West Ham manager David Moyes says his side “haven’t hit top gear yet” despite climbing into the top four of the Premier League with victory over London rivals Tottenham.
Goals early in each half from Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard gave the Hammers a two-goal cushion at London Stadium, before Lucas Moura’s header reduced the arrears.
Gareth Bale and Son Heung-min both struck the woodwork for Spurs in the second half, but West Ham held on for their seventh win in nine league games.
“I think we can play much better,” Moyes told BBC Match of the Day afterwards.
“The players have been finding ways to wrestle points off the opposition.
“They have done a brilliant job. You need a bit of luck along the way but we had all the right things.”
Antonio – back in the Hammers’ starting line-up after a two-game absence – poked the hosts in front after Hugo Lloris had failed to deal with Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
Lingard’s third goal in four league games was initially disallowed for offside against Pablo Fornals.
But VAR ruled that the Spaniard was not interfering with play when the Manchester United loanee skipped through the visiting defence before powerfully finding the far corner to make it 2-0.
Half-time substitute Bale set up Moura to give Spurs hope, before hitting the top of the crossbar with a fierce strike 10 minutes later.
Son also struck the frame of the goal in stoppage time.
The win – Moyes’ first over Jose Mourinho in 16 attempts – lifts West Ham two points clear of Chelsea in fifth, while Spurs remain in ninth.
Moyes recently admitted to feeling “uneasy” when discussing the Hammers’ place near the top of the table, but that is unlikely to die down following their seventh win in nine league matches.
West Ham looked much sharper from the off and deservedly took an early lead through Antonio, whose pace and physicality caused the Spurs defence all sorts of problems in the opening exchanges.
Moyes’ side limited Tottenham to just two shots on target before the break – both of which came in the final minutes of the half – and they made the perfect start to the second period when Lingard combined with Fornals before lashing beyond Lloris to continue his recent revival, having swapped red for claret and blue.
However, the hosts had their backs to the wall for the rest of the game as Spurs increased the urgency, with Moura’s header from Bale’s cross setting up a nervy finish.
They rode their luck when Vladimir Coufal’s clearance struck Son before looping over Fabianski and onto the outside of the post, but few could begrudge Moyes’s team all three points.
West Ham face both Manchester clubs, Leeds and Arsenal in their next four league matches. If they can emerge from those fixtures relatively unscathed, it could set the platform for an exciting end to the campaign for Hammers fans.
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