EPL

West Ham 2-1 Tottenham: Moyes finally gets the better of Mourinho

By Sports Desk February 21, 2021

Tottenham fell to a fifth defeat in six Premier League games as David Moyes ended his Jose Mourinho hoodoo in West Ham's 2-1 win at the London Stadium.

Moyes enjoyed his first victory over Mourinho at the 16th time of asking, spoiling the under-fire boss' 50th top-flight game at the Spurs helm as the Hammers climbed to fourth.

Michail Antonio gave the hosts the lead after just five minutes and they were even quicker out of the blocks in the second half, the in-form Jesse Lingard on target.

Spurs, who squandered a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining to draw the reverse fixture 3-3 in October, hit back via Lucas Moura's header but Gareth Bale struck the crossbar as a comeback failed to materialise.

Antonio put Moyes' side ahead, prodding home from close range after Hugo Lloris had repelled his initial effort from Jarrod Bowen's cross.

Harry Kane blasted wide at the end of a swift Spurs counter-attack as the visitors sought a quick response.

A sickening clash of heads between Tomas Soucek and Davinson Sanchez saw the former head off after his face was bloodied, leaving West Ham down to 10 men for a spell which they weathered without consequence.

Craig Dawson's bullet header forced Lloris to tip over his bar before half-time, with Lukasz Fabianski smartly denying Erik Lamela at the other end.

Spurs' woes deepened just over a minute into the second half as Lingard raced through to slot confidently past Lloris, leaving Mourinho looking glum on the touchline.

Kane, who had scored 11 goals in 15 league games against the Hammers prior to Sunday's clash, sent a long-range effort narrowly wide of Fabianski's left-hand upright around the hour mark.

Lucas' near-post header from Bale's corner gave Spurs hope and Kane went close to an equaliser with a low strike that flashed just wide.

Bale's spectacular attempt from the edge of the box cracked against the bar, with the woodwork again struck following a stoppage-time deflection off Son Heung-min, as West Ham ultimately stood firm in the face of significant late pressure.


What does it mean? Champions League ambitions fading for Spurs

While West Ham are eyeing a seat at European football's top table, Spurs' own Champions League aspirations are fading fast.

Mourinho's men are now nine points behind the Hammers, albeit with a game in hand, with the Europa League perhaps offering their best route back to the big time.

Mourinho's half century a damp squib

With 50 top-flight games in the Spurs dugout now under his belt, Mourinho's impact can be meaningfully measured, and the results are not great.

The Portuguese has won 23, drawn 12 and lost 15 of those matches, giving him a points-per-game return of 1.62 – the lowest such ratio at the club since Juande Ramos between 2007 and 2008 (1.17).

Lingard's impressive revival

Lingard took his goal, which proved decisive, with the confidence of a man in form.

He has scored three goals in four league games under Moyes at West Ham, as many as he managed in his 36 matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.

What's next?

Tottenham host Wolfsberger in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Wednesday, boasting a 4-1 advantage, and then welcome Burnley in the league on Sunday. The Hammers head to runaway league leaders Manchester City on Saturday.

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    Ash Barty is a class above her peers right now – and 2022 is hers to dominate even further on the grand slam stage.

    Barty ended Australia's wait for a singles champion in Melbourne after a 6-3 7-6 (7-2) win over Danielle Collins in the final on Saturday.

    The world number one dealt with the pressure of such high expectations to become the first local Australian Open singles champion in 44 years.

    Barty had already ended another drought – becoming the first Australian women's singles finalist in 42 years.

    The composure she showed during that semi-final win over Madison Keys was again prevalent in the decider against Collins, who predictably threatened and looked certain to force a deciding set on Rod Laver Arena.

    Despite the expectations, there was a constant sense of calm and almost inevitability to Barty's success in Melbourne in 2022.

    In every moment, Barty seemed unfazed by everything around her, in a zone of her own, even at 5-1 down in the second set in front of an electric home crowd. Barty would have been excused for some panic, the fear of letting down the masses awaiting and anticipating a local Australian Open singles champion. But she didn't, and her calmness was mostly mirrored by those in the stands, who eventually got what they came for.

    And Barty's confidence was well-founded. She was far too good for each of her opponents, losing just 21 games on her way to the decider before facing a tougher test against Collins.

    Barty became the second active women's singles player to win a grand slam on every surface after adding the Australian Open to her 2019 French Open and 2021 Wimbledon titles, joining the great Serena Williams.

