With seven different London-based clubs competing in the Premier League this season, there’s a London Derby being contested almost every match week.
Matchweek 24 saw yet another one, as Spurs crossed paths with their East London neighbours West Ham United at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
The game held major significance for both sides, as a win would’ve seen Spurs claw their way back into a Champions League berth, while 3 points for the Hammers would’ve led them out of the dreaded relegation zone.
The first half unfolded in tame fashion, as both sides offered little in terms of attacking incision, although Spurs looked the more comfortable side.
In the second 45, the home side showed a bit more onus going forward and knitted together some decent chances.
Spurs eventually found the opener after a lovely passing move, culminating in Emerson Royal stroking the ball past Fabianski in goal.
The momentum continued to sway in the Lilywhites’ direction, as they kept up the pressure and dominated possession.
All their good work on the ball eventually paid off after Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min combined to score the 2nd and secure all three points.
Faced with a 2-goal deficit and the prospect of dropping to the bottom three, the Hammers tried to mount some desperate last-ditch attacks, and the game got more derby-like as the clock ticked down.
The challenges got noticeably wilder, and one such tackle from Ivan Perisic ended up taking out Vladimir Coufal.
The Croatian was immediately handed a caution for his troubles, but not before an incensed Declan Rice confronted him.
The West Ham skipper got in Perisic’s face, but he was soon met by a new adversary in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who stepped up to back his teammate.
The pair got into a heated scuffle with plenty of shoulder nudges being thrown about alongside some unpleasant comments.
As revealed after the game, the England International minced no words and said ‘No one likes you’ straight to Hojbjerg’s face.
Things between the two could’ve escalated further had it not been for the unlikeliest of peacemakers, as none other than Cuti Romero himself stepped in to stop the scrap.
The fiery Argentinian has a well-known reputation for being a proper bully on the pitch, he’s often overly aggressive in duels and always up for harassing his opposite number.
Romero also loves a good brawl, when he isn’t intervening in ongoing clashes, the 24-year-old plays the role of instigator-in-chief.
He even dishes out kicks and hair pulls during goal celebrations, coincidentally, he was spotted kicking Emerson Royal after the Brazilian scored the opener.
In summary, the World Cup winner is quite fond of rough-housing.
So you can imagine exactly how surprised fans were to see him step in and de-escalate the brewing conflict between Rice and Hojbjerg.
Romero quickly arrived on the scene and placed himself between the pair, eventually guiding Hojbjerg away from the situation.
While the defender is pretty effective at starting fires, he extinguished this one with relative ease, perhaps there’s more to Romero after all.