Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham was supposed to be a fairytale. It turned into a nightmare.
Spurs looked set to mark Bale's comeback with a convincing win, before conceding three late goals to draw 3-3 with West Ham in a crazy London derby in the English Premier League.
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‘BIGGEST FRAUD’: Ronaldo's sister makes shock virus callThe Hammers were trailing 3-0 with less than ten minutes of regular time to play, before launching one of the most astonishing comebacks in recent memory.
West Ham were dead and buried after Spurs raced into a 3-0 lead after just 16 minutes as Son Heung-min's opener after 45 seconds and Harry Kane's double put them in total control.
They were still winning 3-0 when their old favourite Bale - signed again to the club after a successful but strained spell with Real Madrid - came on as a 72nd-minute substitute.
Unfortunately for the Welshman, that's when things spiralled out of control for Spurs - through no real fault of his own, although Bale did squander a late one-on-one chance when he sprayed his shot wide.
No team in the history of the Premier League had rescued a result after being 3-0 down as late as the 81st minute but the Hammers secured a slice of history in a frantic finish.
The comeback started by Fabian Balbuena, before a Davinson Sanchez own goal made it a nervous final few moments for Spurs.
Deep into the fourth minute of stoppage time, Manuel Lanzini lashed an unstoppable strike into the roof of the Tottenham net to seal West Ham’s “miracle” finish in style.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) October 18, 2020
Excellent West Ham comeback to get a point at Spurs. West Ham equilaser is a contender for goal of the season! Brilliant goal. Spurs defenders collapsed under the late West Ham pressure. Spurs manager is right to say that Spurs players need to be stronger mentally under pressure
— Babul Islam (@ec99bim) October 18, 2020
Take absolutely nothing away from the comeback & especially that Lanzini goal (madness), but west ham players tweeting as if they won is a bit of a weird mentality from a prem team, is it not?🤔🤷🏻♂️
— Toby Fletcher (@Toby_Fletcher) October 18, 2020
— Ansh Virmani (@virmaniviews) October 18, 2020
— MARTILLOS ESPÃNOLES (@Los___Martillos) October 18, 2020
Stunning comeback by Westham today against Tottenham 3-3 super strike by Lanzini
— munna21977 (@munna21977) October 18, 2020
I skipped the last 10 minutes of #TOTWHU only to find out West Ham did a madness! Jose must have been fuming 🤣
— Gunwood 11 (@26Gunwood) October 18, 2020
Don’t know what was more impressive - the West Ham comeback, the Lanzini screamer, or, @TheLawless pouring his drink all over his head by way of celebration. Fantastic ending - huge shame no fans were in the stadiums for that. Would have been madness.
— Josh Verrills (@WestHamJoshV) October 18, 2020
West Ham have pulled off a miracle!
— و (@Watheq25) October 18, 2020
Im guessing a lot of spurs fans feel pretty much the same, miracle comeback from us.
— Godfrey of Acre (@GodfreyOfAcre) October 18, 2020
It really doesn't get any better.
When all looks lost, you need to dig deep to find the motivation to fight back. Partners @WestHam never gave up. To keep going for 90 minutes takes everything and more. We're that more. What an extraordinary finish. Up the Hammers. #UpYourGame pic.twitter.com/ojxWEGKAI7
— SOCCER SUPPLEMENT® (@SocSupplement) October 18, 2020
The result will leave Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho utterly sick as Spurs threw away two points for the second successive home game and the result still leaves them unable to impose themselves on the Premier League table.
"That's three matches at home and two draws that could perfectly be two victories, and it's a big punishment because we look to the table and it's difficult to believe after scoring so many goals and playing so well that we only have eight points," Mourinho said.
For West Ham, the comeback continued a promising start to the campaign following good wins over Wolves and Leicester.
Villa maintain unbeaten start
After he had come on, Bale had the chance to steal the headlines as he weaved his way into the box but somehow put his shot wide after doing all the hard work.
In the end, that proved a costly miss as West Ham stole a draw with virtually the last kick.
Spurs could not clear another free-kick and Lanzini stuck a 20-yard shot into the top corner to spark chaotic scenes of celebration.
Earlier, substitute Alexis Mac Allister smashed home a 90th-minute equaliser as Brighton rescued a deserved 1-1 derby draw at Crystal Palace.
Wilfried Zaha had looked set to be the Seagulls' nemesis once again by putting the Eagles on course for victory with a first-half penalty.
Brighton ended the match a man down after captain Lewis Dunk was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge at Gary Cahill while attempting to force home an injury-time winner.
Substitute Billy Sharp grabbed a late equaliser from the penalty spot to salvage a point for Sheffield United in a 1-1 draw against Fulham at Bramall Lane.
The Blades dominated the first half but were made to pay for failing to take their chances when Ademola Lookman put Fulham in front after 77 minutes.
The goal came 20 minutes after Aleksandar Mitrovic had missed a penalty for the visitors, and it would be a spot-kick at the other end, converted with some aplomb by Sharp five minutes from time, that earned the hosts a draw.
In the late game, Aston Villa continued their great season with a late winner to maintain their unbeaten run.
Ross Barkley scored the all important goal in the 91st minute for the Villans, who only just avoided relegation last season.
Villa and Everton remain the only teams to be unbeaten in the EPL this season.
"An important win today," said Barkley. "I dedicated that goal to the physio because I was 50-50 in the week and he did a really good job getting me right."
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