David Moyes finally got the better of Jose Mourinho at the 16th time of asking and the West Ham boss was delighted to beat one of the game’s “elite managers”.
The Hammers ran out 2-1 winners at the London Stadium on Sunday, with Michail Antonio and Jesse Lingard on target for the hosts.
It moved West Ham up to fourth and it was also significant for being Moyes’ first win over Mourinho after 15 failed attempts.
“There is always a first for everything and Jose Mourinho has had great teams wherever,” the Scot told Sky Sports.
“He is up there with elite managers but sometimes football can get you results like it did today. A great win for us. A tough opponent.”
4 – West Ham will spend a night within the top four places in a top-flight campaign after at least 25 matches have been played for the first time since 1985-86 finishing third that season. Orchestra. #WHUTOT pic.twitter.com/iUPnDd9Tw2
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 21, 2021
Lucas Moura’s header made it a nervy finish for the hosts, with Spurs twice hitting the woodwork late on.
But Lingard’s cool finish ultimately proved decisive, with the midfielder having scored three goals in four league games under Moyes at West Ham, as many as he managed in his 36 matches under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.
Reflecting on the career trajectory of a man who spent a decade in the first-team fold at Old Trafford, Moyes said: “Jesse has been a very good player, we shouldn’t take that away.
“He has had a difficult year. He has given us something else and helped us get better.”
Champions League qualification is firmly on West Ham’s radar now, but Moyes does not want his side to get carried away, with so much work still ahead of them.
“We have only done half a job,” he said. “If we continue this way we will be close. I don’t want to be negative in any way.
“We are enjoying it but are also not going to be daft. We will keep calm about it and hopefully keep pushing the teams at the top.
“West Ham have always had bits where they’ve won some big games but what they want is consistency and I think we have consistency.
“This club badly needs a level where they are not around the bottom. This time last year you were asking me if we can avoid relegation so it is a great feeling that is gone.”