LONDON -- Tottenham gave its supporters something to cheers after the ordeal in Rome with a ruthless derby victory over West Ham as the visiting fans taunted their rivals over the stabbing of one of their fans.
Jermain Defoe scored twice against his former club either side of the break to answer the taunts from the West Ham fans, with Gareth Bale scoring in between to double the home side’s advantage as Spurs cruised to a confidence-boosting victory.
Andy Carroll scored a consolation header for the visitors in the 82nd minute, his first goal for the club.
The result ends a run of three defeats in a row to lift the pressure off manager Andre Villas-Boas as Spurs climb above West Ham to seventh place in the Premier League table.
The derby atmosphere was typically fierce, although sections of the West Ham support let themselves down by continually singing ‘Viva Lazio’ in reference to the shocking scenes in Rome this week when Spurs fans were attacked with knives and racially abused.
On the pitch, however, Spurs started the game with far more purpose than they showed in midweek, attacking with pace and precision as they exploited space given to them too easily by West Ham.
In the sixth minute, West Ham was perhaps lucky not to be reduced to 10 men when Joey O’Brien was booked by referee Andre Marriner for a dangerous studs-up challenge on Gareth Bale.
The Welsh winger recovered, however, and nearly broke the deadlock in the 11th minute. After roaming off his left flank, Bale picked up the ball centrally and stormed past three Hammers defenders before smashing a shot against the underside of the crossbar from the edge of the penalty area.
Spurs continued to attack but West Ham appeared to have weathered the storm after Sam Allardyce made a tactical substitution on the half-hour mark, replacing the dreadful Modibo Maiga with Matt Jarvis.
But the visiting side was caught out in the 44th minute as Defoe broke the deadlock. The striker wriggled out of a tight space on the right touchline, checked on to his right foot past Mark Noble and smashed a thunderous finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 25 yards.
West Ham looked more threatening in the early stages of the second half but was denied by Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 56th minute when Kevin Nolan attempted to square for Jarvis.
A minute later, Clint Dempsey rattled a shot against the crossbar but it mattered little as the home side doubled the advantage with its next attack.
Dempsey, who produced easily his best display since his summer transfer from Fulham, played a delightful chipped pass that caught out West Ham’s static defense and allowed Bale to take a touch and finish into the far corner via the post.
In the 64th minute, the result was put beyond doubt as Defoe scored his sixth goal in seven Premier League appearances against his former club, whose supporters constantly barracked him throughout the game.
Sandro won the ball in midfield before Dempsey played in Lennon, who raced through on goal only to unselfishly pass for Defoe to tap in to an empty net.
Carroll then rose high in the 82nd minute to send a looping header into the corner from O’Brien’s cross. The barely audible cheers from the West Ham fans told the story of a bad day for the Hammers as Spurs saw the game out with ease.
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