West Ham finished fourth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over struggling Tottenham on Sunday which left their top four rivals London in tatters.
Jose Mourinho’s side have fallen to a fifth loss in their last six league games as they paid the price for a botched defense at London Stadium.
Michail Antonio put West Ham in front early in the first half and Jesse Lingard doubled the hosts’ advantage after the break.
Lucas Moura reduced the deficit with his first league goal since September, but Spurs were unable to recover a point.
West Ham climbed two points above Chelsea in Champions League places as their unexpected European challenge accelerated with a seventh victory in their last nine league appearances.
It was a first triumph for West Ham boss David Moyes in 16 games with Mourinho.
And while Moyes sparked a remarkable revival at West Ham, which was in a relegation battle when it arrived last season, Mourinho’s Tottenham are in the midst of a dismal campaign.
They languish in ninth and lag West Ham by nine points, albeit with a game in hand.
Tottenham have already lost eight league games this season – Mourinho’s second worst career comeback after losing nine to Chelsea in 2015-16.
Mourinho will need to turn the tide quickly to save his job after Tottenham’s latest flop.
Tottenham had conceded nine goals in their last three games in all competitions, highlighting defensive flaws that have plagued them since they squandered a three-goal lead in the dying minutes of their 3-3 draw with West Ham in October .
Antonio exploited a more dismal defense to open the scoring in the fifth minute.
When Son Heung-min’s slow reaction allowed Jarrod Bowen to whip up a left cross, Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga stood with their feet flat as Antonio moved between them.
Antonio’s initial effort was saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and the West Ham forward quickly rose to stab at the rebound from close range.
– Toothless Tottenham -Tomas Soucek found himself with blood streaming down his face after a heads-up clash with Tanganga, putting West Ham to 10 men for five minutes while the midfielder left to be stitched up.
Even then, toothless Tottenham couldn’t make any progress and Lloris had to tip Craig Dawson’s header back after the defender easily escaped the mark of slack in Aaron Cresswell’s corner.
After a lethargic half, Tottenham showed signs of life when curler Erik Lamela forced a decent save from Lukasz Fabianski, who had to stretch to his right to prevent Harry Kane from moving for a few moments later.
Tottenham hadn’t won any of their previous 11 league games while at halftime, so Mourinho jumped into action with the introduction of Gareth Bale and Matt Doherty.
Bale had impressed on a rare start against Wolfsberger, but the Wales striker could do nothing to stop Spurs from soaring to another loss.
Aided by Tottenham’s imposing rearguard, Lingard broke free to lead a fine finish to the far corner in the 47th minute.
An offside flag looked like it could spare Spurs, but a VAR review overturned the decision as Lingard belatedly celebrated his third goal since signing on loan from Manchester United.
Tottenham needed an immediate response and Kane was just off target with a fierce free kick before Lucas recovered one in the 64th minute.
Bale’s corner darted towards Lucas at the near post and the Brazilian edged his marker to glance with a header past Fabianski.
Bale nearly equalized with a lightning effort from the edge of the area that cannonated the bar.
Tottenham’s luck was lost again in the stoppage time as the ball bounced off Son but bounced off the post and bounced back to safety.
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