Modric helps Spurs sink Hammers

Modric, with only two substitute appearances under his belt since

fracturing a fibula in August, struck 11 minutes into the Premier

League clash after turning home Aaron Lennon’s cross, with Scott

Parker limping off for the visitors shortly after. To add insult to

injury, former Hammers striker Jermain Defoe added a second before

the end. After two early runs led to rash challenges from Herita

Ilunga and Alessandro Diamanti, it was no surprise that Aaron

Lennon was the creator of the 11th-minute opener. Defoe sent him

down the right and the England winger cut inside, his cross half

cleared by James Tomkins before falling for Modric unmarked. It was

not a crisp effort from Modric but his finish stabbed into the turf

and looped over Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green for his first of

the campaign. To make matters worse for Gianfranco Zola, Parker

could not continue after the goal and had to be replaced by Luis

Jimenez, depriving the visitors of their most influential player of

late. Ilunga also headed down the tunnel for treatment, with

Jonathan Spector brought on at left-back. With 10 minutes gone in

the second half, Tom Huddlestone received the ball from Vedran

Corluka with his back to goal, turned and struck the foot of the

post with his shot. Defoe grabbed his goal eight minutes from

full-time. Green blocked his initial effort from the edge of the

area but the England striker followed it up with a powerful volley

which crashed into the top corner. The result moves Spurs back into

the top four, while West Ham stay 17th.