Ange Postecoglou says Tottenham 'not the finished article' after being held by West Ham

Kurt Zouma's goal cancels out Brennan Johnson's early opener, while Everton pick up a point against Newcastle and Forest blitz Fulham

West Ham goalscorer Kurt Zouma, right, challenges Tottenham striker Richarlison during the 1-1 Premier League draw at the London Stadium on April 2, 2024. EPA
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Ange Postecoglou said his Tottenham side are a work in progress and "not the finished article" after Tuesday's 1-1 draw against West Ham United saw them squander more points in the Premier League's top-four race.

Spurs took an early lead through Brennan Johnson but were pegged back by a Kurt Zouma goal as it ended all square at the London Stadium.

The result kept Tottenham in fifth place, which may still be enough to seal a Champions League berth, two-points behind Aston Villa who take on title-chasing Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Spurs dominated possession but found chances few and far between, with Postecoglou noting that his side lacked "clarity of thought" in the final third.

“I thought for the most part we controlled the game pretty well,” said the Spurs boss.

“They are a big strong team. They sit deep and make it difficult for you. You have to be fairly calm in your approach but also really disciplined because they are a threat from the counter-attack.

“We conceded from a set-piece but the rest of the set-pieces we coped with really well. In the front third we lacked a bit of clarity of thought.

“But they are human beings, it is just football. I would love to have a joystick and put them where I want them, but it doesn’t work like that.

“Sometimes we have more time than we think. There were times when the ball was flashed across the box when we should have been in those areas.

“It is all part of the development. That is why we have coaches, why we develop a system. We are not the finished article and we know that.

“There was enough there tonight for me to say that it is a team still heading in the right direction.”

West Ham should have gone ahead inside four minutes when Mohammed Kudus rolled the ball across goal, but Jarrod Bowen put a simple chance wide.

Just over a minute later they were behind when Tottenham put a carbon copy chance away, Timo Werner crossing for Johnson to sweep home.

The Hammers equalised in bizarre fashion in the 19th minute when Bowen swung in a corner.

With Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario rooted to his line, the unmarked Zouma went up for a header and glanced the ball into the net off his back.

Michail Antonio spurned a glorious chance to put West Ham ahead after half time when he held off Micky van de Ven to go one on one with Vicario, only to fluff his finish.

Destiny Udogie could have won it for Spurs in stoppage time but drilled his shot straight at Lukasz Fabianski.

“It was probably fair in the end, we did a lot of good things and showed much more resilience in defence tonight,” said Hammers boss David Moyes.

“We looked a threat and had to do a good job to stop a very good Tottenham team.”

Moyes, whose side won 2-1 at Tottenham in December, added: “Overall, if you’re giving me four points off Spurs before the season started, I’d have shaken your hand, walked away and said ‘thanks very much’.”

Everton hit back at Newcastle

Sean Dyche hailed Everton’s second-half “edge” as they came from behind to rescue a valuable point in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United.

The Magpies went ahead through Alexander Isak’s first-half strike, but spurned a number of opportunities before Everton struck back in the latter stages.

Paul Dummett’s challenge on Ashley Young saw the Toffees awarded a penalty in the 87th minute and after a VAR check, substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin stepped up to slot home from the spot.

A draw still hands Everton an unwanted record of 13 Premier League games without a win, but Dyche believes his side secured a “good point” on the road.

“I thought it was a pretty decent performance, but at half time I mentioned that edge and how we turn that into a winning performance and I thought second half was a very valid attempt to do that.

“We didn’t get the win but we get a good point on the road in the Premier League, it’s always important.

“The penalty of course, we’ve only had one this season, should have had another one Saturday but we didn’t get that.

“I don’t know why they have to look at that a hundred times, it’s absolutely bizarre because I’ve seen it back and it gets given straight away.

“Anyway, they did get to the right decision so we’re pleased with that, and Dom put it away so we’re pleased for him as well.”

It was only Calvert-Lewin’s fourth goal of the season in the Premier League, but Dyche praised the forward for his hard work.

“It changes the noise around him, he’s been working hard, Beto has also worked hard as well,” Dyche added.

“We’re asking a lot of them two at the moment, but I thought they did well and he deserves the fact he’s keeping at it.”

Newcastle looked to be heading for a second win in four days when Isak fired them into the lead with his 19th goal of the season.

But having seen James Tarkowski rattle his own post, Dan Burn have a goal ruled out for offside and Vitaly Mykolenko clear an Isak shot off the line, the visitors finished strongly.

Asked about his overriding emotion after the game, Magpies head coach Eddie Howe said: “Definitely frustrated.

“I thought we needed that second goal. It looked like we’d got it on a couple of occasions – of course, the VAR one was really, really tight ...

“At 1-0, Everton were never out of it. They’ve hit the post themselves and of course the penalty is probably the big moment.”

Forest fastest out of the blocks

Nottingham Forest pulled three points clear of the relegation zone with a first-half blitz of Fulham to win 3-1.

Callum Hudson-Odoi and Chris Wood smashed home inside the first 19 minutes as Forest came racing out of the blocks.

Fulham boss Marco Silva showed his disgust by making a triple substitution after just half-hour.

However, even that did not halt Forest's momentum as Morgan Gibbs-White made it 3-0 in first-half stoppage time at the City Ground.

"It's important but it can not distract us because we have a long way to go," said Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

"We've had good performances before and not been able to sustain them so let's take that into this game and try to sustain the performance."

Fulham pulled one back through Tosin Adarabioyo in the second half but it was too little, too late for the Cottagers.

The win lifted Forest out of the relegation zone above Luton Town – who take on second-placed Arsenal on Wednesday – on 25 points with eight games remaining.

Forest were hit with a four-point deduction for breaching Premier League profit and sustainability rules last month, a decision the club are appealing.

Second-bottom Burnley are now unbeaten in four but slip six points adrift of safety after a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves.

Jacob Bruun Larsen put the Clarets in front, but Rayan Ait-Nouri's header secured Wolves a point.

Bournemouth climbed above Chelsea into 11th thanks to Justin Kluivert's winner as they beat Crystal Palace 1-0.

Updated: April 03, 2024, 9:37 AM