October has haunted Tottenham in recent years and Mauricio Pochettino is aware of a daunting schedule ahead before the next international break.
With this in mind, Spurs will have been satisfied to survive a spirited second-half display from West Ham and bank three points which keep them in touch with the pace-setters in the Premier League.
Pochettino’s team were not at their most fluent and effective but Erik Lamela headed them into the lead in the 44th minute.
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS, LEAGUE TABLE AND MATCH ZONE
WEST HAM: (4-1-4-1) Fabianski 6.5; Zabaleta 6, Balbuena 6, Diop 6.5, Cresswell 6; Rice 6; Yarmolenko 5(Diangana 40, 6), Noble 6 (Antonio 70, 6), Snodgrass 6.5, Anderson 5(Hernandez 51, 6.5); Arnautovic 6.5
SUBS NOT USED: Adrian (GK); Fredericks, Masuaku, Ogbonna
BOOKINGS: Noble (59), Arnautovic (73), Snodgrass (81)
COACH: Manuel Pellegrini 6
TOTTENHAM: (4-3-2-1) Lloris 7.5; Tripper 6, Sanchez 6.5, Alderweireld 7, Davies 6; Sissoko 7 (Eriksen 89), Dier 6, Winks 6.5; Moura 7.5, Lamela 8(Dembele 76, 6); Kane 6 (Llorente 86)
SUBS NOT USED: Gazzaniga (GK); Aurier, Son, Walker-Peters
GOALS: Lamela (44)
COACH: Mauricio Pochettino 6
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson 6
MAN OF THE MATCH: Erik Lamela
VENUE: London Stadium
Erik Lamela (No 11) headed home a Moussa Sissoko (No 17) cross to break the deadlock 90 seconds before the interval. For more of Sportsmail’sfantastic MATCH ZONE feature, please.
Hugo Lloris made three terrific saves from Marko Arnautovic and when Javier Hernandez thought he had scored a late winner the flag was up for offside and Manuel Pellegrini’s mini revival has stalled.
For 40 minutes this derby was an untidy affair. Tottenham controlled possession but efforts at goal were restricted to those from distance or impossible angles and the game was disjointed, with a subdued tempo and many mistakes on the ball.
Pablo Zabaleta, who required treatment and a touchline change of both shirt and shorts, accused Lucas Moura of throwing an elbow in an aerial challenge and West Ham lost Andriy Yarmolenko, five minutes before the interval with what appeared to be a serious injury.
The Ukraine international, a £17.5million summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, fell suddenly as he twisted to pursue the ball as a corner kick bounced free at the back post and clutched at the back of an ankle.
Arnautovic, the closest West Ham to the incident, threw his hands to his face in shock and Yarmolenko was wheeled from the pitch on a stretcher and taken straight to hospital.
He was replaced by 20-year-old academy graduate Grady Diangana who made an instant impact with a dash down the wing.
Although the break in play for the injury seemed to disturb West Ham’s concentration and triggered Tottenham’s best spell of the game, a brief purple patch in which they seized the initiative.
Spurs went ahead through Lamela, who drifted ahead of Zabaleta to glance a header beyond goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi following good work on the right and a cross from Moussa Sissoko.
Fabianski made a fine double save in stoppage time at the end of the first half to prevent the visitors extending their lead.
West Ham’s goalkeeper beat away a curling strike from Lamela, who cut in from the right onto his favoured left foot.
The rebound fall for Sissoko who really should have scored but side-footed the ball against Fabianski, outstretched on the goal line.
West Ham escaped and reappeared for the second half with more fire in their football.
Lloris, in excellent touch, frustrated Arnautovic. First, springing high to his left to claw a header from the top corner after Aaron Cresswell had stolen the ball from Sissoko and crossed from the left.
The second was low to the same side to fingertip a sweet strike which fizzed across the turf when Arnautovic met a partial clearance on the bounce.
In the final second, he made another brave block at the feet of Arnautovic and Sanchez.
Tackles flew and tempers simmered as West Ham sought a way back and the home crowd cheered when Manuel Pellegrini sent on Hernandez to replace £35m record signing Felipe Anderson.
Moura was furious when caught high by Robert Snodgrass, a naughty tackle missed entirely by referee Martin Atkinson.
Arnautovic and Davinson Sanchez clashed near a corner flag and the Tottenham defender emerged with a ripped shirt.
Hernandez found the net with four minutes to go and the bubble machines sprang into life and red smoke bombs were thrown by home fans in celebration but they were premature.
The points went to Tottenham and keep them in sight of the top of the league as they turn attention back to the Champions League.