West Ham have scored many memorable goals against Tottenham Hotspur in the past.

But few will stick in the memory as well as the winning goal in May 2006. Yossi Benayoun will forever be remembered as the man who broke Spurs’ hearts.


Tottenham were on the brink of qualifying for the Champions League. And for the first time in ages, they were going to finish above bitter rivals Arsenal.

But West Ham stood between Spurs and that prize fourth spot. The Hammers had little to play for, other than ensuring that their rivals did not get Champions League football.

And just ahead of the game, a number of Tottenham players were reported ill with food poisoning.

The game

West Ham took an early lead in the game, courtesy of a Carl Fletcher strike. But Spurs hit back before half-time.

Ex-Hammer Jermain Defoe got Tottenham back on track in pursuit of fourth place.


West Ham’s Teddy Sheringham had the chance to score against his previous club but his penalty was saved by Paul Robinson.

But with 10 minutes remaining and the scores still level, Spurs had to find a winner from somewhere to go above Arsenal.

However, a very different conclusion to the game occurred.

Benayoun strikes late

Yossi Benayoun skipped past Michael Dawson and scored a dramatic winner. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Benayoun had the final laugh in the quest for the Champions League spot. He would spent time on loan at Arsenal later in his career but the Israel international had already etched himself in as a fans’ favourite by then.

It was a lovely move by the Hammers with 80 minutes on the clock.

Nigel Reo-Coker received the ball with his back to goal and he saw Benayoun advancing out of the corner of his eye.

With a deft back-heel, the ball ended up at the feet of Benayoun. He evaded a sliding challenge from Michael Dawson, danced his way into space and powered the ball into the net.

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