Football Features

Another away London derby draw for Tottenham puts Champions League hopes at risk

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:42, 2 April 2024

Tottenham Hotspur missed out on the chance to move into the top four in the Premier League as they were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham.

With Aston Villa not playing until Wednesday, Tottenham had the opportunity to put on some pressure in the race for Champions League football. Although they could have only drawn level on points, Tottenham would have leapfrogged the Villans with a victory of two or more goals.

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They got off to the best possible start at the London Stadium, with Brennan Johnson opening the scoring after just five minutes. The Welshman was in the right place at the right time to tap in from close range after Timo Werner’s ball across the box.

It was the sixth goal involvement for Johnson in his past seven Premier League games, a run which included a match-winning assist against Luton at the weekend. But there was some reason for Tottenham to be wary. Despite avoiding defeat in the last six Premier League matches in which they had opened the scoring, West Ham were the last team to beat Tottenham after conceding the first goal.

Just 14 minutes later, West Ham were level. It was a simple set piece from West Ham, with Kurt Zouma rising highest to head home from Jarrod Bowen’s corner.

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the second half, though it was end-to-end in the final stages and either could have picked up a winner. In the end, Tottenham were left cursing their underwhelming run in away London derbies this season.

In 10 Premier League London derbies this season, Tottenham have won 15 points, averaging 1.5 per match. They have won four, draw three and lost three, with a goal different of -1. But, nine of those points have come at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Alongside defeats to Chelsea and West Ham, Tottenham have beaten Fulham, Brentford and Crystal Palace at home in the Premier League — with Arsenal still to play.

Away from home, there has been just one win against Crystal Palace. Tottenham were beaten by Fulham on the road very recently, with the draw against West Ham joining points against Brentford and Arsenal.

These struggles aren’t just restricted to London derbies. Naturally, a team will be better at home than they are on the road. But Tottenham have one of the biggest swings with regards to wins. Winning 11 games at home in the Premier League this season, Tottenham have only claimed five victories on the road — a difference of five.

Only Fulham and Newcastle (both seven) have a bigger difference between home wins and away wins this season. Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United join Fulham and Newcastle as the only four teams to have a smaller percentage of their wins come away from home than Tottenham’s 35.29%.

It’s a problem that spans further than Ange Postecoglou. Last season, Tottenham managed just six wins from their 19 away Premier League matches, compared to 12 home victories.

The run away from home could be what costs Tottenham Champions League football next season, especially with their away fixtures coming up. Postecoglou’s side still have to travel to Stamford Bridge, St James’ Park and Anfield before the season is over, ending away at Bramall Lane.

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