There have been plenty of moments to savour against Spurs

From Lanzini's thunderbolt to Ravel's wonder goal, let's hope the class of 23 can add to these memories

Aside from drawing Millwall in the cup, any game against Tottenham Hotspur is one every Hammers fan looks out for on the fixture list in June. And no, Spurs fans it is not because it is our ‘Cup Final’.

Over the years, this fixture has brought some cracking encounters with plenty of joy, heartache and most importantly, goals. For those interested, the historical record reads very well if you’re from North London — with 100 victories, 66 losses and 54 draws the complete record in Spurs’ favour.

With David Moyes’ men visiting New White Hart Lane stadium this month, there felt like no better time to look back at some memorable victories and painful losses as we take a trip down memory lane. We start in February 1997, we’re stuck in a woeful run of form entering the fixture on an eight-match winless run, which included a horrid defeat to second-division Wrexham in the FA Cup.

Much like this season, we were struggling for goals, so Harry Redknapp entered the transfer market to bring in two new strikers in a desperate attempt to find a remedy to fix our goalscoring woes. Enter John Hartson and Paul Kitson into the fray. Redknapp was desperate to stop the rot against the North Londoners and brought both Hartson and Kitson in for their first starts for the club.

Spurs took the lead through Teddy Sheringham as he looped a header over Ludo to give the Spurs the lead. But on a blustery east end night, we used the wind to our advantage as Michael Hughes sent in a corner which found the Terminator’s big beautiful bald head and he made no mistake as he sent a bullet header into the bottom corner.

Suddenly, we were rampant, piling pressure onto Ian Walker’s goal, and we soon found ourselves ahead as Kitson netted his first Hammers goal from close range. A crazy first half saw two further goals; first Ludo was lobbed again (stay on your line Ludo lad) by sicknote Darren Anderton from 20 yards.  

We found ourselves in front at the break though with Harston getting his first for the club with a powerful header from a Dicks cross. Dicksy then turned from hero to villain and back to hero again in the second period.

First, his miss-hit clearance allowed David Howells to equalise for the visitors. But Dicks had the last laugh as he smashed a trademark penalty into the roof of the net to secure a memorable 4-3 victory.   We would go on to survive that season by two points finishing on 42 points thanks largely to the goals of Kitson and Hartson.

From one 4-3 to another, this time in Spurs’ favour, I won’t talk too long on this as frankly, I don’t want to trigger anyone’s PTSD. I am, of course, talking about the infamous day Mark Noble cried on the pitch, we thought it was all over and relegation was going to be a formality.

Instead, this defeat triggered a revival affectionately known as the Great Escape. Tevez was off the mark and everything started getting better after this game. But ultimately Spurs had the last laugh on that day with two late goals from Berbatov and Paul Salteri causing bedlam in the away end and heartbreak in the home end.

Next on the list, is my personal favourite, the day that Lasagne was confirmed as my Italian cuisine of choice. Of course, I am talking about the day we cost Spurs a Champions League place in 2006 thanks to a dodgy Lasagne and determined performance by Alan Pardew’s men who had half an eye on a FA Cup final as well.

I remember this game so vividly, arriving at Plaistow tube station and hearing rumours that the match had been abandoned due to sickness in the Tottenham camp. The game did go ahead though, and with Spurs players vomiting pre-game and at times during the game.

It was a game that was bound to be memorable one way or another. It took us just 10 minutes to make the Spurs players that much queasier as Carl Fletcher lashed home the opener from just outside the box — the visitor’s Champions League dreams were in tatters and the home faithful were loving every single minute of it.

Judas himself Jermain Defoe bought the visitors hope with an equaliser. With time ticking towards a 1-1 draw, brilliant skill inside the box allowed the ball to fall to the Israeli magician Yossi Benayoun who fired the ball into the top corner to seal victory for the Irons and cause carnage in the home end.

Fast-forward seven years, and we enter arguably West Ham’s greatest trip to the Old White Hart Lane in recent times. Sam Allardyce was so confident we would win he decided we could do it without strikers on the pitch.

He was right, and in the end, it was so easy for our men. Goals from Winston Reid, firing in a rebound following a bit of pinball in the box following a corner, Ravel Morrison — scoring perhaps the most memorable goal in West Ham’s recent history as he ran half the length of the pitch before dinking the ball over Hugo Lloris – and a freak goal from Ricardo Vaz Te, as his initial shot came back off the French stopper to hit the Portuguese’s wingers shin and roll into the bottom corner, sealed the 3-0 success.

The away end that day looked phenomenal and what a day for those lucky enough to be stuck away in that corner. That away end in the Old White Hart Lane is closely followed by the first time we visited the newly developed New White Hart Lane.

Spurs hadn’t lost at their new home in the league by the time we arrived, and indeed they were yet to concede a single goal. So naturally, the crafty cockneys had to come and burst their bubble and take the absolute mickey in doing so.

A terrific ball by Marko Arnautovic found Michail Antonio, who fired the ball past Lloris and promptly ran off to the away end flapping his you know what all over the place. Spurs knocked on the door but couldn’t find a way past Fabianski in the West Ham goal, and just like at the Emirates, we became the first team to win at a new North London home.

Last but by no means least is a Covid-19 fixture that will live long in the memory and it is such a shame that no fans were in the stadium for this humdinger of a game. It started so terribly for us that we found ourselves 3-0 down thanks to goals from Son, and Harry Kane with a brace inside 16 first-half minutes.

Enough to make you want to turn your TV off, right? How about when your team is still 3-0 down in the 80th minute — TV still on? You bet it is, Fabian Balbuena scored what we all thought was a consolation with a downward header past Lloris.

We found belief though and bombed forward again and minutes later we pulled another back with Davison Sanchez inexcusably nodding the ball into his own goal. Game on? Spurs could’ve put the game to bed when their prodigal son who had just returned from Real Madrid, Gareth Bale went through on goal, only to spoon it wide.

With seconds remaining on the clock, we were awarded a free-kick deep in Tottenham territory. The ball in was on the money (remember when we could put a decent ball into the box — happier times), but somehow Tottenham scuffed it clear, but only to Manuel Lanzini, the man who loves a goal against Spurs.

He let fly, the ball always floating away from Lloris in the Spurs goal, it was just a matter of crossbar or top corner, it was as if the world stopped for a second as it sliced towards the top corner. Mercifully it clipped the underside of the bar and went in, cue wild scenes of celebration. If only there was an away end that day, imagine the limbs.

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