Andriy Yarmolenko may not have got on the scoresheet during West Ham United’s stunning comeback against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, but many Hammers fans felt that the Ukrainian’s cameo was absolutely pivotal in giving David Moyes’s men a chance of securing a superb point.
When Yarmolenko came on, the Irons were 13 minutes away from a 3-0 defeat to Spurs. The visitors had been torn apart in the opening 16 minutes.
However, West Ham then went on to start an incredible fightback in the latter stages. Fabian Balbuena got one back for the Hammers. And the score became 3-2 shortly after thanks to an own goal.
It was an excellent cross from Vladimir Coufal that Davinson Sanchez turned into his own net. But Coufal only had the chance to cross after a moment of class from Yarmolenko.
The winger produced a superb no-look pass into Coufal’s path to take two Spurs players out of the equation.
It was Manuel Lanzini’s thunderbolt that ultimately levelled the game. But Yarmolenko still had one key moment while the score was 3-2.
It was the 30-year-old who came from nowhere to do his best to put off Gareth Bale as the Spurs star danced into the box and looked destined to score.
Bale should have certainly done better. But there seems to be almost no chance that he would have put his effort wide had Yarmolenko not been there.
And many West Ham fans felt compelled to laud Yarmolenko’s impact following the game. The £115,000-a-week star (wage reported by Spotrac) has come in for criticism at times.
But several supporters clearly feel that Sunday’s comeback simply would not have happened without him.
Here is how some of the fans reacted to Yarmolenko’s cameo…
— Richard Wenn (@Rich_Wenn) October 18, 2020
— Sam Thomas Nicola (@st90nicola) October 18, 2020
I thought we were dead and buried still even when Balbuena got what I thought was a consolation but that just gave us belief to kick on. Yarmolenko was excellent when he came on the second goal he did so well to play in Coufal whos cross was headed in by Sanchez 🤣
— Khaleem Azam (@AzamWHUFC) October 18, 2020
— James Reading (@JReadingAloud87) October 18, 2020
Great kudos to Lanzini – unbelievable shot – but what a great 12 or so mins Yarmolenko had after coming on. He put Bale off with a very timely challenge as he was about to make it 4-2. Then set up cross, with a clever reverse pass, that led to our second goal.
— EX Hammers (@EXHammers) October 18, 2020
A little mention for yarmolenko made a real difference when he came on
— MarshyWhufc (@whufc4ever91) October 18, 2020
Unsung hero tonight yarmolenko who played a perfect ball to coufal for the goal and saved us at the other end by putting bale off the shot
— ⚒️Mitchell Hicks⚒️ (@WestHamMitchell) October 18, 2020
Yarmolenko brilliant when he came on 👍
— Tiba #GSBOUT (@Tibaa21) October 18, 2020