West Ham relegation fears grow after defeat at Spurs

West Ham United was fortunate just before halftime when VAR ruled out Son Heung-min's goal for offside, but the side's luck deserted it after the break.

Tottenham's Harry Kane's goal vs West Ham

Tottenham's Harry Kane scores his team's second goal against West Ham on Tuesday.   -  AP

West Ham United's hopes of avoiding relegation suffered a cruel blow as an own goal by midfielder Tomas Soucek and Harry Kane's first goal since December condemned the side to a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday.

The visitor was fortunate just before halftime when VAR ruled out Son Heung-min's goal for offside, but its luck deserted it after the break at an empty Tottenham Stadium.

When a corner was swung over in the 64th minute the ball flew through a crowd before striking Soucek's leg and spinning past helpless keeper Lukasz Fabianksi.

West Ham responded well and Jarrod Bowen was denied an equaliser by the upright before Kane was played through on goal and beat Fabianski with a trademark finish.

Defeat left West Ham above the relegation zone on goal difference from Bournemouth which has a game in hand.

Tottenham's first win in eight matches in all competitions kept it in the hunt for a Champions League qualification berth. Jose Mourinho's side is seventh with 45 points, one behind fifth-placed Manchester United.

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Mourinho's first game in charge after taking over from Mauricio Pochettino was a 3-2 away win at West Ham in November.

The atmosphere that day was in marked contrast to Tuesday's behind-closed-doors return, although the stakes were massive for both clubs for different reasons.

No wins in four Premier League games had seen Tottenham overtaken in the battle to qualify for the Champions League while four defeats in five Premier League games had left West Ham in serious danger of relegation.

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Yet the first half of what is usually a feisty derby was devoid of goalmouth incident until just before halftime when Son cut in and arrowed a low shot past Fabianski, but had strayed marginally offside when receiving the ball.

Lucas Moura, who had earlier forced Fabianksi to palm over his long-range piledriver, then wasted a great chance, firing well wide after being picked out by Ben Davies.

Heartened, West Ham started the second half well and Pablo Fornals wasted the side's best chance early, scuffing wide when unmarked in front of goal.

It proved a decisive moment as Soucek's blunder sent West Ham on the way to a seventh successive away Premier League defeat for the first time since 2006.

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