David Moyes deserves a lot of credit for the work he has done in charge of West Ham in recent weeks.
Not only did the Hammers manager change formation after the dismal defeat to Newcastle to pick up impressive wins over Wolves and Leicester, but his in-game management also impressed us massively on Sunday as the Irons came from three goals down to draw 3-3 against Tottenham.
Spurs raced into a 3-0 lead within 16 minutes when Heung-min Son scored before a Harry Kane brace. At that point, it looked like it was all over for West Ham.
However, a double substitution by Moyes in the 77th minute which saw Michail Antonio and Pablo Fornals make way for Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini helped turn the game on its head while Robert Snodgrass’ introduction in the 90th minute also made an impact.
Of course, Lanzini was the man who scored West Ham’s stunning equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game but there was so much more to the turnaround that simply a stoppage-time wondergoal.
As you can see by the average position chart below (via WyScout), West Ham’s three substitutes all played in either more advanced or wider roles than the players they replaced.
Yarmolenko (7) came on to replace Antonio (30) and went out onto the right-wing as Jarrod Bowen (20) moved more inside. Lanzini (10) replaced Fornals (18) and although his role was a bit deeper, he spread the play by moving more out wide. And Snodgrass (11) was clearly was more advanced on the left-wing than Arthur Masuaku (26) had been.
Yarmolenko’s role off the bench isn’t talked about enough, in our opinion.
The Ukraine international played a beautiful pass to Vladimir Coufal before the Czech right-back forced Davinson Sanchez’s own goal.
As you can see by the image below, Yarmolenko had nowhere to run but back when he received the ball just on the edge of Tottenham’s penalty area.
Coufal remained an option on the touchline and Yarmolenko managed to draw in three Spurs defenders, which allowed the Czech right-back to run in behind and collect Yarmolenko’s perfectly-weighted pass.
Yarmolenko’s role on that right-wing was vital. Tottenham players knew that they had a fast player with fresh legs to deal with and had to commit more of their defenders towards marking him than they would have with Bowen.
Yarmolenko’s impact on the right was one thing, Lanzini’s impact was obvious but what about Snodgrass?
The former Hull attacker was only on the pitch for a matter of minutes but he was the man who won the free-kick in a wide-left area that led to Lanzini’s goal by simply doing what Yarmolenko did but on the other side of the pitch.
West Ham stretched Spurs’ defence to breaking-point – and it worked.
It allowed the Hammers to put way more pressure on the home side’s defence with the stats below showing that Moyes’ men started to win more duels and more recoveries from the moment he made that double substitution in the 77th minute.
Three goals followed. Three goals that will go down in the history of West Ham’s derby with Tottenham.
And Lanzini’s goal is arguably going to go down as one of the greatest ever in matches between the two London club.
In other West Ham news, Lanzini is likely to start on the bench against Manchester City this weekend.