    Her coach, Craig Tyzzer, warned on Australia Day that Barty had "played better at times" in her career. But there was a steely resolve about Barty, whose focus and concentration was even more impenetrable than her serve throughout the fortnight. The emotions were released after championship point was converted with a cross-court forehand pass.

    The fact there could be more to come from Barty is a warning to the rest of the WTA Tour. That she managed all the pressure and expectation to win an Australian Open without dropping a set says a lot.

    "She seems very focused, but she's playing very within herself, and it just seems like everything is really working for her right now without playing unbelievable tennis for her," said Keys after being crushed in the last four. "I think the rest of us are watching it thinking, 'Wow, this is incredible', but when you watch her, she seems completely in control of all of it."

    Conquered by Barty in the quarter-finals, Jessica Pegula admitted the Australian was simply better than everyone else.

    "Just to do it two out of three sets for somebody to beat her is tough because she just makes you play so much and does everything so well," she said. "Yeah, I think she's definitely living in everyone's head a little bit. I don't think anyone is going to feel great going out to play her because they know they have to play really well."

    Barty has made history and delivered one of the iconic moments in Australian sport. She is a step above her opponents right now, and more history could await in 2022.

  • Australian Open: Barty claims maiden Melbourne triumph after thrilling second-set fightback Australian Open: Barty claims maiden Melbourne triumph after thrilling second-set fightback

    Ash Barty defeated Danielle Collins in an enthralling final to cap a supreme Australian Open campaign with a maiden title in her home grand slam.

    Barty was made to work hard for her success by unlikely finalist Collins and had to come from 5-1 down in the second set to prevail 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on Rod Laver Arena.

    It was to the delight of a partisan Melbourne crowd, who saw an Australian triumph in a singles event at the season's first major for the first time since Chris O'Neil in 1978.

    Barty, who has now won 11 matches in a row in 2022, clinched her third grand slam title at the first opportunity, a sublime cross-court forehand sealing a sensational triumph.

    Barty had offered the first sign of nerves and had to save the match's first break point with a brilliant forehand winner before recovering to hold.

    Yet she turned the tables in the next game, Collins tensing up and conceding the first break when she sent two serves long.

    With the crowd behind her, Barty got into her groove, holding with ease before two fantastic forehands paved the way for her to serve out the set.

    Barty seemed primed to take the match away from Collins in the second set, yet the top seed was stunned as she slumped to a 3-0 deficit.

    Having conceded serve for just the second time in the tournament, Barty squandered two immediate chances to break back, Collins coming out on top in a thrilling rally.

    There were more fist pumps from Collins as she held to go 4-1 up. A brilliant passing shot gave Barty hope in the next game, but she rushed a volley and followed with a double fault to hand her opponent two break points.

    Collins took the first to put herself on the brink of restoring parity, only for Barty to rally back with a break of her own and start a quite sensational comeback.

    Having held for 6-3, Barty appeared to have left herself too much to do when she went 30-0 down on Collins' next serve but reeled off four straight points to send the crowd into raptures before levelling the set with a fine hold.

    Collins needed to regain her composure and did so to reach the tie-break, but a foreland long put Barty in control, and the crowd were on their feet after a volleyed winner made it 4-0.

    Collins struck the net and then missed the court to grand Barty four championship points, and the comeback was complete with her slick forehand.

    DATA SLAM: Barty's home run

    The first Australian woman since 1980 to reach the final of this major, Barty became the first woman to win a grand slam title in her home country since Sloane Stephens triumphed at the 2017 US Open.

    She is also the first woman ranked world number one to lift the trophy since Serena Williams in 2015, ending a run of top-ranked players losing the Australian Open final, after Simona Halep in 2018 and Serena Williams in 2016.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Barty – 30/22
    Collins – 17/22

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Barty – 10/3
    Collins – 1/2

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Barty – 3/5
    Collins – 2/4

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    "I am aware of a video of me that was published on social media today, taken in Dubai where I have been on holiday during the winter break," the striker posted. "In it, I use language that was unacceptable.

    "The video was cut short and edited, but I have to accept the impact this has had and I realise I should not have put myself in that position.

    "I have explained to the gaffer what happened and apologised to him but I also want to apologise for all Brentford fans. I respect the way you all support the team and I have to say how much I love playing for the club and for you.

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