Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was forced to praise West Ham United’s belief and character after a stunning comeback in North London on Sunday, while speaking to Sky Sports.
Almost a year ago to the day, Spurs were given an almighty scare by their bitter rivals.
But, while West Ham couldn’t quite turn a 3-0 deficit into the most unexpected of points in November 2019, falling to a 3-2 defeat despite a creditable late riposte, David Moyes’ side went one better 11 months on.
With 82 minutes on the clock, West Ham were three goals down and doomed.
By the time Paul Tierney blew his whistle 14 minutes later, Moyes was leaping in the air; a picture of relief and unbridled joy following a 30-yard Manuel Lanzini rocket which completed the most remarkable of turnarounds.
West Ham have now picked up seven points from their last three Premier League games, thrashing Leicester and Wolves 3-0 and 4-0 before delivering an almighty blow to Spurs’ title hopes during one of the most exciting derby clashes in recent memory.
And Mourinho had no choice but to praise the performance of a West Ham team who never gave up on the night, even after falling three goals down inside 16 first-half minutes.
“I prefer to praise West Ham’s belief because it’s not easy to be losing 3-0 and to be, let’s say, dominated because we had the game under control,” Mourinho says.
“I knew that they are a completely different team this season than they were last season so I give them credit. But, to concede three goals and to lose an advantage of three goals is a big punishment – and, eventually deserved.”
Moyes might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is hard to imagine previous West Ham sides digging in and producing a comeback full of such quality and character.
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