West Ham United capitalised on Tottenham Hotspur’s errors at the back to beat their London rivals 3-2 in Perth.
First half goals from Danny Ings and Divin Mubama put the Hammers ahead, before Gianluca Scamacca scored the winner after the Lilywhites had levelled the contest in the second half.
The style Postecoglou wants to implement in North London was evident within the first two minutes. Oliver Skipp bombed forwards in a manner that would have left Antonio Conte frothing at the teeth, looking to draw a defender and make space in the penalty area whilst Pedro Porro and Dejan Kulusevski combined on the wing. Kurt Zouma was alive to the danger and able to intercept, but James Maddison had been lurking.
A couple of minutes later and the move was repeated on the lefthand side, and almost produced the first goal of the match. Spurs overloaded the penalty area, and Manor Solomon managed to slide the ball into the path of Kulusevski, but the Swede was only able to fire straight at Lukasz Fabianski.
More good work from Fabianski prevented James Maddison from smashing home from a tight angle, before the Hammers began to grow into the game. Divin Mubama and Jarrod Bowen both had sights of goal on the counter before seeing their shots blocked, and then the latter produced a bit of magic to create the opening goal. Following a cleared corner, the former Hull City winger was given space on the righthand side of the penalty area before dinking a cross towards the back post. Danny Ings escaped the attention of the Spurs defenders and was able to nod home from the corner of the six yard box.
The Tottenham defence were caught napping barely five minutes later. After Guglielmo Vicario sliced a pass out for a corner, a quickly taken corner led to Emerson Palmieri fidning the head of Mubama, who was once again unmarked on the edge of the six yard box, and was left with a simple finish.
Vicario was not deterred by this early mishap, and it was from his boot that a move began that almost saw Spurs get on the board themselves. A triangle between the Italian goalkeeper, Bissouma and Christian Romero saw Spurs beat the Hammers’ press. The move culminated in Solomon shifting the ball onto his right foot and attempting to bend the ball into the far corner, but Fabianski got two hands to the shot.
Bissouma and Romero were both guilty of missing guilt-edge opportunities from close range having been picked out by Kulusevski, leaving Postecoglou smiling in disbelief. The signs were at least positive, but the quality was still missing.
Sergio Reguilon will have been glad to see half time after being tortured by Bowen on each of the rare occasions West Ham found possession of the ball. As the clock ticked past 45 minutes, the Spaniard was turned inside out before Vicario had to bail him out, getting down to his left quickly to prevent a shot from the edge of the box finding the net inside the near post.
Reguilon and the rest of the Spurs XI from the first half were indeed replaced at the break, but the attacking intensity did not change. Emerson Royal was the first to get a shot off in anger for either side, after Pape Matar Sarr lifted the ball into his path, but his volley sailed high and wide of the goal.
Good strength from Brazilian international Richarlison saw him hold off the attention of Kurt Zouma for long enough to get a shot away, searching for the far corner. Fabianski was unmoved, but relieved to see the shot clip the outside of the post before going behind.
Spurs’ wingers continued to probe and create opportunities. Fabianski’s next addition to his remarkable Western Australian highlight reel was to cover his near post and deny Alfie Devine after the academy graduate reached Ivan Perisic’s cross.
But finally, Spurs’ overwhelming pressure told and they were able to convert one of their opportunities. Fabianski could do nothing to prevent Giovani Lo Celso from slotting the ball past him from close range, after Davinson Sanchez’s headed knock-down fell kindly for the Argentinian.
And just like that, the North Londoners had found their shooting boots. After winning a corner nearly from kick-off, Destiny Udogie guided the ball with his head into the far side-netting to square the game up.
However, for all the swashbuckling, all-guns-blazing football Tottenham had been playing, it only took one perfectly-timed pass from Pablo Fornals for West Ham to retake the lead. Picking the ball up inside the centre circle, the Spaniard perfectly split Sanchez and Royal with a pass that ran perfectly for Gianluca Scamacca to run onto with just Brandon Austin to beat.
The Italian striker coolly stroked the ball past the substitute ‘keeper, as the Hammers scored their third goal from just their fourth shot of the match. It was another stark reminder if one were needed that Spurs’ defence is their Achilles’ heel.