West Ham United moved into the top four in the Premier League with a win over local rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon.
Irons striker Michail Antonio’s sixth goal of the season was enough for the home side to seal all three points at the London Stadium. The 31-year-old talisman tapped home from close range after a pinpoint corner from Aaron Cresswell.
Both the goalscorer and provider were candidates for the ‘Man of the Match’ award, as were David Moyes’ resolute backline who kept their second clean sheet of the week.
But it was England midfielder Declan Rice who absolutely ran the show in east London.
With the captain’s armband on, the 22-year-old powerhouse led by example as he was graded a 7.5 by SofaScore – better than the goalscorer and both central defenders.
But instead of bombing on and contributing in the final third as he has done recently, he was back to his anchorman duties, registering a game-high eight tackles – three more than the next best and two fewer than Spurs’ whole backline combined.
Rice also put in two interceptions and won a total of ten duels from 16 (62.5%) midfield battles, as per SofaScore.
The Evening Standard’s Jack Rosser waxed lyrical about his performance in his post-match column, claiming the academy graduate ‘oozed class’ in the win.
‘With Soucek off the pace Rice stepped up and dominated midfield almost on his own. First to almost everything and always looking to drive the Hammers forward,’ he wrote.
For the umpteenth time this season, Rice absolutely dominated another Premier League side. That will only cause interest in his services to increase heading into 2022, so the London Stadium faithful better enjoy it whilst they still can.