the game.

Bilic gets a response

Bilic admitted his job was on the line after Friday’s 3-0 loss to Brighton, and his prospects looked bleaker than ever when he trudged down the Wembley tunnel with West Ham trailing 2-0 at half-time. The Hammers were listless and Tottenham seemed to be cruising to victory.

The recovery came out of nowhere. Ayew pulled a goal back when Michel Vorm could only parry a low shot from Edmilson Fernandes in the 55th minute, and from that moment on Bilic’s side had the momentum. Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini combined for Ayew’s equaliser, with Ogbonna heading the winner to cap an extraordinary 15-minute turnaround.

“They went up to top gear,” said Sky Sports pundit Alan Pardew. “It was instigated by some energy, some passion, winning second balls and winning set pieces.” Jamie Redknapp, meanwhile, felt Bilic deserved considerable credit. “I would have loved to have been in that dressing room,” he said. “I don’t know what he did, but he pretty much worked a miracle.”

Setback for Spurs

For Tottenham, the defeat represents an unexpected setback. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have been outstanding in recently, earning widespread plaudits for their performance against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last week and their thumping 4-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

It seemed they were set for more of the same as they raced into a two-goal lead against West Ham, but instead they surrendered a two-goal lead for the first time under Pochettino. The Argentine had played down the significance of domestic cup competitions before the game, but a Carabao Cup exit is still a disappointment for a side seeking their first piece of silverware since 2008.

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“After Real Madrid and Liverpool it was difficult to keep the motivation,” Pochettino told Sky Sports. The Spurs boss admitted the defeat left him with a “bad feeling” and said his players were “disappointed”. With the small matter of Saturday’s trip to Old Trafford to come, he needs to pick them up quickly.

What now for West Ham?

The challenge now for West Ham is to use this victory as a turning point. This is not the first time Bilic has pulled out a big result when he needs one, but previous examples have been followed by a reversion to type. Fail to beat the Premier League’s bottom side Crystal Palace at the weekend, and they could find themselves in the relegation zone.

West Ham head to Selhurst Park knowing that Palace pulled off a 2-1 win over champions Chelsea in their last home game, but as Pardew pointed out, Roy Hodgson’s side will also be wounded from their 4-1 thrashing by Bristol City on Tuesday. Can West Ham take advantage?

“West Ham now they enter that Crystal Palace game with a completely different mentality to them,” said Pardew. “Crystal Palace played in the cup and got a bit of a thumping, while West Ham have just had an unbelievable win. Now Bilic needs to take that into Saturday and not dwell on the Brighton game. He’s got a lot to build on tonight.”


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