A local London derby for Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the new Premier League season against bitter rivals West Ham resulted in Spurs stealing an undeserved win.
Tottenham lined up in a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Kyle Naughton filling in for the injured Kyle Walker, match-winner Eric Dier making his first competitive start for the club and Erik Lamela playing behind lone striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
West Ham started in the same formation as Tottenham, with Aaron Cresswell at left-back and new signing Cheikhou Kouyate in the midfield. Carlton Cole was also given a starting place due to the recent injury sustained by Andy Carroll.
This was always going to be a game where the fans were either been on the edge of their seats or left wishing they hadn't bothered.
Both sides were cautious in their approaches and neither looked to press on early and cause the opposition any problems.
28 minutes into the game and there was a moment of real controversy as referee Chris Foy adjudged that Tottenham right-back Naughton had intentionally handled the ball in the penalty box following a snap shot from Kevin Nolan.
Foy dished out a straight red card to Naughton, as well as awarding the Hammers a penalty.
The ever-reliable Mark Noble subsequently proved that he is not invincible from 12 yards, however, by dragging his kick wide of the post with Hugo Lloris going totally the wrong way. Prior to this Noble had scored his previous 10 penalties.
Down to ten men, Tottenham attempted to slow the play down and rarely pushed forward, causing minimal issues for West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.
Goalless at the break
Lamela and Christina Eriksen seemed to have no effect on proceedings with both sides going into the break with the score 0-0.
The second half proved to be as drab as the first with Tottenham creating minimal chances. West Ham were the livelier of the two sides creating a total of 18 attempts on goal by the 90-minute mark.
West Ham centre-half James Collins received his marching orders in the 63rd minute following two bookable offences.
The third minute of added-time at the end of the second half produced the only goal of the game. Dier - who started at centre-back - was moved to right-back following the dismissal of Naughton found himself breaking through the West Ham backline following a through ball from young substitute Harry Kane.
Dier rounded Adrian superbly before rolling the ball over the goalline to earn Spurs a lucky 1-0 win.
It was hardly the game of the decade but a good away win for Spurs who lost twice in the league last season and in the league cup to the Hammers.
Tottenham will need to develop a killer instinct in-front of goal if things are to look rosier but a good opening day win for manage Mauricio Pochettino will give him solid foundations on which to keep building.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms