Johnson shines again but Spurs struggle to break Hammers down: Five things we learned from West Ham 1-1 Tottenham

West Ham came from behind to secure a point against London rivals Tottenham at the London Stadium.

Ange Postecoglou’s side got off to a flyer just five minutes in when the in-form Brennan Johnson netted from Timo Werner’s cross but West Ham equalised midway through the second half through Kurt Zouma, who diverted the ball in off his back from a corner.

Here are the five things we learned from the game…

Brennan Johnson continues to shine 

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Spurs’ acquisition of Brennan Johnson from Nottingham Forest looks more and more shrewd with every passing week. After proving influential off the bench in the 2-1 win at home to Luton on the weekend – where he set up both goals – Johnson was again involved among the goals tonight as he prodded home Werner’s cross after just five minutes. It is now four goals and seven assists so far this season for the 22-year-old, who is starting to become a key player for Spurs.

West Ham in need of a striker 

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For all West Ham’s attacking threat, the striker position has been problematic for David Moyes in the past few seasons. Michael Antonio, who spurned a glorious chance at 1-1 after being played clean through on goal, seems in capable of filling the void up top and whilst Jarrod Bowen, Mohammed Kudus and Lucas Paqueta provide their fair share of goals, a renowned centre-forward would certainly propel West Ham to a new level. 

Maddison nullified  

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Despite a blistering start, Spurs generally struggled to break down West Ham’s rigid backline. A large reason for that was the lack of involvement from James Maddison, who has been slightly off the pace in recent weeks. It is understandable given the injury the Englishman has returned from, which was the longest lay-off in his playing career. The former Leicester man is certainly not out of form, but when he’s even slightly below his exceptionally high standards, Spurs struggle to create chances. 

Zouma effective at both ends for West Ham 

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Zouma initially struggled when he arrived at West Ham but in the last two seasons, he has returned to the player that garnered all that hype when he was at Chelsea. Tonight, he was immense in both boxes for his side, hauling his team level form a corner albeit with a bit of luck, as the ball struck his back and flew past Guglielmo Vicario. Spurs were not at their fluid best in attack tonight but that was partly due to the performance from Zouma, who completed eight clearances and helped negate Spurs’ threat up top. 

State of play for European spots 

Following the 1-1 result, the picture has changed for both team’s European aspirations. Spurs are now two points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa but remember, with UEFA’s coefficient rankings in place, fifth place may be enough for Spurs to qualify for the Champions League.  

For West Ham, passage into the Europa League is still very much in sight, sitting just three points behind sixth-placed Manchester United albeit having played two more games. 

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