Aaron Cresswell played a starring role as West Ham powered past Tottenham Hotspur to launch themselves into the Champions League spots.

The 31-year-old is famed for his pinpoint precision from set-piece deliveries but he showed a different side to his game as he produced a battling display to consign the visitors to a 2-1 defeat and mid-table obscurity.

The Irons are now nine points above Spurs and two points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea as they eye up European qualification, and Cresswell has been a large part of their success this season, something that was particularly on show on Sunday.

West Ham

According to Wyscout Cresswell won 88% of his duels – a better success rate than any of his teammates (Craig Dawson was closest with 69%) and his highest percentage of the current campaign.

He was successful with 16 of his 18 duels and that is a total he has only beaten once this season (v Liverpool on October 31).

That includes all seven of his defensive duels he attempted to give a 100% success rate, while he also intercepted the ball on six occasions (higher than his 4.72 per 90 average) and made three clearances to thwart Harry Kane and co.

West Ham

What was really curious to note was the rate at which he was attacking on Sunday as he completed three out of four dribbles (75%) – heading into the game he had only completed four in the whole season, spanning 24 Premier League games.

That is a remarkable turnaround and points to the confidence that is flowing through this West Ham side.

Incidentally this was actually his poorest passing performance of the season as he ceded possession on 46% of his attempted passes but that didn’t matter as the Irons still outclassed their opponents and was just a small issue in Cresswell’s game.

West Ham

Having started the season as an auxiliary centre-back in a back five the long-serving Hammer has shown his adaptability by seamlessly transitioning back to his more traditional left-back role.

Before Arthur Masuaku’s injury he was the preferred option to provide some width and attacking verve down the flanks but on the basis of this performance Cresswell has that plus much more in his game.

Not only did he bring his usual solidity but he was a threat with the ball at his feet as he drifted past Spurs players with ease.

He might be entering the twilight of his career but do not rule out Cresswell still weaving his magic at the London Stadium for years to come.

In other West Ham news, see our exclusive interview with Frank McAvennie on the Tomas Soucek links to Manchester United.


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