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Sunday, January 18, 1998 Published at 12:11 GMT



Sport: Football

Klinsmann sinks 10-man Hammers
image: [ Jurgen Klinsmann shoots past West Ham's Canadian goalkeeper Craig Forrest to make it 1-0 ]
Jurgen Klinsmann shoots past West Ham's Canadian goalkeeper Craig Forrest to make it 1-0

Jurgen Klinsmann scored his first goal in the four matches since he returned to Spurs to seal a 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane against West Ham.


Jonathan Legard reports from White Hart Lane (40")
Ginola provided the opportunity after he brushed off the challenge of Samassi Abou on the left and crossed low to the near post, where Klinsmann nipped in front of Rio Ferdinand to slot the ball past goalkeeper Craig Forrest.

West Ham hit back with some neat passing and when Ferdinand intercepted a Klinsmann pass which was meant for Nicola Berti, the young England defender promptly fed Frank Lampard, who fired wide from 25 yards.


[ image: Samassi Abou is ordered off by David Elleray]
Samassi Abou is ordered off by David Elleray
When Spurs returned to the attack, Klinsmann provided a reminder of the good old days with his opportunist strike.

Despite their deficit West Ham were playing some tidy football and skilful approaches by Samassi Abou continually threatened the Spurs defence.

Abou's neat cross allowed Hartson a header which fell at the feet of Lampard in the 24th minute but the midfielder hooked his shot over the crossbar.

Two minutes later Abou stepped past Campbell with surprising ease from the edge of the Spurs box but his shot was blocked and another Tottenham defender got in the way of a follow-up effort by Steve Potts.

Two minutes from the break there was a sensational incident resulting in Abou being sent off for West Ham. He appeared to clash with Vega off the ball and when the referee, David Elleray, finally sorted out the mayhem which followed he produced the red card for Abou.

Hartson was lucky not to go as well after piling into Colin Calderwood with tempers at boiling point. Even West Ham boss Harry Redknapp was involved as he left his touchline seat.


[ image: Christian Gross, pleased with his team's improvement]
Christian Gross, pleased with his team's improvement
Then Hartson was booked for a bad tackle on Vega as the first half finished in chaos with police and stewards moving en masse to stand in front of where the West Ham supporters were gathered at one end of the ground.

The second period started with ten-man West Ham replacing Stan Lazaridis with striker Iain Dowie and switched to an orthodox back four to keep the pressure on for an equaliser.

It seemed only a matter of time before depleted West Ham capitulated again to the growing Spurs pressure.

Ferdinand performed wonders in preventing Klinsmann getting a shot on target in the 57th minute and the German was beginning to play with some of his old panache.

So was David Ginola and twice he provided perfect crosses which Vega and then Sinton headed over.

To their credit West Ham kept battling away and Spurs could not commit too many men forward. But Nicole Berti could have made himself an instant hero on his home debut after running clear on to Klinsmann's perceptive pass only for his first touch to let him down in front of goal.

The game lost a lot of the immediacy of the first half and finished a drab affair with neither side producing clear cut chances.

Spurs will be pleased that their slump at the bottom of the Premiership has been averted - if only for the moment - and will have to advance on this performance to ensure they are not in the relegation places in May.

The fitness and form of their foreign stars - Ginola, Klinsmann and Berti - could prove essential to avoid the drop into first division obscurity.

West Ham will have to control their tempers and learn how to win away from Upton Park if they want to pitch themselves against European opposition.






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