English Premiership

West Ham frustrate Spurs

2011-03-19 17:03
Jermain Defoe (AFP)

London - West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green made a series of fine saves to help West Ham earn a 0-0 draw against London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Green was in unbeatable form and saved his best moment until the final minutes when he tipped Gareth Bale's free-kick onto the crossbar.

The England international's man-of-the-match display ensured Avram Grant's side overcame waves of Tottenham pressure and moved out of the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's 17:00 matches.

Spurs were handed a tough task when they were pitted against Real Madrid in Friday's draw for the Champions League quarter-finals.

But their focus was on this London derby as they tried to close the three-point gap on Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish.

Make no mistake, there is no love lost between these two sides. There is a deep-rooted rivalry that has only intensified following the battle for the Olympic Stadium.

Tottenham and West Ham both launched bids for the stadium in Stratford and the latter were successful.

West Ham arrived at White Hart Lane in their best form of the season. Wins over Liverpool and Stoke in the Premier League have improved their chances of beating relegation.

However, they were missing injured striker Frederic Piquionne while Robbie Keane could not play as part of his loan agreement from Tottenham.

Spurs' first shot at goal came from an unlikely source as defender Michael Dawson struck the bar with a shot from the edge of the box.

Jermain Defoe then had his first chance when he connected with Bale's cross in the seventh minute but he was unable to direct his effort on target.

Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart both had chances as Tottenham looked likeliest to break the deadlock.

But West Ham had chances to score themselves. The best fell to Carlton Cole, which the England striker wasted when he shot straight at Heurelho Gomes with just the Spurs goalkeeper to beat.

Defoe should have given Spurs the lead in the 40th minute. Aaron Lennon's effort struck the post and the ball rebounded into Defoe's path.

However, the England international was caught off-guard and the ball bounced off his shin and wide.

After the restart Cole had another chance for West Ham while Defoe was denied again, this time by Green, who saved with his legs.

As Tottenham continued to squander their chances, West Ham started growing in confidence and the impressive Mark Noble came close to giving them a 56th minute lead with an overhead kick that was only just wide.

Demba Ba was next to try his luck with a shot from the edge of the box that Gomes did well to parry.

Both sides continued to press for an opening and made a flurry of substitutions to break the stalemate.

Tottenham substitute Roman Pavlyuchenko looked the most threatening and had two shots inside a minute that forced Green to make two saves.

Green then denied Bale again, as West Ham clung on for a point to help their relegation battle.

Read more on:    epl  |  avram grant  |  jermain defoe  |  west ham
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