Tottenham Hotspur moved into the Premier League’s top four as they returned to form with a 2-0 home win over West Ham United that left their London rivals in the bottom three on Sunday.
There was little to separate the sides in a forgettable first half but the hosts stepped up the pace after the interval with goals by Emerson Royal and substitute Son Heung-min.
It was an important win for Spurs after defeat at Leicester City and a midweek loss away to AC Milan in the Champions League as they leapfrogged Newcastle United in the table.
Right back Emerson marked his 50th Premier League game by opening the scoring in the 56th minute.
Son, who has struggled for form this season and was left out of the starting lineup by stand-in manager Cristian Stellini, then linked with Harry Kane four minutes after coming on to double the Tottenham’s advantage in the 72nd.
Relegation-threatened West Ham had started the derby brightly with Jarrod Bowen wasting an early chance but offered little and have now won only once in their last 11 league games with pressure mounting on manager David Moyes.
Spurs have 42 points from 24 games, one more than Newcastle who have a game in hand. West Ham are in 18th with 20 points from 23 matches, a point below the safety zone.
With Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte again absent as he recovers from gallbladder surgery, his assistant Stellini shook up the starting lineup with Son and Ivan Perisic benched.
Initially his side laboured and there was little for the home fans to get excited about in the opening 45 minutes, although Spurs did have a penalty appeal turned down when Richarlison’s pass was handled by Thilo Kehrer.
Had Bowen scored early on when well positioned instead of shooting wide, West Ham might have capitalised on a Tottenham team who have struggled desperately for consistency.
Spurs were far better in the second half but Kane and Richarlison wasted chances before a flowing move gave the hosts the lead.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s superb pass released Ben Davies down the left and his pass was perfectly weighted for Emerson Royal to coolly slot a shot past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
The second goal was from a much more familiar link-up as Kane’s pass released Son and the South Korean fired a right-foot shot into the net.
It was only Son’s fifth league goal of the season, with three of his other efforts coming in a hat-trick off the bench in a home win against Leicester City.