By Harry Sykes
Mark Noble hailed Tottenham as the “team to beat” in the Premier League in the coming years.
The West Ham midfielder made the bold claim about Spurs in the immediate aftermath of his side’s 1-0 win against their rivals at London Stadium on Friday night.
The Hammers ensured they will remain in the Premier League next season with a landmark victory in a frenzied atmosphere that put some gloss on a difficult campaign.
A Manuel Lanzini goal secured the points for West Ham against a Tottenham side who had gone into the match on the back of a nine-match winning sequence.
Noble paid tribute to Mauricio Pochettino’s young and vibrant team and insisted they can be even more of a superpower than champions-elect Chelsea in a claim that could cheer up their fans following Friday’s shattering blow.
“Spurs are a top team, I think they’ll be the team to beat in a few years,” he said as quoted by the BBC Sport website (10.05pm). “But we were magnificent tonight.
“We knew what we had to do. They had nine wins in a row, you have to play really well. I thought we got what we deserved.
“I’m so proud of the boys. Everyone dug in and supported each other. We’ve had a lot of stick this year, a lot of it warranted. We’re a good team, but we haven’t always shown it.”
Spurs’ title hopes are almost over following the defeat to West Ham, which has left them four points adrift of Chelsea with just three matches of their campaign remaining.
Chelsea need just two wins from their last four games, starting with Monday’s home clash against Middlesbrough, to ensure they are in the Premier League next season.