Striker Son Heung-min scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur rose to fifth in the Premier League table with a 3-1 win over West Ham United on Sunday, leaving them three points off the top four and the chance of Champions League football next season. The afternoon got off to a terrible start for Hammers defender Kurt Zouma when he steered Harry Kane’s low centre to Son into the net in the ninth minute, the 10th own goal of the season that Spurs have benefited from.
Said Benrahma reduced the deficit, but Son struck again in the second half to give Tottenham a fourth victory from their last five league games.
Tottenham move up to fifth place and sit just three points behind their north London rivals Arsenal in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.
Although Tottenham have played a game more than Arsenal, they are firmly in the hunt with a clash against the Gunners still to come later this season.
“Today we played really well. We dominated the game from the start until the end. I’m very delighted,” Conte said.
“It’s a pity it is the international break now because we are in great form. My team is improving in many aspects.”
After the high of beating Sevilla to reach the Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday, this was a major setback to West Ham’s hopes of clinching a top-four berth.
David Moyes’ men are seventh and trail Arsenal by six points, with the Gunners holding two games in hand.
Tottenham had lost five of their previous seven Premier League London derbies this season.
But they took the lead in the ninth minute when Zouma deflected Harry Kane’s pass into his own net as he tried to stop the delivery.
There was extra relish in the celebrations of Tottenham fans who jeered Zouma following the French defender’s shocking abuse of his pet cat.
Son was inches away from doubling Tottenham’s lead with a fierce drive that smacked off the post.
The South Korea forward did not have to wait long to get on the scoresheet as he latched onto Kane’s defence-splitting pass and lifted a clinical finish past Lukasz Fabianski in the 24th minute.
It was a landmark moment for Kane and Son, who have combined for 38 Premier League goals with 19 assists each, the most of any duo in the competition’s history.
Benrahma brought West Ham back into the contest with a sweet volley after Craig Dawson flicked on a 35th-minute corner in danger of being blown away. Antonio squandered a golden opportunity to equalise when he blazed over from Aaron Cresswell’s pass after the interval.
That proved West Ham’s final chance to avoid a damaging defeat as Son ran onto Kane’s header and slotted home his 14th goal of the season in the 88th minute.