David Moyes says we “haven’t hit top gear yet” despite climbing into the top four of the Premier League with victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Goals early in each half from Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard gave us a two-goal cushion, 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 we held on for our seventh win in nine league games.
“I think we can play much better. 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.”David Moyes told BBC Match of the Day
Antonio – back in our starting line-up after a two-game absence – poked us 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.
In-form Hammers grind out win
Moyes recently admitted to feeling “uneasy” when discussing our place near the top of the table, but that is unlikely to die down following our seventh win in nine league matches.
We 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.
We limited Tottenham to just two shots on target before the break – both of which came in the final minutes of the half – and we 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, we 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.
We 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 us all three points.
We face both Manchester clubs, Leeds and Arsenal in our next four league matches. If we can emerge from those fixtures relatively unscathed, it could set the platform for an exciting end to the campaign for our fans.
“It is a great result for us. Today we felt it was a big, big task. Tottenham are one of the top sides and have fantastic players. For us to get a result and keep our momentum going is really good. There was a period we could have gone 2-0 up when we went 1-0 up and we didn’t take it, so that allowed Tottenham to grow in confidence as the game went on.”David Moyes